PHARMACY

MinuteClinic announces clinical collaboration with Inova

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic division has announced a clinical collaboration with northern Virginia healthcare provider Inova Health System to enhance healthcare services provided in communities throughout Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties.

Inova operates a network of hospitals, outpatient services and healthcare centers that includes Inova Alexandria, Inova Fairfax, Inova Fair Oaks, Inova Loudoun and Inova Mount Vernon hospitals, and Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children.

MinuteClinic has 14 in-store health clinics throughout northern Virginia.

"Inova has a long-standing record of clinical quality and is one of the mid-Atlantic’s premier health systems," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic, and SVP and associate medical officer for CVS Caremark. "Like MinuteClinic, it shares a commitment to expanding access to care for the millions of residents living in northern Virginia, and it has developed several leading initiatives with the region’s top corporations to improve the health of their employees. We think MinuteClinic can be a valuable addition to these programs that promote employee wellness and lower healthcare costs."

Under the agreement, Inova will ensure that there is a collaboration with MinuteClinic’s medical directors, many of whom include Inova-affiliated family physicians. In addition, MinuteClinic and Inova also will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives, and will inform patients of the services each offers. Inova will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with Inova.

MinuteClinic and Inova will begin to work toward fully integrating their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care.

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PHARMACY

Taking a bite out of Rx costs with BigAppleRx card

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A newly launched prescription card offers discounts at more than 2,000 pharmacies in New York.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, city council speaker Christine Quinn and deputy mayor Linda Gibbs announced Wednesday the launch of the BigAppleRx card, available free of charge to anyone regardless of age, income, citizenship or health insurance status, that enables citizens to save an average of 47% on prescription medications in the city. This includes savings of up to $831 per year in savings on generic glucose control drugs for patients with diabetes and $667 per year on asthma drugs.

“All too often, the rising costs of prescription drugs place a burden on New York City households,” Bloomberg said. “And this is particularly true for the more than 1 million New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance. Having access to a free prescription drug card can mean the difference between being able to afford prescriptions and being forced to skip doses.”

Starting Wednesday, anyone interested in obtaining a card and any business interested in distributing them can visit Bigapplerx.com or dial 311.

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Rapaflo reduces CP/CPPS symptoms, improves outcomes among men in mid-stage trial

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A branded drug made by Watson Pharmaceuticals reduced symptoms in men with prostate disease, according to results of a mid-stage clinical trial.

Data from the phase-2 study of the drug Rapaflo (silodosin) presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting showed that it reduced symptoms and improved outcomes in men with chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, also known as CP/CPPS.

CP/CPPS is a common condition that causes persistent discomfort in the lower pelvic area, frequent and painful urination and difficult or painful ejaculation. The cause of the condition is unknown, but is not related to bacterial infection. As many as 10% of men in North America have had or will have experienced prostatitis symptoms, and 90% of those have CP/CPPS.

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