PHARMACY

Medicare Fraud Strike Force arrests 18 in Calif.

BY Alaric DeArment

LOS ANGELES Eighteen people in the Los Angeles area were arrested Thursday on charges of defrauding Medicare with fake medical supply orders.

The suspects allegedly billed Medicare for medical supplies such as wheelchairs and hospital beds through front companies and clinics, intending to make more than $33 million, though their “patients” didn’t actually need them.

According to the indictment, one major player was Donald Noyola, who was paid to pose as head of Sycamore Medical Supply, though he had recently been released from prison and was a former gang member. By cooperating with prosecutors, he may avoid prosecution.

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PHARMACY

Save Mart guarantees prescription filling in 19 minutes or less

BY Adam Kraemer

MODESTO, Calif. In an effort to provide faster service, Save Mart Supermarkets has announced that its Save Mart and Lucky banners will guarantee an order of up to three prescriptions filled within 19 minutes.

Customers whose prescriptions take longer than 19 minutes to fill will receive Save Mart’s offer of dinner and a movie: a $10 store gift card and a free one-night rental from redbox. “Every pharmacy needs to fill every prescription accurately,” said Michele Snider, senior director of pharmacy at Save Mart Supermarkets. “Our pharmacies already provide excellent customer service, and now our 19-Minute Promise will ensure that we also deliver prescriptions quickly.”

Save Mart Supermarkets operates 116 pharmacies in 250 stores in Northern California and Northern Nevada.

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Study finds home delivery of prescriptions increases generics sales

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Patients are more likely to use generic drugs if they get them from home delivery pharmacies rather than retail pharmacies, according to a study by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, which operates a home delivery service.

The study found that patients using Sanofi-Aventis’ Ambien (zolpidem) or a generic version of the drug were 34 percent more likely to pick the generic version if they received it by home delivery.

“Financial incentives are important but not enough to realize the full money-saving potential of therapeutically equivalent generics,” study author Emily Cox said.

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