PHARMACY

NACDS RxImpact Day comes at a critical time for industry

BY Antoinette Alexander

Hundreds of community pharmacy executives, pharmacy students and other pharmacy advocates representing 41,000 chain pharmacies took to Capitol Hill last week for the 5th Annual NACDS RxImpact Day and conducted more than 400 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives.

With implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014, Congress desperately needs to hear from a stakeholder that can actually save the system money. There is growing awareness on the Hill that for every $1 invested in MTM, you save $10 to $12 — the bill introduced this week by Sens. Pat Roberts and Kay Hagan to expand MTM is a strong demonstration of that.

"NACDS appreciates the leadership of Sens. Hagan and Roberts in spearheading this commonsense legislation, as well as the support of original cosponsors Sens. Brown, Franken, Johnson and Klobuchar.  This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson in a prepared statement.  “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”

It is likely that legislation will draw more supporters in the weeks ahead, as NACDS members held more than 400 deskside meetings with members of Congress from their home districts, and MTM was one of three key talking points all RxImpact attendees came prepared to hammer home.

To make sure lawmakers got the message, Drug Store News produced the third edition of its RxImpact supplement profiling what community pharmacy is doing to advance patient care, lower costs, improve outcomes, and expand accessibility to quality care. The supplement was part of all RxImpact kits prepared as leave-behinds for members of Congress. The supplement was also hand-delivered to all members of the House and Senate.

The RxImpact Day event continues to grow in popularity. Participation was up 29% in 2013, with 34 companies attending (70% of industry), 38 states represented and 21 pharmacy schools.
 

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PHARMACY

FDA approves new packet version of AbbVie testosterone gel

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new pocket-sized packet option for a testosterone-replacement therapy made by AbbVie, the drug maker said Friday.

AbbVie announced the approval of the new version of AndroGel (testosterone) 1.62%, available in a packet containing 40.5 mg of testosterone in 2.5 g of gel and a packet with 20.25 mg of testosterone in 1.25 g of gel. The drug is used to raise testosterone levels in men with low or no testosterone, known as hypogonadism, estimated to affect nearly 14 million men in the United States.

The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone applied once daily as directed. Physicians also can titrate administration up or down in 20.25-mg increments of testosterone based on serum total testosterone levels.

 

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Medbox buys stake in drug-vending company, forms jointly controlled corporation

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmaceutical vending machine maker Medbox has bought a 50% stake in a Michigan-based company that has developed an automated medicine dispensing machine, Medbox said Friday.

The $5.15 million deal with MedVend includes a $300,000 capital infusion and additional loans if needed for operating expenses into a jointly controlled new corporation that will also be called MedVend.

MedVend’s Automated Medication Dispenser, or AMD, is described as a "remote pharmacy" that dispenses medication. The AMD uses video and electronic scripting technologies to provide patients with remote, face-to-face consultation with a pharmacist and to have their prescriptions filled in less than a minute. A patient touches the display monitor, enters a birth date and a unique four-digit code at the point of care, and the AMD provides a bottled medication interaction report, prescription and receipt. An attached phone allows the patient to consult with the pharmacist, who appears on screen via two-way video conferencing.

 

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