PHARMACY

Schnucks Pharmacies offering free prenatal vitamins to expectant mothers

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and a Midwestern supermarket pharmacy chain is giving expectant mothers free prenatal vitamins to mark the occasion.

Schnucks Pharmacies, part of the Schnuck Markets company, will begin offering free prescription prenatal vitamins to pregnant women at its 103 stores under its Health and Wellness Program beginning Monday, Schnucks announced.

“It’s a major investment for our company, but we feel a responsibility to help where we can,” Schnucks VP pharmacy Michael Juergensmeyer said in a statement. “Due to economic considerations, many patients don’t refill prescriptions for chronic conditions, let alone take prescription prenatal vitamins for wellness care. We share doctors’ concerns and recognize the need to make good prenatal care more affordable for all.”

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Sosalski joins Victoza Lifecycle Management team

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A member of the trade team of Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk is heading off to Switzerland soon.

Novo Nordisk announced that Rachel Sosalski, who has worked for the company’s trade team for more than four years, will work as senior global product manager for global operations, joining the Victoza (liraglutide) Lifecycle Management team in Zurich.

Sosalski will begin working in the new position on March 1.

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New report emphasizes importance of retail clinics, projects growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON A recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit public policy research organization, underscored the importance of retail-based health clinics and stated that the number of clinics is likely to grow to 3,200 by 2014.

“The growth of the Internet, high-speed telecommunications networks and electronic medical records have made it possible for patients to seek care in a variety of clinical settings without losing the continuity of care a primary care provider offers,” the report stated. “Healthcare entrepreneurs using these technologies in retail clinics are making medical care increasingly accessible and convenient, while raising quality and reducing costs.”

Citing data from consulting firm Deloitte, the NCPA report stated that there are currently 1,100 to 1,200 clinics and the number is likely to grow to 3,200 by 2014.

The problem with today’s U.S. healthcare system, the report said: A lack of convenient, low-cost care that often leads to an overuse of emergency rooms.

“Competition from these new clinics may lead traditional physician practices to adopt new technology, and offer extended and more convenient weekend hours,” the report stated. “Moreover, low-cost, convenient clinics offer the best solution for improving access to care for the uninsured, individuals without a primary care physician and workers in need of routine care.”

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