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Shoppers Drug Mart’s new physician portal marks first of its kind in Canada

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart has announced the launch of the Shoppers Health Care Portal, a website designed to provide Canadian healthcare professionals with access to drug reimbursement information and clinical tools with the goal of improving patient care.

The first of its kind in Canada, the Shoppers Health Care Portal is a Web-based application available to physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The portal will give registered users access to drug coverage reimbursement and clinical eligibility criteria for more than 200 special authorization medications, as well as patient assistant program information.

"As a patient-focused organization, Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix is dedicated to making health information and services available to the communities we serve," stated Dorian Lo, EVP pharmacy and health care. "The Shoppers Health Care Portal will help to provide physicians and extended healthcare teams with key reimbursement information and requirements needed to ensure their patients receive the most appropriate medications for their condition."

In addition to drug coverage information, registered users also will have access to the British Medical Journal’s Clinical Assessment Tool Best Practice, which provides information on more than 10,000 conditions, Lexi-CALC medical calculators, the Lexi-Interact drug interaction database, printable patient handouts by condition, links to allied health resources and more.

"Drug reimbursement guidelines can be complicated and can require lengthy interpretation and advocacy for patients who require medications that are subject to restrictions," added John Esdaile, scientific director of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada and professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia. "The introduction of this portal provides improved access to the information and resources needed to determine the clinical and reimbursement requirements that should result in a greater number of Canadians receiving optimal treatment at an affordable cost."

"There are significant gaps in treatment and care for people living with arthritis," stated Cheryl Koehn, founder and president of Arthritis Consumer Experts and Joint Health. "One of these gaps lies in the lack of clarity and information provided to the patient required for appropriate reimbursement for prescription medications related to the treatment of the disease. The launch of this portal will give physicians the information they need at their fingertips to help their patients with medication reimbursement, which will ultimately lead to improved patient care and health outcomes."

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Bayer names Philip Blake to lead U.S. operations

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Bayer on Tuesday announced that on July 1, Philip Blake will become senior Bayer representative USA, following a common company practice of assigning this oversight role to a senior executive already holding a significant business role or roles within the region.

“Phil Blake is a highly valued and respected leader at Bayer,” stated Richard Pott, member of the management board of Bayer. “Having been with Bayer for more than 30 years, he brings a wealth of experience to this new role.”

In this new role, Blake assumes leadership of Bayer corporate operations in the U.S. from Greg Babe, who recently announced his planned retirement from Bayer. In 2011, Bayer’s U.S. operations recorded annual sales of $9.8 billion.

Blake has also been named Bayer healthCare representative USA and will maintain his position as U.S. region head of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the U.S.-based specialty pharmaceuticals division of Bayer HealthCare.

With construction underway for a new consolidated U.S. Bayer HealthCare site in Whippany, N.J., Blake will maintain his primary office in that location.

Blake was previously head of Bayer Inc., a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG, and head of Bayer HealthCare in Canada. In his 30-year career with Bayer, Blake has held leadership positions around the world focusing on global strategic product marketing, business development, clinical planning, product development and sales management.

Blake attended Bristol University and Oxford University Business School in the United Kingdom, with extended business training at INSEAD Fontainbleu in Paris, France, and the Wharton Business School in Philadelphia. He is also a Chartered Corporate Director – earning this designation in 2006 from the Directors College at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University.

He is married and has two children.
 

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Healthcare providers driving surge in downloads of healthcare-related apps

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The market for healthcare-related software apps for use in mobile devices has grown and will continue to grow quickly, according to Kalorama Information report released Tuesday. The market for mobile medical apps was worth about $150 million in 2011.

The conversion of major healthcare organizations to electronic medical record systems and the breadth of medical apps available are driving purchases, the medical research firm noted. Not only is the medical community using smartphones and their applications for basic work, but it’s reporting the use of smartphones to perform some of the work that would have previously been done on a desktop or laptop computer.

The growing use of mobile devices and medical applications for these devices has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to provide more oversight in this segment, Kalorama noted.

"The medical app market is growing at a faster rate than the standard app market," stated Melissa Elder, author of the report. "They are being heavily utilized by professionals and welcomed by healthcare organizations seeking to make workers more productive."

While the overall mobile app market is expected to continue to display strong double-digit growth through 2016, the medical app market will also continue to grow but at a faster rate. Although they make up just 1% to 2% of the entire market for mobile apps, Kalorama finds that healthcare apps will grow 25% annually over the next five years, compared to 23% growth estimated for the standard apps market. The growing number of healthcare professionals utilizing these apps in everyday business activities is contributing to the market segment growing at a faster rate than some other categories of apps.

Part of the revenue growth is being driven by prices rather than volume, according to the report. Despite the higher price tag for most medical apps (averaging $15 per app), the number of downloads is lower than other categories, keeping medical apps high growth-wise but on the lower end of total dollars earned in comparison to other app areas.

 

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