PHARMACY

Onco360, MedImpact sign cancer-treatment deal

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Cancer-focused specialty pharmacy Onco360 has signed a contract with privately owned pharmacy benefit manager MedImpact Healthcare Systems, whereby the pharmacy will offer its services to the PBM’s members.

The two companies said the partnership would offer MedImpact clients "a unique and effective solution for bending the cost curve," and was aimed at providing benefit payers with a proven and effective cancer pharmacy program that combines a cost-effective dispensing model with "clinical excellence."

"This is an exciting and timely collaboration, as the healthcare industry is at a crossroads, and the complexities of cancer care demand a novel solution," Onco360 CEO Burt Zweigenhaft said. "By addressing three key facets — fragmentation, coordination of care and cost control — we believe this comprehensive solution can have a positive effect for not just payers, but more importantly, the patients we put at the center of everything we do."

MedImpact president Greg Watanabe noted that the cost of cancer care was projected to increase to nearly $175 billion by 2020, a fourfold increase in less than a decade. The collaboration will bring the multidisciplinary approach used in many cancer treatment centers to the outpatient setting, featuring board-certified oncology pharmacists to provide coordination and clinical experience throughout the entire continuum of cancer care.

"Bringing together the oncology experience and expertise of Onco360 with the MedImpact approach to pharmacy benefit management will result in a unique and integrated benefit solution for oncology," Watanabe said. "With the coming changes of the Affordable Care Act and the heightened focus on delivering quality measures, it is clear to MedImpact and our clients that something needs to be done to more effectively manage the treatment and cost of cancer care."

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NCPA recognizes three independent pharmacists for industry, community contributions

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday recognized a number of independent operators for their contributions to the industry and their communities. 

California pharmacy owner I.R. Patel received the NARD Ownership Award from the NACP Foundation. The NARD Ownership Award, now in its second year, recognizes an independent pharmacist who embraces the entrepreneurial spirit through promotion and demonstrated excellence in the field of community pharmacy ownership. 

NCPA Foundation trustee Charles West with I.R. Patel

Mike James, the owner of two pharmacies in Raleigh, N.C., was honored as the recipient of the 2013 John W. Dargavel Medal. Sponsored by McKesson, this annual award honors an individual whose contributions on behalf of independent pharmacy embody the spirit of leadership and accomplishment personified by John Dargavel, who was executive secretary of the National Association of Retail Druggists, now NCPA, from 1933 to 1961. 

Tennessee’s Phil LaFoy, owner and president of Tennessee’s Blount Discount Pharmacy, was named the winner of the 2013 NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award. Sponsored by Purdue Pharma, the award recognizes pharmacists who have reached out in their communities to provide education on the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards associated with their misuse.

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McKesson showcases many new offerings at NCPA annual event

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — McKesson Corp. showcased several new solutions at the 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition of the National Community Pharmacists Association held here, the wholesaler announced Monday. 

“The NCPA is dedicated to the continuing growth and prosperity of independent community pharmacy, which, in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape, means taking advantage of the tremendous opportunity for community pharmacies to grow their practices and expand their roles as healthcare providers,” stated Mark Walchirk, president, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. 

“Health Mart is constantly looking for opportunities to help our pharmacies deepen the local relationships they have in their communities,” added Steve Courtman, president Health Mart. “New offerings such as a mobile app, adherence support programs and fresh marketing materials provide the pharmacies with new tools to grow these relationships and build trust, which is critical to improving a patient’s health, ensuring loyalty and building the pharmacy business.”

McKesson highlighted the following offerings at NCPA:

  • New mobile app for Your Pharmacy Online. Health Mart showcased its newly launched mobile application, the latest component of the Your Pharmacy Online consumer-facing pharmacy website. The mobile app gives patients more on-the-go prescription-management options, including placing refill requests, receiving reminders or learning about in-store promotions. The new communication tool can help improve patient medication adherence and drive positive health outcomes, while increasing prescription volume;
  • Local Marketing Support. Health Mart featured its Local Marketing Support program, designed to help owners market their store to the local community. Anticipated to be available in November, the program will help franchise owners attract new patients and retain current customers;
  • New tools to maximize the adherence opportunity. Health Mart provided attendees with information on new adherence opportunities available to retail pharmacies, such as medication therapy management and behavioral coaching. Attendees learned about the importance of measurable clinical results, Star Ratings and how to best position their pharmacy to participate in preferred, performance-based programs;
  • New store design. With the guidance of experienced retail experts, Health Mart has updated its store design and décor to help create a shopper-friendly atmosphere with easier access to the pharmacist. The new store design is scalable, affordable and adaptable to almost any store footprint;
  • Supporting pharmacy ownership. McKesson Ownership Advisors were on-hand providing information to existing or prospective pharmacy owners on programs that can help them establish a new business or grow their current business through expansion into multiple pharmacies. McKesson’s RxOwnership program is dedicated to providing independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students with tools to help them map out their future. “Since the RxOwnership program’s inception in 2008, we have been involved in more than 700 pharmacy buy, sell or transfer deals and supported 1,300 startups,” commented Bob Graul, national VP RxOwnership. “Whatever your ownership goals are — own your first store, purchase additional stores or even sell your current store — RxOwnership can help.”;
  • Supporting expansion into long-term care. McKesson understands the alternate site pharmacy business and offers support to pharmacies looking to expand into or grow their long-term care, infusion and specialty pharmacy services. McKesson Alternate Site Pharmacy provides a wide range of products and solutions, such as customized packaging, inventory management, Six Sigma workflow analysis, 340B support and software and tools for revenue growth; and
  • Physician Outreach Program. Available to alternate site pharmacies to help identify new referral stream opportunities, build relationships with healthcare professionals in their community and increase efficiency. McKesson’s Physician Outreach Program for alternate site pharmacies is an easy-to-use online search tool that provides physician-specific data on more than 1 million prescribers and helps identify skilled nursing facilities, home healthcare agencies and 340B hospitals in a specific area. Users can also find best practices and templates to build and execute marketing plans for success.

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