PHARMACY

Health Mart recognized as a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Health Mart, McKesson’s network of more than 2,700 independently owned pharmacies, on Tuesday announced that the franchise was recognized in the J.D. Power "2011 Customer Service Champions" report.

To identify the J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champions, J.D. Power evaluated more than 800 brands. Companies were identified based on customer feedback, opinions and perceptions gathered primarily from J.D. Power’s syndicated research, as well as additional supplemental research. Among the five key customer “touch points” measured — including people, presentation, process, product and price — Health Mart was noted for standing out in the “presentation” and “process” categories.

“We are honored to be recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for excellence in customer service,” stated Tim Canning, Health Mart president. “Health Mart pharmacists pride themselves on getting to know their patients and communities, and delivering high-quality personalized care, so it is particularly gratifying to be identified as an industry leader focused on service and customer satisfaction. Health Mart provides independent pharmacists with robust solutions and services that enable them to focus on being a valuable member of the patient’s healthcare team.”

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PHARMACY

N.J. governor: Changing Medicaid Rx will help save $41 million

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state’s Medicaid program.

Christie said the proposed overhaul, which includes managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs, would save the state $41 million, “while still providing vital services,” the governor said.

In response, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said that Gov. Christie’s proposal is "right," as many state Medicaid programs "pay too much for prescription drugs because they use an archaic, fee-for-service approach in which state officials set payment rates and are therefore constantly lobbied to inflate them by special interests."

“By administering Medicaid drug benefits like those in Medicare, New Jersey will save millions without cutting benefits to those in need," said PCMA president and CEO Mark Merritt. "Currently, the program uses fewer generic drugs and pays more than either Medicare or private insurers. It’s time to modernize New Jersey’s Medicaid drug benefits and bring costs more in line with those of other programs.”

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New cardiovascular risk calculator now available online

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — In line with American Heart Month, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Micardis has introduced a cardiovascular risk-reduction calculator, designed to assess patients’ cardiovascular risk.

The calculator, which can be accessed at MicardisPro.com, is an interactive, useful tool for healthcare professionals to assist patients in reaching their cardiovascular risk-reduction goal, the company said.

Micardis (telmisartan) is a drug designed to treat hypertension.

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