National Colon Cancer Screening Day motivates more than 2,000 to seek screenings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A record number of people were motivated to seek colon cancer screenings for a day last week, according to an organization focused on the disease.
StopColonCancerNow.com designated March 8 as National Colon Cancer Screening Day, motivating more 2,000 new patients to seek screenings for the disease. Experts recommend that anyone older than 50 years, as well as African-Americans 45 years and older and those who have a family history of polyps or colon cancer, get a colonoscopy.
When detected early, colon cancer has a 90% survival rate, according to the group. Colonoscopies allow doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.
"We are exceedingly glad that our efforts to educate people about the importance of colon cancer screening were effective," StopColonCancerNow.com medical adviser John Popp said. "Though National Screening Day is important, every day should be National Screening Day. If this were the case, we would see the number of colon cancer cases decline rapidly because it is largely a preventable disease."
PharmaSmart kiosks validated in two independent studies, new clinical integration announced
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PharmaSmart International’s comprehensive blood pressure program has recently been validated in two new, independent scientific studies, the company announced today. The company also announced a partnership with Rx-30 Pharmacy System that offers an automated clinical integration of validated PharmaSmart biometrics within the patient record.
December 2012 issue of Blood Pressure Monitoring featured a survey titled “Are Kiosk Blood Pressure Readings Trustworthy?” The peer-reviewed survey, which was not funded by PharmaSmart, recognized PharmaSmart as the only blood pressure kiosk device to produce evidence of compliance with the AAMI/ISO international accuracy standard. The survey author, Bruce S. Alpert, M.D., called on the Food and Drug Administration and device buyers to demand that blood pressure kiosks meet or exceed the AAMI (ISO) standard.
After finding that only one of the leading U.S. blood pressure kiosk manufacturers provided clinical validation data on their website, Dr. Alpert initiated a survey of seven companies, requesting validation data for independent review. Dr. Alpert concluded: “Only one company provided a complete and satisfactory response (PharmaSmart).”
Dr. Alpert also addressed the issue of blood pressure kiosk cuff sizes, citing the fact that most kiosks are designed only for the average adult arm and are too small for about 50% of the U.S. adult population. He stated, “Inappropriate cuff size is a leading cause of inaccurate results.” PharmaSmart employs a patented cuff that accommodates the arm size of approximately 97% of the U.S. adult population. Alpert’s article concluded with a call for stronger regulatory oversight, stating “We should encourage the FDA to take a more proactive role” in the regulation of blood pressure kiosk devices.
A second study, published on Jan. 9, 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension and also not funded by PharmaSmart, evaluated over 8.4 million PharmaSmart blood pressure readings from 341 pharmacy locations. The researchers, Ross Tsuyuki, PharmD, and Sherilyn Houle, BSP, cited the public health opportunity presented by the PharmaSmart program. The researchers wrote “approximately two-thirds of results obtained are elevated,” adding “this may present a unique and important opportunity for the early detection of hypertension (or poorly controlled hypertension) in the community, particularly among individuals who do not regularly present to a physician.”
PharmaSmart also announced a data integration partnership with Transaction Data Systems, developers of the Rx30 pharmacy management system. Steve Wubker, president of Transaction Data Systems, said, "Rx30’s integration with PharmaSmart delivers validated patient biometrics directly within Rx30, allowing pharmacists to target not just adherence, but actual clinical outcomes. PharmaSmart’s program is supported by strong clinical science. Rx30 can only integrate patient data if the source is clinically validated. Because of their device validity and interoperable framework, PharmaSmart provides unique value to emerging pharmacy care models."
The integrated PharmaSmart / Rx30 clinical solution was recently deployed within the Astrup Drug Stores, a pharmacy chain in Minnesota. Tim Gallagher, RPh, COO at Astrup Drug, stated “PharmaSmart and Rx30 have teamed up to deliver a breakthrough in pharmacy care. Our pharmacists now have access to live, validated biometrics for all enrolled patients, all within the standard pharmacy workflow. Because of the workflow friendly design, the program can scale and be sustained. This is hard to achieve with disease management programs.”
PharmaSmart clinical director, Mark Gelfer, M.D., noted, “PharmaSmart has altered the scope of what a public-use blood pressure kiosk can deliver. They have combined peer-reviewed proof of accuracy, a cuff that accommodates nearly all adults, and an interoperable health IT platform that integrates the patient with their care team." PharmaSmart president and CEO Fred Sarkis stated, “The medical community has historically dismissed the value of blood pressure kiosks. With the validity and workflow questions resolved, our retail clients are now in a position to advance their clinical programs with confidence.”
NCPA gets behind collective bargaining bill
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday endorsed H.R. 1188, legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Judy Chu, D-Calif. The bill will allow independent community pharmacies to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions of insurance contracts they must sign, typically with pharmacy benefit managers that administer prescription drug plans.
“This important legislation … would help level a distorted playing field upon which billion-dollar PBM corporations often stick independent community pharmacies with one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it contracts," stated NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. "Unfortunately, it is often an offer that can’t be refused, as being excluded from a PBM’s pharmacy network could spell financial doom for an independent community pharmacy."