PHARMACY

Report discusses retail clinics’ entry into chronic disease management game

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK An article featured on MedPageToday.com picks up on the expansion of clinic services offered at retail health clinics, underscoring the importance of nurse practitioners and entry into the role in chronic disease management.

"We’re evolving our clinic offerings, from episodic treatment to looking at how do we get more chronic disease management, how do we do more prevention, how do we do more screening?" Sandra Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, was quoted as saying.

The entry into chronic disease management is no surprise, as the roles of retail clinics and their nurse practitioners continues to grow. As the rate of such chronic conditions as diabetes is projected to double by 2034, the venture is much needed.

"Knowing there’s an unmet need for treatment and management of chronic conditions in the U.S., and knowing that the cost is increasing, we think retail clinics are on the forefront to meet that need," Ryan added.

Some examples of this venture have been noted over the past year. In February, Walgreens announced it would offer customers free blood glucose testing, an initiative that was supported by talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Retail clinics first came on the scene in the middle of the last decade, and there are now some 1,200 of them operating in 32 states, according to the Convenient Care Association.

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PHARMACY

FDA approves expanded use of Xifaxan

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a drug made by Salix Pharmaceuticals, the FDA announced Wednesday.

The agency approved Salix’s Xifaxan (rifaximin) for treating hepatic encephalopathy, a deterioration in brain functioning in patients with liver disease that results from the liver’s no longer being able to clear toxins from the body.

The drug already had approval for treating traveler’s diarrhea.

“The approval of Xifaxan for this new indication provides an additional treatment optin for patients with liver disease,” FDA Division of Gastroenterology Products deputy director Joyce Korvick said in a statement. “Hepatic encephalopathy occurs commonly in patients with liver disease, and there are few effective treatments for this serious condition.”

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Teva gets tentative approval for argatroban

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic anticoagulant by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Teva announced Thursday.

The FDA gave the authorization to the injected drug argatroban, a generic version of a GlaxoSmithKline drug for treating heparin-induced thrombocytopenia that is branded with the same name. The branded version of the drug has annual sales of around $137 million, according to IMS Health.

A tentative approval means that the generic version of the drug meets the conditions for full approval by the FDA, but it can’t be marketed yet because the patent has not expired.

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