Retail clinics to grow as hospitals embrace community care
With health reform and health cost imperatives driving the need to find alternative, community-based ways to deliver more cost-effective follow-up care, the retail clinic model could be poised for a new round of rapid growth.
Pharmacy-based walk-in care centers offer some compelling advantages to a health system in dire need of alternatives. Amid the increasingly expensive cost of care provided by hospitals and physician groups and the growing shortage of primary care physicians, retail clinics offer patients and health plan payers accessibility, convenience and a far cheaper brand of care for routine illnesses, health screenings and first aid.
“The demand for health care is steadily growing as the population ages and increases, creating some strain on often overworked hospitals and physician practices,” noted Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in a report on retail clinics. Those clinics, BI noted, provide “a way of addressing this issue.”
“The number of ‘convenient care’ clinics and ‘urgent clinic’ centers is growing strongly,” noted a report issued in September by Marketdata Enterprises. “It’s likely to stay that way through 2016.” Marketdata projects the size of the retail clinic market to reach 2,700 clinics with combined revenues of $1.38 billion.
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Pharmacies extend ACO movement
With new payment models beginning to change the way hospitals and health providers are reimbursed for their services, health plan payers scrambling to control unsustainable medical costs and health information technology linking up the patient care silos, a more integrated and patient-centric care model is emerging out of the chaos of a health system in transformation.
Two terms point to the changes sweeping health care: “accountability” and “integration.” Both are fueling the rise of accountable care organizations as Medicare, Medicaid and commercial payers shift from a costly fee-for-service payment system to a new, evidence-based reimbursement model based on successful patient outcomes and reduced hospital re-admissions. Making the process possible: the integration of care as hospitals, physician groups, clinics, testing labs, pharmacies and other members of the healthcare team begin to create a more holistic, patient-centered model of treatment and prevention.
The rise of evidence-based payments is spurring the creation of both hospital/community care partnerships and ACOs to build new bridges to patients, improve continuity of care and cope with the new reimbursement paradigm. Forward-thinking pharmacy operators are scrambling to adapt and stake a solid claim to the ACO model being hammered out by hospitals and regional health systems across the country.
“With payers moving toward paying for quality, … the only way to have solid quality is to protect the continuum of care,” noted Ken Berndt, CEO of Careworks Convenient Healthcare, the clinic division of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System. “If we’re going to get paid that way, you’ve got to have an ACO, and you have to have some retail [pharmacy and clinic component] for patient access.”
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NewsBytes — Chain Pharmacy, 12/10/12
Watson to change brand in 2013
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is changing its name to Actavis following its acquisition of the Swiss drug maker, Watson said. Watson, whose $5.6 billion acquisition of Actavis received approval from the Federal Trade Commission in October, said it would adopt the new name starting in 2013, with plans to start a multi-year rebranding campaign and trade under a new symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.
The rebranding will also include a redesign of the Actavis logo, created by branding firm Lippincott, which features a “W” emerging from an “A,” a reference to Watson.
The company also announced a new global generics commercial management team. Andrew Boyer will lead the company’s U.S. generics business. Jean-Guy Goulet will lead the company’s Canadian and Latin American business. The company’s European, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Australian businesses have new leaders as well.
Sandoz starts phase-3 trial of
biosimilar anemia drug
HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — Generic drug maker Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial in the United States for a biosimilar treatment for anemia, the company said.
The generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis said it had started enrolling patients for a phase-3 study of epoetin alfa, a biosimilar version of Epogen and Procrit, made by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson and used to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease.
Sandoz has marketed biosimilar epoetin alfa in the European Union for five years under the brand name Binocrit.
Par acquires rights to generic
version of Seroquel XR
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical has bought rights to a generic version of a drug used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Par said it bought marketing and distribution rights to generic quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets from Handa Pharmaceuticals, acquiring Handa’s regulatory approval application for the drug. The deal gives Par the right to market, sell and distribute the drug after it receives approval from the FDA and receive a share of the profits. Par itself has a license to market the drug starting in November 2016, under a deal with AstraZeneca.
The drug is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR, and Handa considers itself the first company to file a complete application for the generic drug in the 50-mg, 150-mg, 200-mg and 300-mg strengths. If it is, then the drug will have 180 days in which to compete directly with AstraZeneca’s product, according to generic drug regulations. Seroquel XR has annual sales of about $808 million, according to IMS Health.
Walmart to sell hypertension
drugs for a penny
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and Humana said that starting in 2013, members of the Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan would have access to 10 drugs for high blood pressure for 1 cent each when filled at a Walmart or Sam’s Club store. The companies said the price meant members would pay that much for them through all phases of their benefit, regardless of whether they have met their deductibles or are in the coverage gap.
The drugs offered under the program are lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol tartrate, atenolol, lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide, enalapril maleate, benazepril, nadolol and captopril.