MinuteClinic enters Northern California, Coastal Southeastern North Carolina
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced that the first MinuteClinic locations in Northern California and the Bay Area have now opened inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Three MinuteClinic locations are now operating in Foster City, San Jose and Sunnyvale CVS/pharmacy stores. Four additional clinics will begin to treat patients in November in Burlingame, Campbell, Mountain View and Santa Clara.
There are 35 MinuteClinic locations elsewhere in California, spanning from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego. MinuteClinic’s entry into Northern California is part of the company’s national expansion plan to open 150 clinics nationwide in 2013.
"Since opening the first clinics in Southern California in 2007, MinuteClinic has helped expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care to thousands of residents who have visited convenient CVS/pharmacy locations near where they live and work," stated Andrew Sussman, MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark SVP/associate chief medical officer. "MinuteClinic can help support the primary care medical home in California at a time when the nation faces physician shortages coupled with increased patient demand as a result of the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act and an aging population."
Approximately half of MinuteClinic patients are seen on evenings, weekends and holidays, Sussman noted. And those patients who visit MinuteClinic without a primary care physician — which is about half of the patients that MinuteClinic sees — are provided a list of physicians in the area who are accepting new patients.
In other company news, MinuteClinic has also announced the opening of its first location in Coastal Southeastern North Carolina on Market Street in Wilmington. Additional clinics in Carolina Beach and Leland are expected to open in late October. The Wilmington clinic marks MinuteClinic’s 54th in North Carolina.
Vivus’ Qsymia appears to cut diabetes risk in some patients
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Patients taking a drug used for weight loss were able to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
According to data from a 475-patient study published in the journal Diabetes Care, Vivus’ Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) reduced the annualized incidence rate of Type 2 diabetes by up to 78.7% in high-risk, overweight or obese patients with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has elevated blood sugar and a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"These data demonstrate that medically assisted weight loss is highly effective in preventing progression to diabetes in an at-risk population, and underscores the observation that 10% weight loss achieves beneficial effects on metabolism and risk factors in patients with prediabetes and metabolic syndrome," University of Alabama nutrition sciences department chairman and study lead author Timothy Garvey said.
Increased drug utilization can decrease Medicare spending, NASP speaker says
SAN ANTONIO — An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.
Speaking at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s Strategic Business Exchange in San Antonio, Nancy-Ann DeParle cited a Congressional Budget Office report that she said helped underscore the important role that specialty pharmacy plays in healthcare cost containment, adding that the conservative nature of the CBO and actuaries led her to believe the actual effect of increased drug utilization was a 10% decrease in spending on medical services. The address lasted 90 minutes and included questions from industry panelists and members of the audience. DeParle is president Barack Obama’s former White House chief of staff for policy.
"The impact of the changes associated with the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] are far-reaching, particularly in the specialty pharmacy industry," NASP CEO and co-founder Gary Cohen said. "It is essential that we continue to engage our community to continue the dialogue around this important issue."
DeParle said much remained to be done to "tweak" the healthcare reform law and acknowledged the "disappointing" technical performance of the federal insurance marketplace, which was overwhelmed by users when it debuted at the beginning of the month. But, she said, the response by millions of people "leads me to be encouraged as to how many people will come in and buy the insurance."