LTR call from Walgreens pharmacists help improve adherence by 23%
DEERFIELD, Ill. – A recent Walgreens study of pharmacy patients enrolled in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans found that patients who were late to refill prescriptions and who received reminder calls from local Walgreens pharmacists demonstrated nearly 23% greater adherence within the first 14 days of the expected refill date.
“Improving medication adherence is critical to controlling most medical conditions – and for many medical conditions, enhancing adherence can also reduce hospitalizations and related medical costs,” stated Harry Leider, chief medical officer, Walgreens. “This research provides further evidence of the positive impact we can have through targeted initiatives, such as the late-to-refill program, to help make our patients healthier and happier.”
Those receiving late-to-refill reminder calls (LTR calls) also had greater adherence rates over a one-year period. Results of the study were recently published online in Patient Preference & Adherence.
The study found that for Medicare Part D patients who exhibited non-adherent behavior – defined as not refilling at least three days prior to an expected refill date – an LTR reminder call increased the number of adherent patients by approximately 3%. This incremental improvement in patient adherence can serve to benefit Medicare Part D plans, and help improve star ratings and their associated cost savings, Leider noted.
McKesson Canada makes bid to acquire Uniprix
ST-LAURENT, Quebec — McKesson Canada and Uniprix announced Wednesday that, pending shareholder approval and satisfaction of closing conditions, including approval from the Competition Bureau of Canada, McKesson Canada proposes to acquire all outstanding shares of Uniprix.
"Today's announcement is very exciting for both McKesson Canada and Uniprix. Our two companies are coming together to help build the future of Uniprix's independent pharmacists," stated Paula Keays, president McKesson Canada. "The acquisition will allow independent pharmacies to remain competitive in an increasingly changing industry. For McKesson Canada, this is a strategic investment that enhances our commitment to Quebec."
"Our success is a shared success, as today's announcement secures a bright future for Uniprix owners who will benefit from McKesson Canada's best-in-class supply chain network, designed to ensure patient safety, reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and protect the autonomy of independent pharmacies owners," added Philippe Duval, president and CEO, Uniprix.
The Uniprix generates annual sales in excess of $1.6 billion, according to the company. And its banners – Uniprix, Uniprix Santé and Uniprix Clinique – extend across 375 pharmacies located in all four corners of the province.
This makes it the second largest retail pharmacy chain in Quebec, not to mention the largest group of independent pharmacists in the province.
McKesson Canada is building a significant network of Canadian independents. The wholesaler in December closed its deal to acquire Rexall Health. As part of that transaction, McKesson acquired approximately 470 retail pharmacies, and agreed to divest stores in 26 local markets that the Competition Bureau of Canada identified during its review of the transaction.
That is all accretive to a network of more than 2,000 independents across five owned and operated banners, including Guardian, I.D.A., The Medicine Shoppe, RemedyRx and Proxim.
The acquisition is a natural step for two companies with deep roots in Quebec, which have a long history of working together to deliver care to patients across the province. As part of the acquisition, the individual pharmacies will remain independently owned.
The information circular will be sent to shareholders mid-April 2017, with a shareholder vote scheduled for May 16, 2017.
Neurocrine Biosciences’ Ingrezza is first FDA-approved drug for tardive dyskinesia
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved Neurocrine Biosciences’ Ingrezza (valbenazine) capsules to treat adults with tardive dyskinesia. This is the first drug approved by the FDA for this condition.
Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements, usually of the jaw, lips and tongue, such as grimacing, sticking out the tongue and smacking the lips. Some affected people also experience involuntary movement of the extremities or difficulty breathing.
"Tardive dyskinesia can be disabling and can further stigmatize patients with mental illness," said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Approving the first drug for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia is an important advance for patients suffering with this condition."
Tardive dyskinesia is a serious side effect sometimes seen in patients who have been treated with antipsychotic medications, especially the older medications, for long periods to treat chronic conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Tardive dyskinesia can also occur in patients taking antipsychotic medications for depression and certain medications for gastrointestinal disorders and other conditions. It is unclear why some people who take these medications develop tardive dyskinesia yet others do not.
The efficacy of Ingrezza was shown in a clinical trial of 234 participants that compared Ingrezza to placebo. After six weeks, participants who received Ingrezza had improvement in the severity of abnormal involuntary movements compared to those who received placebo.