PHARMACY

PCMA responds to government funding anti-fraud programs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The leader of a group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers responded to a House subcommittee’s decision to allot $561 million for programs designed to combat fraud, waste and abuse.

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said the decision shows “it’s more important than ever to enhance America’s overall program integrity capabilities.” The money was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Justice Department.

“The administration has noted that these kinds of efforts can save almost $10 billion,” Merritt said. “The other side of the anti-fraud coin is that policymakers must reject policies that inadvertently weaken the ability of public and private payers to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. It’s far easier to prevent fraud than to engage in ‘pay and chase’ activities after the fact.”

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PHARMACY

Kerr innovator to lead N.C. pharmacy board

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. —Rebecca Chater, one of community pharmacy’s leading clinical-care innovators, has been elected president of the North Carolina board of pharmacy for 2010-2011.

Chater is EVP of Kerr Health—the company recently renamed itself to reflect its complete offering; Kerr Drug remains the name of its retail stores—and as such is one of the architects of many ground-breaking patient-care initiatives at the North Carolina retail drug innovator, directing the Care Management service line—previously known as KDI Health Solutions—a healthcare provider organization specializing in preventive and chronic care services.

Chater is in her second five-year term on the board and assumed the role of president for the second time. “It is an honor to serve in this capacity,” she said. “With some measure of national healthcare-reform legislation imminent, it is imperative we, as pharmacists, continue to assume an ever-increasing role in upholding and protecting public safety.”

“In leading the development of clinical pharmacy services within Kerr Drug, Chater earned recognition for Kerr as 2006 Pinnacle Award recipient by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation; 2007, 2008 and 2009 National Medication Therapy Management Provider of the Year by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care; [and] 2008 North Carolina Provider of the Year by the American Diabetes Association,” Kerr stated.

Chater has been recognized nationally for her professional leadership as a past trustee and fellow of the APhA, past recipient of that group’s Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award and the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Administrative Practice Award. Most recently, she was tapped for the 2008 Eagle Award by the North Carolina Alliance of Healthy Communities.

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Novo Nordisk completes enrollment for largest insulin therapy study

BY Alaric DeArment

ZURICH, Switzerland A population large enough to fill an American college town during fall semester will take part in a multinational study to investigate the effects of modern insulins on Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Monday the recruitment of the 60,000th patient in its “A1chieve” study, which it said would be the world’s largest observational study in insulin therapy, involving more than 3,300 physicians in 28 countries on four continents. The company expects results to become available next year.

“Multinational observational studies like A1chieve provide valuable insights in the way current therapies are applied when it comes to varying cultural, economic and epidemiological circumstances,” A1chieve global advisory board chairman and professor of diabetes medicine at England’s Newcastle University Philip Home said.

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