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Quell pain relief wearable a winner at SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards

BY Michael Johnsen
WALTHAM, Mass. – NeuroMetrix announced Wednesday that Quell was named Winner in the Wearable Tech category at the 19th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, held in Austin, Texas. 
 
The Wearable Tech award honors “new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency and fashion of having a device literally ‘on you.’” Quell was recognized for its breakthrough technology by going beyond traditional wearables that only offer tracking, to truly improving the quality of life for its users.
 
“We are delighted that Quell was recognized by the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards,” stated Shai Gozani, president and CEO of NeuroMetrix. "This award and other recent honors given to Quell, underscore its groundbreaking technology and the difference innovation can make in the lives of the millions of people around the world suffering from chronic pain.”
 
Designed to treat a wide range of chronic pain conditions, Quell was launched in June 2015 and is already having a big impact on users. In a recent clinical study, 81% of participants cited reduced pain with Quell and 67% reported a reduction in pain medication use, after 60 days. 
 
Worn just below the knee, the patented OptiTherapy technology in Quell delivers customizable, 100% drug free chronic pain relief to wearers, without a prescription. It is the only over-the-counter chronic pain wearable that has been FDA cleared for use while sleeping.
 
An updated version of Quell became available earlier this month, which gives users the option to control their therapy discreetly via mobile app. 
 

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Walgreens and UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx partner on 90-day prescription service

BY Michael Johnsen
DEERFIELD, Ill. – UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens on Thursday announced the integration of a new pharmacy solution that will enable eligible OptumRx members to fill 90-day prescriptions at home delivery copay levels at any of Walgreens nearly 8,200 pharmacies nationwide or through OptumRx home delivery. 
 
OptumRx is UnitedHealth Group’s free-standing pharmacy care services business, managing more than one billion prescriptions annually.  
 
“OptumRx’s differentiated pharmacy care services model creating smarter health care connections will be a strong fit with the more than 27,000 Walgreens pharmacists who interact with and support millions of patients on a daily basis,” commented Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “Together, we will build upon our complementary capabilities and shared vision to offer this new pharmacy solution delivering true value to the customers that we serve.”
 
“By integrating Walgreens industry-leading in-store pharmacy capabilities and convenient retail locations with OptumRx’s advanced pharmacy care services, we expect to create significant value for our clients and members,” stated Larry Renfro, CEO Optum. “We are excited to be working with Walgreens to create a new pharmacy solution that provides convenience and cost savings, and goes beyond filling prescriptions to deliver a more valuable pharmacy and health management experience for consumers.”
 
Through a more convenient, accessible and connected pharmacy experience, the companies will collaborate to deliver clients and members enrolled in the program an integrated pharmacy care offering that produces higher treatment adherence rates and better patient outcomes by giving patients the choice of how to receive their medications along with 24/7 pharmacist availability and connects members to clinical guidance that addresses specific disease classes, such as diabetes, and increases drug adherence.
 
In addition, the integration enables OptumRx and Walgreens systems to better connect and communicate health data and analytics to ensure members receive the most effective prescription drugs at the right cost.
 
The joint pharmacy care offering is also designed to meet the goals of payers and health care sponsors seeking to better manage drug benefits and address the rising cost of care. By providing members with the choice of how to fill their 90-day maintenance medications, Walgreens and OptumRx can offer better access and prescription drug cost management to clients to help improve adherence rates for eligible members, resulting in better health outcomes and total health care cost savings.
 
OptumRx and Walgreens expect the new pharmacy solution to be available to commercial clients implementing new 90-day prescription benefit designs, beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
 
 
 

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Walgreens teams with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to better serve cancer patients

BY Michael Johnsen
 
 
DEERFIELD, Ill. – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Walgreens on Wednesday announced the launch of a collaboration designed to further advance cancer therapies and address the changing treatment model facing patients with blood and other cancers. 
 
"We are proud to team up with LLS on this transformational approach to empowering and supporting patients through our expert oncology specialized pharmacies across the country," stated Richard Ashworth, president, pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens. "With our aligned missions and commitment to serving patients and families, LLS and Walgreens will make an even greater impact on the health and care of the nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with or in remission from a blood cancer."
 
As new blood cancer therapies come to market and patients are able to manage their disease with oral medications at home, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy pharmacists are well-positioned on the front lines of patient care to help facilitate this treatment transition and play a significant role in providing access to these new therapies.  
 
This collaboration will help patients, families and caregivers in three key ways:
 
  • Provide educational tools and resources for enhanced patient support;
  • Implement a pharmacist education and training program to ensure pharmacists are knowledgeable about aspects of the cancer care continuum and can provide additional care; and
  • Advocate for community engagement and corporate support for LLS's iconic Light The Night Walk national fundraising campaign. 
 
"Today, new treatments for blood cancers are entering the healthcare arena at an unprecedented rate. And these treatments are extending patients' lives by years, even decades," noted Louis DeGennaro, LLS president and CEO. "Our collaboration with industry leader, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, assures that patients and their caregivers have timely access to high-quality, up-to-date information to best manage their disease."
 
LLS has played a role in a significant number of the treatments that have been developed for blood cancers. In fact, since 2000 more than 40% of new cancer therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration were first approved to treat blood cancer patients.  And, many of these treatments are now being used effectively to treat other cancers and chronic diseases.
 
As part of the healthcare support team serving blood cancer patients, LLS will bring to Walgreens its expertise as a leading global source of information for blood cancer patients with educational programs to raise pharmacist level of care and improve outcomes. 
 
And through LLS's Information Resource Center, Walgreens and LLS can help Walgreens blood cancer patients across the country access quality, affordable, coordinated care. Staffed by master's degree-level healthcare specialists, LLS's IRC currently responds to over 60,000 annual inquiries from patients, caregivers and health care professionals in need of guidance regarding treatments, supportive care, financial support and clinical trials. Walgreens patients will have unique access to a dedicated healthcare specialist.
 
LLS also has established its leadership with a series of comprehensive blood cancer conferences – attended by thousands of patients and caregivers at no charge. As a national sponsor of these educational conferences, Walgreens pharmacy experts will interact with patients directly in their communities, alongside LLS, to provide the latest information about disease and treatment breakthroughs. 
 
Walgreens has been a longstanding supporter of LLS and is currently the tenth largest LLS Light The Night Walk team in the U.S. Walgreens intends to accelerate this support and strengthen relationships within cancer communities.
 
 

 

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