PHARMACY

Rite Aid enters partnership with American Well

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON American Well announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement to bring American Well’s Online Care services, where patients can access live, interactive online consultations with Rite Aid pharmacists from home and from private consultation rooms, to a select number of Rite Aid pharmacies.

Rite Aid is the first drug store chain in the nation set to bring American Well’s live, online pharmacy consultations to patients, the company stated.

“Rite Aid is committed to delivering innovative services to our patients as part of our mission to help them live healthier, happier lives,” stated Robert Thompson, Rite Aid EVP pharmacy. “The Online Care service offers patients another convenient way to engage with their Rite Aid pharmacist about their prescribed medication therapies and helps them understand how taking medication correctly and as prescribed can benefit their overall health.”

Patients will be able to initiate consultations from the convenience of their home or in select stores, using the Web or a regular phone. During each consultation, Rite Aid pharmacists will be able to review the patient’s history, speak with and see the patient and provide medication consultations and advice. The system will automatically compile a full record of each conversation when completed, supporting care continuity.

“We see the evolution of Online Care services spreading throughout the healthcare industry,” stated Danielle Russella, EVP customer solutions of American Well. “With this partnership, Rite Aid will pioneer the introduction of on-demand access to pharmacists through technology.”

Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

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PHARMACY

Drake University’s pharmacy college honors PTCB executive director, CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Drake University’s College of Pharmacy has given its 2010 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor to the leader of a pharmacy technician group.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced Tuesday that executive director and CEO Melissa Murer Corrigan had received the medal, which the college, in Des Moines, Iowa, gives to individuals whom it considers to show dedication to the pharmacy profession. Murer Corrigan has served in her position at the PTCB since its 1995 inception.

“Under Melissa’s guidance and leadership, PTCB has positioned pharmacy technicians as an integral part of enhanced pharmacy practice and improved patient care,” American Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan said. “Trained, skilled pharmacy technicians empower pharmacists to spend time with patients to optimize their drug therapy and achieve the most positive outcomes possible.”

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FDA adds boxed warning to propylthiouracil label

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has added its strongest possible warning to a drug used to treat thyroid conditions amid reports of severe liver problems in patients using it, the agency announced Wednesday.

The FDA said it added a boxed warning to the label for propylthiouracil, a drug used to treat hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease, conditions that cause goiters. The agency said it had received numerous reports of severe liver injury and acute liver failure, sometimes resulting in death, in adults and children.

The FDA approved the drug in 1947, and it is marketed as a generic. Pregnant women often use propylthiouracil during the first trimester due to possible risk of birth defects during that time from use of another drug for hyperthyroidism, methimazole, the FDA said. King Pharmaceuticals markets methimazole as Tapazole, though the drug also is available as a generic.

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