Northern Ireland turns to retail pharmacists to improve health care
Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells
NEWRY, Northern Ireland — It is not just the U.S. healthcare system that is realizing the value a conveniently located retail pharmacist can provide the public, Northern Ireland is tapping into retail pharmacists as an integral health resource, too.
According to a report Thursday in the Newry Times, Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells recently released an updated strategy for the provision of pharmacy services in the community.
“My vision for health and social care is to raise the quality of care for patients and service users and enhance the patient experience," the Newry Times reported Wells as saying. "Pharmacy services in the community have a key role to play in delivering this vision by supporting the safe, effective use of medicines and promoting health and wellbeing.”
Similar to healthcare reform in the United States, the new strategy seeks to achieve better patient outcomes through greater utilization of medicines. “The updated Strategy provides a clear direction for the delivery of pharmacy services in the community over the next five years," Wells said. “The implementation plan sets out the key actions which will need to be undertaken to deliver the goals set out in the strategy and a timescale for the delivery of these actions.”
Chinese pharmacies preparing for online sales of pharamceuticals
HANGZHOU, China, — China Jo-Jo Drugstores, a leading China-based retail and wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and health care products through its own online and retail pharmacies, announced that it has entered into a service agreement with Alibaba Health Information Technology to utilize the electronic prescription platform in preparing for the upcoming authorization from the China Food and Drug Administration on the online sales of prescription drugs in China.
Through Alibaba Health's recently launched mobile app, Alijk, patients are able to upload and send photocopies of doctor's prescriptions to nearby pharmacies so as to check the availability of medicines, compare the prices and eventually make the payments. Those qualified pharmacies partnering with Alibaba Health, such as China Jo-Jo, can then fill the orders via in-store purchase or home delivery service.
"We are very excited to team up with Alibaba Health to build a new future for ecommerce of pharmaceutical products. Besides assembling a dedicated team to work with Alibaba Health, we have also been actively focusing on procuring more products and building inventories, as well as recruiting qualified physicians and licensed pharmacists," stated Li Qi, China Jo-Jo secretary and director. "As more and more sales of prescription drugs will be shifted from hospitals to both online and offline drugstores, all of these new initiatives are aim to capture new businesses."
According to industry statistics, the annual Chinese pharmaceutical sales exceeds one trillion RMB (or $160 billion USD), and 80% of that are from sales of prescription drugs. Until now, the vast majority of prescription drugs are controlled by state-owned hospitals that rely on pharmaceutical sales for profits. With little or no competition, prescription drugs sold by these hospitals are overpriced, and doctors tend to over prescribe. Chinese government, to reform its rigid health care system, is therefore adopting a zero percent drug markup policy in hospitals and allowing online sales of prescription medicine. The official policies for online sales of prescription drugs is expected to be released in 2015.
PwC addresses antimicrobial resistance through improved medication adherence
NEW YORK — PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday released a new spotlight on the important role physicians and public health officials play in educating consumers on the appropriate use of drugs and the dangers of antimicrobial resistance. In addition to insights and perspective from PwC’s Health Research Institute, the brief includes useful links to relevant underlying content from the Food and Drug Administration as well as other sources.
According to PwC, medication management programs that support patients in planning and understanding their drug therapies may help combat resistance which is exacerbated by poor medication adherence. Additionally, more flexibility and guidance in clinical trial design coupled with quicker review times could encourage manufacturers to develop new antimicrobial therapies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are due to antibiotic-resistant infections each year.
Loading Post Please Wait...