PHARMACY

Senators encourage GAO to investigate ways to collaborate on prescription drug abuse

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Several senators have requested that the Government Accountability Office look for ways to coordinate the efforts of law enforcement and public health agencies at various levels and nonprofit organizations to address prescription drug abuse.

In a letter addressed to GAO comptroller general Gene Dodaro, the senators wrote, “While many government health and enforcement agencies, public health groups and other stakeholders are working to reduce prescription drug abuse, we have a growing concern about the lack of coordination between the health and law enforcement agencies and stakeholders working to address this issue. Despite sincere efforts by both law enforcement and health providers to communicate, there are growing concerns that uncoordinated efforts could keep legitimate patients from getting access to the drugs they really need.”

The senators were Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who led the effort, as well as Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

The letter received support from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. “Community pharmacy appreciates the commitment of Sen. Boxer and Sen. Coburn to pursue a comprehensive approach to a complicated problem,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “To consider only one aspect of this issue would be a disservice to those whose health conditions require legitimate access to needed medications and to those affected in many ways by abuse and addiction. With this request for a GAO survey, Sen. Boxer and Sen. Coburn are asking the right questions, and the good of all Americans would be served by their receiving good answers.”

In other news, the NACDS said that NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd would address attendees of its RxImpact Day event during the welcoming dinner on March 13, while Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., would serve as the keynote speaker at the breakfast briefing the next morning. RxImpact Day, now in its fifth year, brings together pharmacy executives, pharmacists, pharmacy operators, students and others who meet with members of Congress to inform them about the issues facing the industry, as well as encouraging them to visit local community pharmacies in their home states and congressional districts as part of the RxImpact Pharmacy Tour program.


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PHARMACY

OutcomesMTM names top pharmacy-based MTM centers across the country

BY Michael Johnsen

DES MOINES, Iowa — OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, on Tuesday recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively.

In 2012, Walgreens embraced the MTM industry’s focus on the comprehensive medication review by designing a new pharmacy workflow for this service. The company’s commitment to providing the high-quality MTM services to its patients is also evident in the development of pharmacy performance monitoring reports now in place across the chain’s locations, OutcomesMTM noted. 

“Community pharmacists are well-positioned to support patients in managing their conditions and addressing the variety of issues they may face each day,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “From counseling patients on their medications to recommending ways around barriers to adherence, medication therapy management is helping to close gaps in therapy and resolve drug therapy problems. Our community pharmacists are practicing at the top of their license and playing a valuable role in helping to improve health outcomes.”

In 2012, Walgreens collaborated with OutcomesMTM to pilot a care transitions MTM program. Walgreens also was named the top chain in 2010.

Kerr Drug was named OutcomesMTM’s top regional chain for the fourth time in the last six years. With 96% of pharmacies participating, Kerr Drug was a leader in the identification and resolution of medication-related problems. MTM services delivered by Kerr Drug pharmacists in 2012 resulted in nearly $15 million in avoided healthcare costs, OutcomesMTM reported. 

“At Kerr Drug, we are extremely pleased once again to be recognized with this accomplishment. We have worked very hard to have MTM services integrated into the daily practice of pharmacy at Kerr Drug,” stated Mark Gregory, Kerr Drug SVP store operations. “Most of all, we are proud of the impact our pharmacists have had on the thousands of patients who have benefited from these invaluable services.”

OutcomesMTM also named, by region, 25 top-performing MTM centers:

  • Walgreen Drug Store 11505 in Nashua, N.H., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 1, representing New Hampshire and Maine;

  • Tai Tung Pharmacy in Boston has been named the top MTM Center in Region 2, representing Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont;

  • Rite Aid Pharmacy 01617 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 3, representing New York;

  • Supervalu – 7917 Savon Pharmacy in Bridgeton, N.J., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 4, New Jersey;

  • Walgreens 05331 in Baltimore has been named the top MTM Center in Region 5 — representing Delaware, District of Columbia and Maryland;

  • Kroger Pharmacy 016202 in Wheeling, W.V., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 6, representing Pennsylvania and West Virginia;

  • Kerr Dug Store 329 in Sparta, N.C., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 7, representing North Carolina and Virginia;

  • Walgreens 10796 in Albany, Ga., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 8, representing Georgia and South Carolina;

  • Winn Dixie Pharmacy 0226 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 9, Florida;

  • Bubba’s Medicine Shop in Opelika, Ala., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 10, representing Alabama and Tennessee;

  • Meijer Pharmacy 027 in Ypsilanti, Mich., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 11, representing Michigan;

  • Kroger Pharmacy 016221 in Columbus, Ohio, has been named the top MTM Center in Region 12, representing Ohio;

  • Walgreens 05436 in Louisville, Ky., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 13, Kentucky and Indiana;

  • Walgreens 05234 in Chicago has been named the top MTM Center in Region 14, representing Illinois and Wisconsin;

  • Walgreens 07718 in Fayetteville, Ark., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 15, representing Arkansas and Missouri;

  • Fred’s Pharmacy 2029 in Gautier, Miss., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 16, representing Mississippi and Louisiana;

  • Cantus Pharmacy in Edinburg, Texas, has been named the top MTM Center in Region 17, representing Texas;

  • Walgreens 05769 in Wichita, Kansas, has been named the top MTM Center in Region 18, representing Kansas and Oklahoma;

  • Walgreens 13880 in Sauk Rapids, Minn., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 19, representing Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming;

  • Ordway Healthmart Pharmacy in Ordway, Colo., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 20, representing Colorado and New Mexico;

  • Walgreens 04543 in Gilbert, Ariz., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 21, representing Arizona;

  • Kmart Pharmacy 4369 in Las Vegas has been named the top MTM Center in Region 22, representing Nevada;

  • Rite Aid Pharmacy 05271 in Tacoma, Wash., has been named the top MTM Center in Region 23, representing Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Utah;

  • Walgreens 02660 in Fremont, Calif., has been named the MTM Center in Region 24, representing California;

  • Maui Clinic Pharmacy in Kahului, Hawaii, has been named the MTM Center in Region 25, representing Hawaii; and

  • Seleh in Los Angeles, has been named the top alternative location for 2012. Alternative locations represent non-dispensing MTM Centers in the OutcomesMTM network.

To be eligible for selection, a pharmacy must have achieved a “Best in Class” designation from OutcomesMTM while providing a wide range of covered services. Selection of top MTM centers is driven by such factors as patients served, TIP metrics and Comprehensive Medication Review performance.


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PHARMACY

Ranbaxy to market antidepressant drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Ranbaxy Labs will market a drug for depression under an agreement with another company, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Ranbaxy said it had entered an in-licensing agreement with Alembic Pharmaceuticals to market desvenlafaxine base extended-release tablets. Alembic is the sponsor of a new drug application filed with the Food and Drug Administration for the drug, which is bioequivalent to Pfizer’s Pristiq. Pristiq had sales of $590 million during the 12-month period that ended in January.

"Ranbaxy is pleased to partner with Alembic to offer a safe, effective, affordable generic alternative to the brand formulation much ahead of the patent expiration," Ranbaxy VP trade sales and distribution for North America Bill Winter said. "We are committed to expand our portfolio of products offered in the U.S. market for the benefit of patients, prescribers and the U.S. healthcare system."

 

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