PHARMACY

Health Mart taps mommy blogger community to spread the word on Champions of Care Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Health Mart, a community franchise of more than 3,100 independently owned pharmacies across all 50 states, last week got the word out about its Champions of Care Challenge through the mommy blogger network in sponsored posts from the Niche Parent Network & Conference. 

It’s an opportunity to reach the local community through the local community. According to the multiple mommy blog posts, Health Mart pharmacists are pledging $50,000 in grants that will be awarded to community health nonprofits to recognize them for improving health and well-being in their communities. Those local nonprofits will be chosen by a Champion of Care who is nominated at HealthMartCommunity.com. And beginning March 17, Health Mart fans will have two weeks to vote for their favorite Champion of Care at the site. 

The grand prize winner will be able to direct a $30,000 grant to their local nonprofit. The second-place winner will be dispensed a $3,000 grant and third place $2,000. The remaining $15,000 in grants will be dispensed in $1,000 increments by each of 15 finalists.  

"Do you know someone who perhaps volunteers to help the elderly? Cooks meals, or just spends time with those in need? Simply fill out the form on the site, then attach a photo of the hero involved, and submit your entry. Simple, right?" writes mommy blogger Diana at NannytoMommy.com. "Health Mart’s Champions of Care Challenge will shine a bright light on those unsung local heroes whose everyday actions have built healthier families, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities."

 

 

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Report: Lewis Drug acquires Throndset pharmacies in Minnesota

BY Antoinette Alexander

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Regional player Lewis Drug has acquired Throndset pharmacies in Jackson and Lakefield, Minn., according to a local news report.

The transaction is expected to take effect April 7 and, according to the Lakefield Standard, Lewis Drug will retain all of the employees.

 

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Patients who source opioid prescriptions from multiple providers have higher hospital admission rates

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use, according to a study published last week in BMJ

"Amid national concerns over opioid misuse and adverse effects of legitimate use, the frequency with which patients obtain opioid prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers (such as physicians, dentists, or, less commonly, physician assistants) rather than a single healthcare provider has received increasing attention in the U.S., not only because it might reflect the illicit procurement of opioids by patients intentionally seeking out multiple providers (that is, “doctor shopping”) but because it might indicate fragmented patient care," wrote lead author Anupam Jena, assistant professor of healthcare policy and medicine Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School.  

Jena and associates researched a total of 1.8 million Medicare patients who filled at least one prescription for an opioid in 2010. Among 1.2 million beneficiaries who filled more than one opioid prescription, 39.3% filled prescriptions from one provider, 34.6% from two providers, 14.2% from three providers and 11.9% from four or more providers.

"Beneficiaries filling prescriptions for antineoplastic drugs, stimulants, other central nervous system drugs, neuromuscular drugs, and non-narcotic analgesic drugs were more likely to fill opioid prescriptions from multiple providers than beneficiaries who did not use drugs in these classes," Jena wrote. 

Patients’ receipt of prescription opioids from multiple providers was strongly associated with higher rates of admission to hospital related to opioid use, Jena noted. "Among patients utilizing the same quantity of prescribed opioid drug over the course of a year, those who received prescription opioids from four or more unique providers had twice the annual rate of admission than those who received prescription opioids from only one provider (3.2% vs. 1.6% admitted in a year)."

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