PHARMACY

Retail pharmacy vet Keough joins LearnSomething

BY Allison Cerra

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Retail pharmacy vet Phil Keough has joined LearnSomething, a provider of e-learning products and services for food, drug and mass retailers.

Keough will serve as chief business development officer. In his new role, the former Rite Aid svp of pharmacy operations — who most recently ran his own pharmacy management consulting company, Keoco  — will oversee developing and distributing innovative compliance, operational and sales performance products and services for retailers, including vehicles for educating retailers on new pharmacy and CPG products.

Keogh’s immediate focus will be on finding new ways to bring cost-effective online compliance programs to retailers, as well as supporting LearnSomething’s shopper marketing program, Shoppertunities, with insights on how consumer wellness education can be integrated into retail pharmacy settings.

“We at LearnSomething feel like we’ve found a perfect fit by bringing Phil on board,” said Steve Roden, LearnSomething’s CEO. “I believe that the skills and insights Phil acquired during his long and distinguished tenure in the pharmacy industry will help us to hone and drive our unique business model for creating successful partnerships among retailers and manufacturers that benefits both.”

Keough spent six years at Rite Aid, from 2002 to 2008, and prior to that served as director of pharmacy operations for CVS. The Auburn alum began his career at Reliable Drug in 1990 before moving on to Revco in 1993, where he served in a variety of pharmacy and store operations positions until 1997, when that chain was acquired by CVS.

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J.JHON says:
Apr-15-2013 08:34 am

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FDA approves expanded use of Crestor

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a cardiovascular drug made by AstraZeneca, the drug maker announced Monday.

The FDA approved Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium) for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack and surgical restoration of blood flow – known as arterial revascularization – in patients without obvious coronary heart disease but an increased risk of cardiovascular disease based on age, presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and quantities of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in the blood of 2-mg per liter or more. Crestor already had approval for treating other cardiovascular health risks when used along with changes in diet.

“Not only is this approval a significant milestone for AstraZeneca, but it is also important for the patients who could now benefit from Crestor therapy under this approved indication,” AstraZeneca chief medical officer Howard Hutchinson stated.

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CMS: U.S. health spending hits $2.5 trillion as Rx costs reach $246 billion

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Healthcare spending in the United States climbed 5.7% to $2.5 trillion in 2009, despite the impact of a struggling economy, according to projections issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and published in the journal Health Affairs.

Healthcare expenditures now comprise 17.3% of the nation’s total gross domestic product, CMS estimated. Over the next decade, the agency predicted, health spending will jump at an average rate of 6.1% a year, versus a projected average annual gain of 4.4% for the overall GDP.

With more Americans losing their insurance and Medicaid enrollments rising, public spending for health care will continue to grow faster than health spending in the private sector, the government predicted.

The rise in total health costs was not quite matched by the growth of prescription drug spending, CMS economists estimated. Total prescription drug spending rose a projected 5.2% last year, the agency reported in Health Affairs, to a U.S. total of $246.3 billion.

That marks an accelerating trend for drug spending, according to the journal, which cited “an increase in per person use of drugs, driven by the need for antiviral drugs to treat H1N1, and by higher price growth in brand-name drugs.”

Long-term growth of both overall healthcare expenditures and the prescription drug market will continue at a steady clip, government analysts predict. CMS pegs total drug expenditures at $457.8 billion by 2019, Health Affairs reported, “with spending growth expected to accelerate over the projection period due primarily to increases in drug prices.”

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