NYC mayor Bloomberg, health commissioner Farley highlight importance of flu preparedness
NEW YORK — New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and health commissioner Thomas Farley received their seasonal flu vaccine on Saturday at a Duane Reade pharmacy in the Bronx, demonstrating the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Every year, New Yorkers lose their lives to the flu, and a flu shot is the single most important protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to others,” Bloomberg said. “I urge everyone to go to their doctor, local health clinic or pharmacy and get a flu shot as soon as they can.”
“A perfect example of preventive care is getting your annual flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. And no one makes it easier to get immunized in New York City than Duane Reade and Walgreens,” Walgreens market VP Jeff Koziel said. Duane Reade is a subsidiary of Walgreens. “Flu shots are available at our pharmacies daily with no appointment necessary during all pharmacy hours. We appreciate mayor Bloomberg and commissioner Farley recognizing the important role of community pharmacists in health care.”
Flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B, as well as most insurance plans. All Duane Reade and Walgreens pharmacies also offer Fluzone HD, a high-dose influenza vaccine for those over ages 65 years and older, in addition to other qualified individuals.
The typical flu season coincides with the busiest travel period of the year, and last season that spelled trouble for more than 3 million U.S. vacationers whose trips were interrupted by flu-related illness, as the Walgreens Flu Impact Report suggested.
The findings in the survey, which were previously reported by Drug Store News, examined the effects of influenza on people’s everyday lives and showed how the flu affected Americans’ vacations, holidays, social engagements, sporting events and more.
Last flu season, based on survey projections, millions of life’s special events may have been impacted, including:
More than 600,000 graduations;
Missed more than 1 million weddings were not attended;
More than 3 million vacations were canceled or interrupted ;
Nearly 5 million holiday celebrations were missed; and
More than 5 million sporting events were missed.
The Walgreens survey was fielded Sept. 1 to 8, 2011, to a Vision Critical Springboard America panel to a nationally representative sample of 1,200 Americans ages 18 years or older.
Sen. Schumer latest to endorse MTM legislation
WASHINGTON — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday became the 11th senator to sign on as a co-sponsor for the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011. The legislation was first introduced in February by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.
S. 274 seeks to enhance a pharmacy’s ability to partner with patients around counseling and medication therapy management services with the goal of increasing medication adherence. "Failure to take medications as prescribed costs over $290 billion annually. The problem of nonadherence is particularly important for patients with chronic diseases that require use of medications," the bill reads.
The bill would enable any pharmacy participating in the network of a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to offer medication therapy management services and be reimbursed for those services based on "the resources used and the time required to provide such services."
"This bill will allow more seniors to bring all of their medications to the pharmacy and ensure they are following their medication regimens," Hagan stated in introducing the bill earlier this year. "If more seniors are educated to properly follow their doctor’s orders, we can save lives and Medicare dollars. In North Carolina, these programs have saved millions of dollars, and our seniors have avoided countless healthcare complications."
The legislation was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance in February.
Nycomed US announces executive changes
MELVILLE, N.Y. — In line with its new position as a stand-alone corporation, the former U.S. subsidiary of a Swiss drug maker has appointed a new leader.
Nycomed US announced that Brian Markison, former chairman and CEO of King Pharmaceuticals, will lead the company as president, CEO and a member of the board. The company also appointed Jeff Bailey as COO and John Golubieski as CFO. Both Bailey and Golubieski also held executive roles at King.
Nycomed US was the U.S. subsidiary of Nycomed, prior to the pharmaceutical company’s acquisition by Takeda. Nycomed US will continue to be owned by Nycomed’s current private equity owners, but will operate as an independent entity.
"I am delighted, along with Jeff and John, to join the team at Nycomed US. This is an exciting time for the company because we have the opportunity to grow aggressively and forge our future as an independent entity," Markison said. "Jeff and John are great additions to an already strong and focused management team and I am confident we can leverage the company’s financial strength and unique platform within the dermatology market to drive further growth in our business."