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RxAlly to debut Medicare Prescription Drug Plan this season

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND — More than 20,000 RxAlly member pharmacies — including independent pharmacies, regional chains and Walgreens — will begin accepting a new federally qualified Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, SmartD Rx, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Developed by Smart Insurance Company with the input of pharmacists, SmartD Rx will be offered to beneficiaries for the first time this fall during Medicare’s open enrollment period. 

“RxAlly and its member pharmacies are ideally suited to partner with SmartD Rx to serve the prescription drug needs of Medicare beneficiaries,” stated Bruce Roberts, CEO of RxAlly. 

“SmartD Rx is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the current 48 million Medicare population segment and serve the 10,000-plus individuals in the U.S. population who turn 65 every day,” stated Pritpal Virdee, Smart Insurance Company CEO. Smart Insurance Company was formed to find innovative solutions that allow seniors and their caregivers to better understand and take advantage of the prescription drug coverage options available in today’s healthcare marketplace, according to Virdee.   

SmartD Rx will be available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The plan offers $0 co-pays for preferred generic medications at preferred network pharmacies, low premium options and the convenience and cost savings of 90-day prescription refills at retail. Additionally, qualified seniors will be able to receive comprehensive medication therapy management services from their community pharmacy.

SmartD Rx also provides licensed plan representatives to the RxAlly network of more than 20,000 pharmacies. These licensed plan representatives will be available to help consumers navigate the nuances of Medicare Part D and provide on-the-spot answers to questions that may arise about Medicare’s prescription drug plans.

SmartD Rx has two plan options available: SmartD Rx Saver and SmartD Rx Plus. Both plans offer seniors $0 member co-pays for preferred generic medications and lower co-pays for all medications at Preferred Network pharmacies. Neither plan has a mail-order option, but both offer a 90-day supply of medication at retail pharmacies with a discounted co-pay compared to a 30-day supply. SmartD Rx Plus offers additional options to minimize out-of-pocket costs and greater levels of coverage with no deductible for a higher premium. 

Additional features of SmartD Rx Saver and SmartD Rx Plus include no annual deductible for SmartD Rx Plus and a $325 annual deductible for SmartD Rx Saver. And coinsurance fees are calculated on a tiered system based on the type of drugs needed, ranging from $0 co-pay for preferred generic drugs to 25% of the cost of the prescription for specialty drugs needed for complex or rare conditions.

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Kaiser Permanente Southern California sets flu vaccination record

BY Alaric DeArment

PASADENA, Calif. — Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has set the world record for the most flu shots given in a single day, the organization said Monday.

The nonprofit health plan said its Southern California division administered 47,259 shots in an eight-hour period, nearly four times the previous record, according to the Guinness World Records; a Guinness World Records adjudicator confirmed the record, which beat the previous one, when Vanderbilt University administered 12,851 shots.

The organization said more than 600 nurses and medical staff administered the vaccines to members at 48 facilities throughout the Southern California region.


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V.SARMIENTO says:
Oct-25-2012 03:18 am

Heres a video to show how Kaiser did it. Click on the link.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbXqzlGu7qs

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CRN appoints USP, FDA veteran to VP scientific and international affairs

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Monday announced Jim Griffiths has been named as the association’s VP scientific and international affairs, effective Oct. 10.

“We are very pleased to be able to add someone of Dr. Griffiths’ stature to what is already arguably the strongest scientific team representing the industry," stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. "He will bring to CRN a renewed and collaborative focus on international affairs, and we expect his expertise will positively affect regulatory and nutrition policy globally." 

For the past five years, Griffiths worked with the United States Pharmacopoeia, where he managed various food and dietary supplement strategic initiatives, including those related to global food and dietary supplement alliances. In his role at USP, he handled excipient standards for dietary supplements, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals, and was responsible for oversight of the organization’s Food Chemicals Codex, the Dietary Supplement Compendium and the National Formulary.

With 25 years of experience in food safety and regulatory affairs, he began his career as a regulatory review toxicologist at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. His experience also includes scientific/regulatory positions at the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers’ Association, International Specialty Products, Avon Products and Burdock and Associates.   

Griffiths holds a Ph.D. in toxicology from Rutgers University & Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. He is currently serving a two-year term as president for both the Toxicology and Safety Division, Institute of Food Technologists and the Society of Toxicology’s Food Safety Specialty Section. In 2012, he was honored with IFT’s Bernard L. Oser Award for Food Safety. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Excipients and Food Chemicals, and publishes extensively in scientific journals.  

CRN’s science and regulatory team includes Duffy MacKay, VP scientific and regulatory affairs; Taylor Wallace, senior director of scientific and regulatory affairs; Rend Al-Mondhiry, regulatory counsel; Haiuyen Nguyen, senior manager of scientific research and regulatory affairs; and consultants Annette Dickinson and John Hathcock.

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