PHARMACY

Pharmacy’s role in health reform

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” That dictum, attributed to Ben Franklin, could apply to the increasingly urgent campaign by a wide-ranging assortment of pharmacy and retail advocacy groups to speak with one voice in policymaking circles. In the midst of an economic crisis, a dysfunctional healthcare system in dire need of new cost-saving solutions and a revolution in technology and communications, pharmacy leaders from every practice setting are acutely aware of the need for a united front.

 

That goes double when making pharmacy’s case for a larger and fully integrated role in the healthcare system of the future. When the leaders of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and other organizations appeal to lawmakers in Congress amid debates about health reform and health information technology, they’re also making their case in the court of public opinion.

 

Dealing with congressional staffers on Capitol Hill is just as challenging. Given the complexity of such issues as fair pharmacy reimbursement, patient privacy, health IT, medication therapy management and coordination of care, it’s essential that the disparate and sometimes competing stakeholders that represent all aspects of pharmacy put aside their differences and “hang together.” 

 

“The future direction of the industry hinges on the willingness of NACDS members to engage in the public policy debates of the day, since affecting our short- and long-term future is the primary reason we all choose to participate in associations like this one,” said NACDS chairman and Katz Group North America CEO Andy Giancamilli at the recent NACDS Regional Chain Conference. “But now we need even more members to engage in powering the NACDS advocacy engine.”

 

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PHARMACY

Kinney Drugs acquires independent Harbor Pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. An independent pharmacy has agreed to an acquisition by Kinney Drugs, Kinney announced Wednesday.

Harbor Pharmacy, at 34 Route 30 North in Bomoseen, Vt., will become a Kinney Drugs store starting Feb. 15, though pharmacist Dick Abel will remain there, and Kinney will allow the existing staff to remain as well. Abel has owned and operated Harbor Pharmacy for 24 years. 

“Everyone at Kinney Drugs is excited to welcome Harbor Pharmacy employees and customers into our family,” Kinney chairman and CEO Craig Painter said in a statement. “It is important to us that this transition be as smooth as possible for both Harbor Pharmacy customers and their associates.” 

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Price Chopper creates widespread N.Y. network of immunizing pharmacies

BY Antoinette Alexander

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Price Chopper has become the first pharmacy chain in New York to create a statewide network of immunizers in nearly every ZIP code, the Schenectady, N.Y.-based supermarket chain announced Wednesday.

The Schenectady, N.Y.-based supermarket chain will mark a new state law allowing pharmacists to perform immunizations by sponsoring a press event and flu clinic Friday at 11 a.m. at its store at 1879 Altamont Ave. in Schenectady. Company executives, including VP pharmacy Vincent Mainella and visitors such as Pharmacist Society of the State of New York executive director Craig Burridge will be present. 

Every Price Chopper pharmacy will have a pharmacist who has completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s required 20-hour training program for delivering immunizations. Immunizations will be limited to adults 19 and older receiving flu and pneumonia vaccines. 

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