PHARMACY

PDX, mscripts seek to strengthen pharmacist-patient relationship

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas Two pharmacy technology providers have formed a partnership to allow mobile communication between pharmacists and their patients.

 

PDX and mscripts announced the availability of a system that will allow users of the PDX Pharmacy System to communicate with their patients via a number of mobile communication pathways using mscripts’ mobile pharmacy technology platform. PDX provides software and services to more than 10,000 retail pharmacies in the United States, while mscripts allows pharmacy patients to manage their prescriptions and pharmacy relationship via mobile phone.

 

 

“This relationship allows PDX pharmacy system users to deploy the best mobile pharmacy service available, quickly and with minimal costs,” mscripts CEO Mark Cullen said. “The offering provides an innovative way for patients to communicate with their pharmacies through two-way, interactive SMS messaging and full-featured, branded mobile applications supporting a wide range of phones including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and Palm. For patients, the service results in faster and easier prescription refills, better adherence, less time waiting, increased convenience and a closer relationship with their pharmacy.”

 

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PHARMACY

NCL: Patients concerned about therapeutic substitution

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Nearly 75% of consumers would feel “very concerned” if a drug they used was switched to another drug designed to treat the same condition without their doctors’ knowledge, according to a new survey by the National Consumers League. One-in-5 said they still would be concerned if their doctors knew.

The practice, known as therapeutic substitution, has become common among insurance companies as healthcare costs have increased. The practice involves switching a medication that is not chemically equivalent or simply a generic version, but belongs to the same class as what the patient already takes.

“Consumers are justifiably concerned about the practice of therapeutic substitution, how it’s done and who’s involved,” NCL executive director Sally Greenberg said. “For some conditions and treatments, it may make good financial and medical sense to swap out one prescription for another. But, as consumers reported in our survey, it’s essential for them to be part of the process, to know their doctor is aware and supportive of the switch and to feel confident that their health and treatment – not financial incentives – are top priority.”

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Independents will gain clout with NCPA-CDC alliance

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The partnership between the National Community Pharmacists Association and Chain Drug Consortium brings together one of the largest pharmacy trade groups in the country with one of the largest purchasing organizations.

(THE NEWS: NCPA, CDC buying group forge new ties. For the full story, click here)

This means the amount of clout that the NCPA has on Capitol Hill will combine with the CDC’s purchasing and marketing abilities to help bolster independents, a segment of the pharmacy industry that often has struggled in comparison with the big national chains.

For the NCPA, it also might be a way to attract new members. The CDC’s membership includes a number of regional chains around the country that still may qualify for NCPA membership and often face many of the same challenges as independents, especially considering the difficulties that the group often has had in finding new members and the number of independent pharmacies that have been forced to close down over the years.

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