PHARMACY

MTM services from Medicine Shoppe/Medicap Pharmacy rank high in customer follow-through

BY Jim Frederick

ST. LOUIS Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy are laying claim to an industry-leading position in their delivery of Medication Therapy Management services to a select group of patients covered by the Medicare prescription drug plan Community Care Rx.

For the second year in a row, the two franchised pharmacy networks scored highest in follow-through among pharmacy retailers participating in the CCRx MTM program, according to Bill Rampy, senior vice president of franchise operations for Medicine Shoppe International.

“In 2007, Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy stores completed the largest number and percentage of available MTM cases in the Community CCRx MTM program, compared to other pharmacy groups in their category, and achieved an approximate 20 percent increase in their performance from 2006 to 2007,” noted the company, a division of Cardinal Health. “Additionally, three of the top 20 performers for the Community CCRx MTM program were Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy pharmacists.”

As a Medicare-endorsed drug plan, CCRx enabled retail pharmacists across the country to complete patients’ MTM sessions using Mirixa’s Web-based clinical management system MirixaPro. Through MTM sessions, Medicine Shoppe and Medicap pharmacists have counseled patients on many medication issues, including potentially fatal drug interactions.

In addition, several MTM sessions have been able to identify patients that are non-compliant with their medication or could save money on their prescriptions.

“Our pharmacists are dedicated to helping patients manage their health and medications,” said Rampy. “The basic principles of MTM parallel the values that define the Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy brands, and help our pharmacies to continue providing patients with the highest level of personalized care.”

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Senate approves bill to increase spending for American Indian healthcare

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Senate has approved a bill that would give $35 billion over the next 10 years to the Indian Health Service, which provides tribal health care for 1.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives on reservations, according to published reports.

The bill would strengthen mental health programs and patient screening for cancer and diabetes, expand disease prevention programs and recruit nurses and doctors to serve American Indian populations. It would also modernize and build health clinics and increase tribal access to Medicare and Medicaid.

The Senate also approved an amendment by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., that would grant the Indian Health Service the authority to more evenly distribute funding for construction of its health facilities. Right now, funding only goes to about 10 states.

The House is expected to take a look at the bill later this year.

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FDA to increase oversight of post-market medications

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has revealed a new plan called “Safety First”, which is aimed at providing more information on drugs after they hit the market, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The plan involves creating a new database listing possible side effects of drugs, along with clear schedules for following up on questions about them. Also, the FDA plans to make changes to its procedures for making certain regulatory decisions particularly those based on emerging safety worries.

The FDA’s Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, which focuses on the safety of marketed drugs, will get some new powers. The drug safety office will get primary authority over decisions to approve drug brand names and packaging, though this change will not occur immediately. Eventually, the safety office is supposed to formally get another power as well: the ability to commission certain kinds of research, the epidemiological studies often drawn from patient databases. This could involve requiring drugmakers to do such studies, a power the FDA gained under a new law passed last year, or contracting with outside sources.

The FDA is supposed to implement a second phase to the plan, called “Safe Use,” that will focus on ensuring that drugs are used safely in the real world.

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