PHARMACY

Script Your Future campaign pushes importance of adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The National Consumers League recently launched the Script Your Future initiative to raise awareness among patients about the impact of not taking their medications as prescribed, and now the first-of-its-kind campaign is kicking off in several markets around the country.


Script Your Future is an important initiative, as 3-out-of-4 Americans fail to take their medications as prescribed by their doctors. This equates to an estimated $290 billion drain on the U.S. healthcare system each year — costs that are avoidable.


Given the alarming numbers, medication adherence has become part of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Prevention Focus, and U.S. surgeon general Dr. Regina Benjamin helped kick off the campaign on May 11 at The George Washington University Hospital.


Script Your Future aims to educate patients and offer tools to help them better adhere. Tools include free text message reminders, sample questions, medication lists, condition management sheets and fact sheets on common chronic conditions. Six regional city markets — Providence, R.I.; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati; Raleigh, N.C.; and Sacramento, Calif. — are piloting activities, research and advertising.


Events to date included: Elizabeth Rogers, lieutenant governor of Rhode Island, joined with the National Consumers League to launch the campaign in Providence on May 23. CVS Caremark, a national partner in the campaign, is headquartered in Rhode Island and participated in the launch. On June 7, the National Consumers League and lieutenant governor Walter Dalton gathered in Raleigh, N.C., for a launch event held at Kerr Drug, a campaign partner. And in Cincinnati, Dr. Daniel Acosta, dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati, and city council member Wendell Young helped kick off local Script Your Future efforts on May 18 at the CARE-Crawley Building, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.

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PHARMACY

New RCEC session tracks help retailers, clinics, health systems

BY Antoinette Alexander

ORLANDO, Fla. — With retail clinic sales rising an estimated 81% per year since 2005 and sales expansion projected to continue in the coming years, according to recent research, The Drug Store News Group and Retail Clinician magazine, in partnership with the Convenient Care Association, will host the fourth annual Retail Clinician Education Congress in August.


The three-day conference, which features three separate tracks of programming, including 14 live hours of continuing education for nurse practitioners working in a retail clinic setting, will convene from Aug. 1 to 3 at the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando, Fla.


“The value of healthcare services delivered in this healthcare segment is rapidly reaching $1 billion and growing in double digits. The effects of healthcare reform and the need to drive patients toward high-quality, affordable and accessible health care will continue to positively influence convenient care clinic growth and utilization,” said Wayne Bennett, publisher of The Drug Store News Group.


One key addition to RCEC 2012 is a Collaborative Care Track, which features six dually accredited continuing education sessions for both NPs and pharmacists. The purpose of this new, one-day track is to better align clinic and pharmacy staff. “We know the best health care in this country is provided by a team. We are excited to introduce the collaborative care track, which is a hallmark of how health care will be provided in the future,” noted Tine Hansen-Turton, CCA executive director.


Another new wrinkle in this year’s program is a special Executive and Health Systems Leadership Colloquium track. This track of sessions, which runs concurrent with other continuing education programming sessions, is designed to bring hospital executives and health system administrators together with retail operators looking to expand their scope of services.


“We have seen the traditional medical community make huge strides in terms of its acceptance of the retail clinic model,” noted The Drug Store News Group editor-in-chief Rob Eder. “What was once viewed as a ‘disruptive force’ in health care is now seen as complementary. For retail pharmacy operators across all channels, partnerships with local hospitals and healthcare systems offer an easier and lower-cost-of-entry option for opening a retail clinic.”

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PwC points health prospectors to retailers

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The booming healthcare market, which is expected to reach 19.6% of gross domestic product by 2019, is driving a surge of activity from companies looking to develop new products and services to bolster profits and create more convenient patient care, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute. 


“We really look at these prospectors as potentially very positive,” Ben Isgur, a director with PwC’s Health Research Institute, told Drug Store News. “This could be a way to make our system more efficient and cost-effective, and that is the injection of the private sector into the healthcare system.” 


Within the recently published report, “The New Gold Rush,” PwC Health Research Institute identified four main roles in which health prospectors — which are companies or individuals looking to profit in the health market — can likely come into the marketplace and flourish: fixers, implementers, connectors and retailers. It is the latter that especially caught the eye of DSN. 


Isgur explained that access is a big issue right now and that the implementation of healthcare reform is going to make access even tougher. Pharmacy retailers are ideally positioned to tackle the issue, as they not only have the footprint to provide customers greater access and deep customer relationships, but also understand supply chain and can help curb costs.


PwC highlighted Walgreens and its Take Care Health Systems business as just one example of a retailer moving beyond retail to the mass delivery of health services. PwC noted that Walgreens is expanding its clinics’ services to include more preventive services, such as health risk assessments and physicals. PwC also mentioned that Walgreens, through its Take Care business, is expanding its worksite clinics and pharmacy services. “With these changes, Walgreens is looking more and more like a healthcare provider. So, will other providers see Walgreens as a competitor? Or [as] a partner?” the PwC report asked. 


In response, Peter Hotz, group VP Walgreens health and wellness, said in a report, “A few years ago, hospitals didn’t even want to be in a conversation with us regarding our retail clinics. Now we’re meeting with them two or three times per week.”

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