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NACDS highlights value of community pharmacy in letter to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday that it issued a letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to urge collaboration with community pharmacy in developing solutions to curb healthcare costs, while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription medications and pharmacy services.

Highlighting the accessibility of local pharmacists, the letter urged improved medication adherence as key to improved health and reduced costs.
 
“We strongly believe any deficit reduction plan must include policies to improve medication adherence," the letter stated. "There is no silver bullet solution to end the problem of poor medication adherence. Only by addressing the problem comprehensively, and engaging pharmacists, physicians and other health care providers as true partners in helping patients to take medications as prescribed, will we be successful in reducing hospital readmissions, doctor and emergency room visits, and other higher cost healthcare interventions that are the inevitable result of poor medication adherence.”

The letter emphasized the importance of maintaining patient choice of where to receive prescription drugs and other pharmacy services.

“Maintaining patient choice of where to receive prescription drugs and pharmacy services is critical to improving medication adherence. Community pharmacists are the most effective at teaching patients to take their medications as prescribed. In fact, studies have shown that community pharmacists in the face-to-face setting are twice as effective as pharmacists speaking to patients over the telephone at improving adherence,” the letter stated.

In the letter, NACDS also cautioned the committee about the manner in which prescription drug costs are evaluated.

“While reducing healthcare costs is essential, it is not possible or advisable to consider spending on prescription drugs in a vacuum, separate from the substantial cost avoidance that they make possible. Furthermore, community pharmacy’s role in maximizing the effectiveness of prescription drugs makes community pharmacy’s value unsurpassed within healthcare delivery,” the letter stated.

NACDS also urged the committee to consider opportunities to further reduce costs and achieve improved health, such as increased utilization of generic drugs, utilizing Medicare Part D for immunization coverage, moving coverage of diabetes testing supplies from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, spurring competition of biopharmaceuticals and maintaining patient access to healthcare services.

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n.jones says:
Sep-10-2011 05:32 am

The first new rule says you HAVE to have insurance. Both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions, and although the new bill says we can't be denied coverage because of it. So far, the cheapest health insurance we've been able to find is called Penny Health search for it online if you are pre-existing conditions.

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Walmart expands reach with new smaller-format store in Midwest City, Okla.

BY Allison Cerra

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — Walmart is gearing up to open a Neighborhood Market store this month in Midwest City, Okla.

The 40,000-sq.-ft. format will offer customers quick access to low-cost groceries, prescriptions and household products. The store officially will open its doors on Sept. 21.

As previously reported, Walmart president and CEO Bill Simon said that the Neighborhood Market format is being rebranded as Walmart Market.

“With our smaller format, our store is perfect for those on the go. Whether they’re stocking up or need to pick up just a few items, our customers will be able to find what they need quickly and easily,” store manager Paul Engelken said. “Our customers will be able to find familiar brands and local products at great values, right in their own neighborhood.”

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NCPA: Increase in use of MTM, generics to cut deficit

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing independent pharmacies is urging Congress to cut the deficit by reducing healthcare expenditures, but "without compromising patients’ access to their pharmacy of choice or harming local jobs."

In a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the National Community Pharmacists Association suggested increasing use of generic drugs, encouraging services, such as medication therapy management, collecting manufacturer rebates and allowing patients to choose their pharmacies and avoid requirements to use mail-order services. These measures, the NCPA said, could reduce spending on drugs and increase medication adherence.

"We believe that significant savings can be found through simple reforms to programs like Medicare and Medicaid that will result in reduced drug costs for the federal government and consumers," NCPA CEO and EVP Douglas Hoey said. "Nothing can save the health system more money that the appropriate use of generic medications. Local pharmacists are leading the way on the proper use of these cost-cutting drugs. In addition, pharmacists, working with prescribers, can help improve the use of medications through counseling, adherence and medication therapy management programs."

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