PHARMACY

Longs announces it will continue to honor prescriptions under Medi-Cal program

BY Alaric DeArment

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. California’s plan to cut pharmacy reimbursements for its Medi-Cal health program will not stop Longs Drug Stores from honoring new and refilled prescriptions, Longs announced Tuesday.

Longs cited concern for patients with cancer, mental illnesses and HIV and AIDS.

“We believe that continuing to fill these prescriptions is the right thing to do for our patients at the current time,” said Bruce Schwallie, Longs’ executive vice president of business development and managed care. “We have a tradition of caring for Californians for over 70 years, and we want to make certain our patients have access to their necessary medications.”

In February, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into a law a 10 percent reduction in reimbursements that the state legislator passed because of a multibillion-dollar budget deficit.

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TeleManager introduces central IVR system

BY Drew Buono

NEWARK, N.J. TeleManager Technologies will unveil its new Central Interactive Voice Response system at the 2008 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy and Technology Conference.

The new system will allow callers to speak their responses into the IVR templated system meaning that, callers can request refills by product name rather than needing to know and key in their prescription number.

The system will also be set-up as a centralized, Windows-based configuration, which will eliminate expensive hardware that would’ve been needed at each individual pharmacy. This will allow the IVR to either be set-up at a pharmacy’s headquarters or TeleManager could host all the functions and then forward the information to the right location.

Additional new features include extensive outbound calling, surveying and marketing functionality. Outbound Refill Reminder and Will-Call Bin pick-up reminder calls will help to improve compliance and improve pharmacy efficiencies. Also, new targeted messaging capabilities can be used to provide specific information to any subset of patients (e.g., first time patients, opt-in customers, specific therapeutic category users, etc.). Likewise, HIPAA compliant opt-in calls allow the pharmacy (centrally or store controlled) to contact segments of its customer base for special services and offers.

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FDA approves Animas’ glucose management system

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST CHESTER, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Animas’ OneTouch Ping Glucose Management System, Animas announced Tuesday.

The OneTouch Ping uses wireless technology to communicate with a blood-glucose meter-remote. The meter-remote allows patients to calculate insulin doses and instruct the pump to deliver them without touching the pump itself.

OneTouch Ping also works with ezManager MAX Diabetes Management software, which allows users to upload information from the meter-remote and insulin pump to a Mac or PC.

“OneTouch Ping provides patients the advanced insulin pump technology from Animas plus the OneTouch blood glucose technology they trust, put together into a system that offers the discretion, convenience and option of remote insulin dosing,” said Dr. Juan Frias, Animas’ chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs.

Animas is a division of Johnson & Johnson.

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