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Among Illinois Medicaid patients, more than one-fifth of kids’ prescriptions go unfilled, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — More than one-fifth of prescriptions given to children at clinics in Illinois were never filled, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at nearly 17,000 prescriptions for more than 4,800 children in the Illinois Medicaid program who visited two clinics over a 26-month period. The study found "significant associations" between prescription filling and the clinical site, visit type and electronic prescribing.

The study found that among prescriptions that were filled, 69% were filled within one day, and prescriptions for antibiotics from one of the clinic sites, from sick and follow-up visits and electronic prescriptions were "significantly" more likely to be filled.

The authors, led by Rachael Zweigoron of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, suggested that there were system-level factors that affected prescription filling, and that adherence programs should account for factors affecting primary adherence.


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NACDS urging pharmacy advocates to vote via ‘NACDS RxImpact Votes’ program

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With less than six weeks until Election Day, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores grassroots advocacy program is in high gear with its NACDS RxImpact Votes program, urging pharmacy advocates to help shape pharmacy’s future through political engagement.

The nonpartisan NACDS RxImpact Votes program empowers pharmacy advocates with a toolkit of resources to show the role they can play in the election process. The program focuses its “get out the vote” campaign in three ways:

  1. Offering tools for registering to vote;

  2. Volunteering on a campaign to build candidate relationships before and after the election; and

  3. Voting on Election Day — all for the candidates of their choice. 

Pharmacy advocates can find resources on the NACDS RxImpact Votes website, including election guides, voter information, fact sheets on volunteering for a campaign and tools to help employees engage in the political process. In addition, NACDS has redesigned its Facebook banner and Twitter icon to include the “get out the vote” effort — urging advocates to utilize social media to promote their advocacy activities. 
 
NACDS member companies are identifying opportunities to engage with their employees and patients to get out the vote in a number of ways.  Opportunities include sending letters or postcards to their pharmacists and staff urging them to get involved in the election process, and providing fact sheets, payroll stuffers and literature inside prescription medication bags with information about how patients also can get politically engaged in their communities.
 
“An election is an important opportunity to make one’s voice heard.  Every door that is knocked on and every lever pulled on Election Day is an opportunity to shape politics, and in the long-term shape policies that impact pharmacy and patients,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.
 
NACDS RxImpact Votes is also engaging students in the election process. During the month of October, NACDS RxImpact Votes is working to support campus activities and gatherings at colleges and universities of pharmacy in key battleground states to celebrate the power of voting. 
 
“The NACDS RxImpact Votes program provides a roadmap for NACDS member companies, pharmacy students and pharmacy advocates to get engaged and get involved in the election process to make a difference for the future of pharmacy. We urge pharmacy advocates to make their mark and get engaged, get involved and vote on Nov. 6,” Anderson stated.

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Physicians Formula to be acquired by Markwins for nearly $75M

BY Antoinette Alexander

ZUSA, Calif. and CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Physicians Formula and Markwins International announced on Thursday that they have entered into a merger agreement under which Markwins will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Physicians Formula for $4.90 per share in cash, or approximately $74.9 million.

Physicians Formula also announced that, immediately prior to entering into the merger agreement with Markwins, it terminated its previously announced merger agreement with affiliates of Swander Pace Capital. In accordance with the terms of that previous merger agreement, Physicians Formula is required to pay a termination fee of about $1.29 million to the affiliates of Swander Pace Capital.

The per share price represents a premium of approximately 33% to Physicians Formula’s closing stock price on Aug. 14 (the trading day prior to the announcement that Physicians Formula entered into a merger agreement with affiliates of Swander Pace Capital) and a premium of approximately 40% to Physicians Formula’s one-month volume-weighted average price as of that same date.

The proposed merger with Markwins is expected to close later this year. Upon the closing of the merger, Physicians Formula will be owned by Markwins, and the employees of Physicians Formula will become employees of Markwins. At this time, the employees of Physicians Formula will continue to be located at the company’s existing facilities in Azusa, Calif.

"Our board of directors, following a thorough analysis by its Special Committee, has unanimously determined that the proposed merger with Markwins offers the best value for our stockholders," stated Ingrid Jackel, Physicians Formula chairwoman and CEO. "We are pleased that Markwins has agreed to purchase our company. Markwins and Physicians Formula sell noncompeting brands in similar channels. Combining the resources and experience of both companies will strengthen the combined portfolio of brands."

"Following receipt of Markwins’ acquisition proposal, the Special Committee oversaw negotiations with Markwins that resulted in an increase in the aggregate merger consideration to stockholders of approximately $10 million, or a 15% increase to the Swander Pace offer. We believe this all cash sale of Physicians Formula to Markwins is in the best interests of the stockholders of Physicians Formula," added Thomas Lynch, chairman of the Special Committee.

"The acquisition of Physicians Formula fulfills a strategic Markwins objective to expand and diversify our already robust brand portfolio. We believe this is a synergistic acquisition that creates an immediate opportunity to broaden our consumer base and enrich our retail partnerships," Markwins CEO Eric Chen stated. "Physicians Formula is widely recognized for its innovative beauty solutions and loyal customer base which makes it a natural complement to the ideology of all Markwins brands. Markwins believes this purchase reflects fair value to current shareholders, while delivering on the company’s expectations of high growth and continued global expansion."

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