PHARMACY

MinuteClinic recognized as innovator of healthcare delivery

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark’s network of walk-in medical clinics, was highlighted as a breakthrough innovator in healthcare delivery by the World Economic Forum’s Innovative Health Care Delivery Project.

In addition, MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark SVP and associate chief medical officer Andrew Sussman presented MinuteClinic’s approach to care at a World Economic Forum satellite session attended by healthcare experts, regulatory representatives, researchers and other innovators in Montreux, Switzerland, this week.

Sussman reported that the key elements of MinuteClinic’s success include the ability to foster close patient relationships, a commitment to electronic medical records, use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, the deployment of highly trained nurse practitioners, the realization of efficiencies through co-location with CVS/pharmacy stores and the establishment of consistent network-wide operational procedures. He also described the expansion of MinuteClinic’s scope of practice to include a wide variety of chronic condition-monitoring services and CVS Caremark’s recently announced plan to add 100 new MinuteClinic locations each year for the next five years.

"The most important aspect of our success at MinuteClinic has been the extremely high rate of patient satisfaction achieved by the practitioners treating our patients across the MinuteClinic network every day," Sussman stated. "Patients who started out only coming to us when they got sick now may also come to us for help staying well. Our innovative approach to care is making a real difference in the lives of our patients in the United States, and it was an honor to share this experience and to have the opportunity to learn from the other healthcare innovators."

MinuteClinic’s approach to making health care more accessible was identified as a model of innovation in a project conducted at the World Economic Forum, stated Olivier Raynaud, head of global health and healthcare sector. "This project reviewed more than 20 innovative healthcare delivery models from around the world to assess the success factors and potential to be transferred, replicated and scaled up," Raynaud said. "A selection of these models, which are improving access to quality, affordable care, were showcased at Montreux."

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Merck’s cardiovascular drug improves cholesterol levels in patients during late-stage trial

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Patients taking an investigational treatment for cardiovascular disease showed big improvements in cholesterol levels, according to late-stage clinical trial results released Wednesday.

 

Merck announced results of its 18-month phase-3 trial of anacetrapib in 1,623 patients with coronary heart disease. The drug showed no difference in safety compared with placebo, and 16 patients experienced cardiovascular problems –– cardiovascular death, heart attack, unstable angina or stroke –– compared with 21 taking placebo. Data were presented Wednesday at the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

 

Most importantly, after 24 weeks of treatment among patients who had previously taken a statin, the drug decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by 40% while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol by 138%.

 

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Local independent pharmacy models program after NCPA’s Dispose My Meds

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation’s independent pharmacies praised a local drug store’s participation in a drug take-back program.

The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded the Great Peconic Take Back event, held Wednesday, which served the eastern Suffolk area of New York. Led by Bob Grisnik of Southrifty Drug, located in Southampton, N.Y., the free service allowed anyone wishing to safely dispose of his or her expired or otherwise unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to bring the medications to any of the 15 participating pharmacies of the newly formed Peconic Independent Pharmacy Association.

The program is based on the NCPA’s Dispose My Meds program, which addresses drug diversion and environmental contamination.

“It’s exciting to see community pharmacies working together to meet the growing patient demand for a safe and environmentally friendly way to discard unused medications. Programs like this should be voluntary, but I hope many pharmacies seize the opportunity to create their own programs to meet the needs of their patients,” said Robert Greenwood, NCPA president.

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