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Needle disposal solution offered exclusively at Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — Sharps Compliance on Monday announced that Walgreens will be the exclusive retailer for the company’s Complete Needle Collection & Disposal System.

"When it comes to patient care and safety, this innovative disposal alternative can help provide a convenient option for patients," stated Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group VP pharmacy operations. "Customers often ask about what to do with these types of needles, and now our pharmacists have another option to discuss with patients."

"We estimate that there are approximately 10 million people in the United States that legally self-inject medications," stated David Tusa, president and CEO of Sharps Compliance. "Additionally, the vast majority of those needles are improperly handled and end up in our solid waste stream and landfills through regular solid waste pickup or flushing. … This system also addresses concerns regarding the exposure of family members and others to the risk of an accidental needle-stick."

Complete Needle provides an individual self-injector with a containment solution designed to protect self-injectors and their family members, and includes an optional disposal feature utilizing the U.S. Postal Service designed to protect the individual’s community, solid waste workers and the environment.

Walgreens’ exclusivity expires after December, Sharps reported.

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Volleyballer Nora Tobin joins GNC LiveWell team

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC on Monday named Nora Tobin — competitive beach volleyball athlete, National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified professional trainer, yoga instructor and upcoming author — to the specialty retailer’s GNC LiveWell team as its newest brand ambassador.

In that capacity, Tobin will bring her knowledge of fitness, diet, nutrition, yoga and sports-specific training to educate athletes and fitness enthusiasts on living a healthy, athletic life — and how GNC products can help enhance and support those goals — through the use of social media, video, appearances and marketing materials.

"At GNC, we are constantly striving to help consumers follow the path to a healthier lifestyle," stated Jeff Hennion, EVP, chief marketing officer and chief e-commerce officer at GNC.

GNC will feature Tobin’s healthy tips and updates on Twitter @NoraTobin, on Facebook at both facebook.com/NoraTobin and facebook.com/GNCLiveWell, and on her website NoraTobin.com.

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NCPA fighting to maintain Medicaid reimbursement as states approach fiscal year-end

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association last week delivered a letter to the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules opposing an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services proposal to sharply decrease Medicaid reimbursements and “slow-walk” reimbursement payments.

The action could force more than 700 independent community pharmacies to shutter their doors, the NCPA stated.

“We understand Illinois is facing a serious budget crunch, but these proposed changes to Medicaid pharmacy reimbursements are penny-wise and pound-foolish,” stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA EVP and CEO. “The front-end savings will be cancelled out if independent community pharmacies exit the program, depriving Medicaid patients of the invaluable prescription drug counseling that improves health outcomes and lessens expenditures," he added. "Independent community pharmacies cannot afford to see their slim profit margins reduced further or their reimbursement delayed longer.”

The debate around Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement rates is sure to heat up across all states in the coming months, according to an analysis from The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured published earlier this year. According to the report, among the factors that will drive politicians to adjust their Medicaid budget in the middle of 2011 are:

  • State revenue growth remains weak, and revenue levels are still far below pre-recession levels in most states;

  • Medicaid enrollment is rising at a slower but still high rate in 2011 compared to 2010, and remains above original growth projections in some states;

  • A number of states must make mid-year budget cuts to close shortfalls for fiscal year 2011; and

  • States, many with new leadership, will prepare budgets for fiscal year 2012 that must account for ongoing state budget shortfalls and the expiration the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enhanced Medicaid matching fund.

The Illinois proposal being challenged by the NCPA would change the state’s Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement formula from average wholesale price minus 12% to wholesale acquisition cost plus 1%. It also slows the reimbursement cycle from 30 to 160 days. Independent community pharmacies dispense 14% of annual Medicaid prescriptions. In addition, 92% of independent community pharmacies’ revenue comes from prescriptions.

According to the NCPA, Illinois’ independent community pharmacies have more than 7,000 employees and represent approximately $2.9 billion in total annual sales.

For the complete NCPA letter, click here.

For the Kaiser survey, click here.

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lorenaseay says:
Aug-23-2011 06:58 am

You may look at the premium amount and think that there is no way that you can afford it. You cannot afford to be without health insurance! shop around you may find it easy to find an affordable premium, I always find health insurance through Penny Health network.

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