PHARMACY

Price Chopper brings APhA’s Project Impact: Diabetes initiative to stores

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Northeast supermarket chain Price Chopper will expand several of its health-and-wellness programs to combat diabetes as part of its participation in the American Pharmacists Association Foundation’s Project Impact: Diabetes initiative, the chain said.

The multiyear initiative, which the APhA Foundation announced last month, is designed to improve care for people across the country affected by diabetes. For its part, Price Chopper will expand its Diabetes AdvantEdge HealthyU Diabetes Education program and the NuVal nutrition ranking system under a partnership with the Capital District Physician’s Health Plan. Of the 25 companies nationwide participating, Price Chopper, which operates 128 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and New England, is the only one in New York.

“Diabetes care is a priority at Price Chopper,” Price Chopper VP pharmacy Vincent Mainella said. “We recognize that our stores are a bona fide destination for patients seeking the prescriptions, accessories, fresh foods and nutritional information needed to help them manage their diabetes.”

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PHARMACY

Prime Therapeutics notes lower hospitalization rate among adherent diabetics

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Diabetes patients who adhere to their medication therapies have a significantly lower risk of hospitalization, according to a new study scheduled for presentation this week at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s 23rd annual meeting and showcase in Minneapolis.

The study, conducted by pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics using data from more than 15,000 patients, found that medication adherence among diabetes patients cut the risk of hospitalization by 31%, compared with patients who were not compliant.

“Our research found adherent individuals had $1,010 lower medical costs during the year,” Prime director for clinical outcomes assessment Patrick Gleason said. “Besides the medical cost savings, patients that adhere to their medications are likely to have improved health and increased quality of life. Yet in this study, we found one-quarter of patients do not stick to their diabetes medication, so the medical community must find ways to increase adherence for those most at risk.”

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Kalorama projects retail clinic growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Retail-based health clinics continue to grow and likely will become a durable part of the healthcare system, according to a report by independent healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information.

The firm estimated retail clinic sales at $733.4 million, an increase of 81% per year since 2005, in its latest report, "Retail Clinics 2011: Market Assessment, Supplier Sales, Key Players and Trends."

"The concept is still novel, it still arouses some fears, but our research finds that the clinics are popular, particularly in drug store settings," stated Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information.

The growth comes despite the recession and at a time when some state legislatures, at the behest of physician lobbies, have passed laws that could curtail retail clinic operations. For example, Florida limits a physician to supervising only one clinic, while North Carolina’s law restricts physicians to two supervisees, which could have the same effect. These laws could go to the heart of the retail clinic concept, which is that some cost savings will come from using nurse practitioners instead of physicians.

Massachusetts has regulated what conditions can be treated in clinics and limits immunizations of children to flu shots only. New York State is investigating whether retail clinics steer customers toward the in-store pharmacy, and is among several states considering a ban on tobacco sales where a retail location has a clinic.

"So far the laws that have direct safety implications have passed in a few states," Carlson said. "The very restrictive laws — such as requiring a permit to have a retail clinic, or requiring the clinic to alert a patient’s doctor when [he or she visits] — have not passed."

Kalorama suggested that the lack of federal intervention in retail clinics and the failure of more states to pass retail clinic laws are indicators that the clinics right now have not lived up to the fears of opponents. If several cases of negligent care arose that could be tied specifically to the retail clinics’ unique business model, it might accelerate legislative action, according to the report.

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