PHARMACY

NACDS applauds enactment of Alabama PBM audit legislation

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A law that will establish standards in the pharmacy audit process conducted by pharmacy benefit managers in the state of Alabama has received the applause of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

NACDS on Friday offered its appreciation for the enactment of the Pharmacy Audit Integrity Act by Alabama governor Robert Bentley.

Among its provisions, SB 383 establishes uniform standards for the auditing of pharmacy records and includes requiring two weeks written notice of an audit. The law also requires audits that involve clinical or professional judgment be conducted in consultation with a pharmacist and establishes an appeals process.
 
“We thank Governor Bentley for signing this important pro-patient, pro-pharmacy legislation to curb tactics used by some PBMs that take away from the important business of improving patient health and making healthcare delivery more efficient and cost-effective,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “We thank the Alabama Pharmacy Association for their leadership in helping to ensure transparency in the PBM audit process.”
 
NACDS has endorsed federal legislation that seeks to preserve pharmacy choice for patients and takes additional steps to prevent threats to pharmacy patient care. The bipartisan Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act — S. 1058 and H.R. 1971, sponsored by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., respectively — includes provisions requiring transparency by PBMs in pharmacy audits.


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PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy launches Spanish-language website

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is taking a greater step toward targeting the Hispanic market with the launch of its new Spanish-language website.

Like the English-language site, the Spanish version, located at http://es.cvs.com, enables shoppers to manage their prescription account, get health information, purchase products and access coupons. According to a MediaPost article, Google indicated that the new CVS Spanish website consists of 67,000 pages, most of which are product SKUs.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, CVS is working to take its digital program to new heights in the coming years. This move is clearly in line with that initiative, and represents a great opportunity for CVS to further reach its Hispanic shoppers.

In fact, a digital marketing study, conducted by ComScore and commissioned by Terra, revealed that Hispanics are the ideal online consumers and also reaffirmed that the Internet is the main media source of information for Hispanics when are researching information about any service or product. It is estimated that about 30 million Hispanics are online, or 60% of the population.

Furthermore, the study findings, released in January 2011, revealed that, if spoken to and reached with culturally relevant messaging in English and Spanish, Hispanics will react positively to brands online more so than non-Hispanics. In other words, Hispanics seem to be appreciative of the brands that are trying to reach out to them. That certainly represents a significant opportunity for marketers.

According to MediaPost, CVS currently is the third-most popular pharmacy site among Hispanics who use the Internet bilingually or primarily in Spanish, with just under 150,000 monthly visitors.

The MediaPost article also states that, with the launch of the new Spanish-language site, CVS is attempting to do something that only one other retailer — Best Buy — has been able to do: launch and support a robust Spanish-language e-commerce site in the long run.

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PHARMACY

GSK commences tender offer of Human Genome Sciences

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline is moving forward with its acquisition of Human Genome Sciences.

The drug maker said Thursday that it has commenced its previously announced tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Human Genome Sciences for $13.00 per share in cash, a premium of 81% to HGS’s closing share price of $7.17 per share on April 18, the last trading day before HGS publicly disclosed GSK’s private offer.

The closing of the tender offer is subject to the terms and conditions detailed in the offer document. The tender offer and withdrawal rights are scheduled to expire at 12:00 a.m. EST on June 7 unless the offer is extended.

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