PHARMACY

Omnicell introduces VBM 200F

BY Brian Berk

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Omnicell launched its VBM 200F, which includes an automated multimed packing solution intended to assist pharmacists in improving their patients’ medication adherence. The new product, which expands Omnicell’s medication adherence portfolio, specifically has an automated system for filling and checking its SureMed by Omnicell multimed blister cards.

According to Omnicell, the multimed blister cards greatly reduce the complexities of managing and taking multiple medications. The company added that more than 30 million Americans take five or more medications daily.

“Omnicell offers our pharmacy partners an innovative suite of solutions designed to increase patient engagement and improve medication adherence, which can result in healthier outcomes and reduced healthcare costs,” said Rob Seim, president, Global Automation and Medication Adherence at Omnicell. “In addition to the M5000, which remains a crucial part of our innovation strategy, the Omnicell VBM 200F will enable pharmacists to grow their business, and it reaffirms our commitment to offer solutions across the full spectrum of care.”

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Giant introduces new pharmacy technology at reopened Virginia store

BY Brian Berk

FAIRFAX, Va. — Giant reopened a 49,000-sq.-ft. store here on Feb. 9 featuring a pilot for pick-up point technology at its full-service pharmacy. The new technology utilizes LED lights to illuminate the prescription in the drawer where it’s kept, limiting the amount of time a pharmacist will spend looking for a filled prescription.

According to Giant, this new technology is designed to create a much more efficient method of retrieving prescriptions.

In addition to its new pharmacy technology, the updated store, located at 10653 Braddock Road in Fairfax, also features “SCAN IT!” hand-held devices, a full-service Starbucks café, a robust craft beer and wine selection, new décor, and a full offering of natural and organic products.

The store employs 101 associates, with the reopening creating 89 new jobs, stated Landover, Md.-based Giant.

Giant is owned by Ahold USA. Among its 167 stores are 158 full-service pharmacies.

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Aetna and Humana walk away from merger deal

BY Michael Johnsen

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna and Humana on Tuesday walked away from a joint merger that was originally valued at $37 billion, the companies announced. The companies decided to mutually end their merger agreement following a ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granting a United States Department of Justice request to enjoin the merger.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates last month issued his ruling on a lawsuit between the companies and the federal government. The Dept. of Justice had sued on behalf of 264 counties in 21 states where it said a merger would limit competition unlawfully in the Medicare Advantage markets and 17 counties in three states where it said public exchange competition would be limited.
 
“While we continue to believe that a combined company would create greater value for health care consumers through improved affordability and quality, the current environment makes it too challenging to continue pursuing the transaction,” stated Mark Bertolini, Aetna chairman and CEO. “We are disappointed to take this course of action after 19 months of planning, but both companies need to move forward with their respective strategies in order to continue to meet member expectations. Our mutual respect for our companies’ capabilities has grown throughout this process, and we remain committed to a shared goal of helping drive the shift to a consumer-centric health care system.”

Aetna will pay Humana $1 billion as a result of the termination of the merger agreement. Additionally, Aetna has terminated its previously announced agreement to sell certain Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare and will pay the applicable fees associated with that termination.

 

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