PHARMACY

PharmaSmart and Coborn’s Supermarkets ink major deal

BY DSN STAFF

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PharmaSmart International, a prominent manufacturer of health screening kiosks and developer of Health IT and health management solutions, announced their partnership with Coborn’s on Monday.

PharmaSmart said it will deploy its clinically validated blood pressure kiosk and cloud-based Health IT platform across Coborn’s 36 grocery stores with pharmacies, which operate under the banners of: Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, and Market Place Foods across Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. In addition, kiosks will also be placed in the company’s two clinic pharmacies and their Coborn’s support center in St. Cloud, Minn. All kiosks will be manufactured and distributed out of PharmaSmart’s Rochester, N.Y. manufacturing facility.

The Coborn’s partnership follows a string of important announcements for PharmaSmart. Most notably, PharmaSmart’s signature BPT Rx integration with McKesson’s new Clinical Programs Solutions (CPS), a product that synchronizes PharmaSmart patient data with McKesson’s EnterpriseRx pharmacy management system.

According to PharmaSmart, Coborn’s will leverage PharmaSmart’s clinical-grade program and McKesson’s CPS integration to drive Medicare Star Ratings objectives, specifically measures D-14 (medication adherence for hypertension), and C-19 (controlling blood pressure), both of which are triple-weighted measures of high interest to national and regional insurers.

“For us this is more than just deploying new kiosks,” said Jim Cox, Coborn’s pharmacy director. “With PharmaSmart, we now offer our guests a credible, evidence-based program for blood pressure management, including full integration into our Rx Software, and a branded patient health portal. PharmaSmart’s integrated solution allows us to easily intervene in cases where blood pressure control is not achieved, and we now have the data to demonstrate our impact on blood pressure control over a managed population.”

Cox further stated, “We now are in the process of negotiating remuneration with healthcare plans. PharmaSmart’s respected clinical brand and healthcare toolbox have helped bring insurance partners to the table. We evaluated deploying traditional, ‘recreational’ kiosks, but PharmaSmart’s program better supports Coborn’s reputation as a trusted healthcare brand, and bolsters our credibility with physician groups, health plans, and our own pharmacists, who want to know that their patient management tools are backed by evidence.”

PharmaSmart COO and head of sales, Ashton Maaraba states, “Coborn’s clinical commitment and investment into controlling blood pressure is further proof that pharmacists deserve ‘provider status’, in line with legislation currently before Congress. We are thrilled to be working with Coborn’s health and wellness specialists to target and treat uncontrolled hypertension.”

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PHARMACY

The Little Clinic head adds pharmacy president to role at Kroger

BY David Salazar

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Kroger has expanded the role of The Little Clinic president Colleen Lindholz, naming her president of its pharmacy division Monday. Lindholz, who has led The Little Clinic since 2015, takes over pharmacy duties from Philecia Avery, who Kroger said resigned the company earlier this month to pursue other interests.

“Colleen is passionate about helping people live healthier lives,” Kroger SVP merchandising Robert Clark said. “Colleen’s leadership will help bring our pharmacy and The Little Clinic teams together to advance our mission to simplify healthcare and create solutions that combine health, wellness and nutrition for our customers.”

Lindholz has been with Kroger since 1995, when she started as a pharmacy intern in the Cincinnati/Dayton division. Since then she held various leadership roles in pharmacy and human resources before being named director of pharmacy sales and marketing at the Kroger general office in 2013, a role she served in until she took over her role leading The Little Clinic.

“By bringing together these two closely related teams, pharmacy and The Little Clinic will share common areas of expertise, support and learn from each other, and develop centers of excellence in our health and wellness organization,” Clark said. “This will allow for greater collaboration and give us the flexibility to meet the needs of our customers and associates today and in the future.”

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FDA approves Remicade biosimilar

BY Brian Berk

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Renflexis (infliximab-abda) for multiple indications, the second FDA-approved biosimilar to Remicade. Renflexis is administered by intravenous infusion. Merck will market the drug, which will be developed by South Korea's Samsung Bioepis.

Remicade is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

According to the FDA, A biosimilar product is a biological product that is approved based on a showing that it is highly similar to an already-approved biological product, known as a reference product. The biosimilar also must be shown to have no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety and effectiveness from the reference product. Only minor differences in clinically inactive components are allowable in biosimilar products. 

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