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SoloHealth Stations to roll out in Sam’s Club locations nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Sam’s Club has become the first warehouse club retailer to install SoloHealth’s comprehensive health-and-wellness screening kiosks, SoloHealth announced Wednesday.

SoloHealth said it will begin the rollout of its SoloHealth Station to more than 500 Sam’s Club locations nationwide. The kiosks, currently available in select U.S. retail locations, is expected to be in more than 2,500 retail locations by mid-2013.

"Providing innovative, preventative products and wellness services to our members is a major priority for Sam’s Club," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "As the first warehouse club retailer to install the SoloHealth Station for our members, Sam’s Club continues to deliver on that priority, providing support of preventive health to our communities and enabling our members to take charge of their health."

The SoloHealth Station provides health screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index, a symptom checker as well as an overall health assessment free of charge. The kiosk received the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval this past June and also was recently honored with Intel’s coveted IT healthcare award, the "Intel Innovation Award."

"Sam’s Club shares our commitment of empowering consumers to take charge of their health," SoloHealth founder and CEO Bart Foster said. "We believe that awareness and education are keys to a healthy lifestyle, and we’re bringing a comprehensive self-service technology to neighborhood Sam’s Club locations nationwide. We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Sam’s Club and look forward to continuing to grow the SoloHealth Station presence with our retailer partners."


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Astellas applies for FDA approval of organ transplant drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The U.S. subsidiary of Japanese drug maker Astellas is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.

Astellas Pharma US said it applied with the FDA for approval of tacrolimus extended-release capsules to prevent rejection of transplanted kidneys in adults and transplanted livers in men. The drug was approved in Europe in 2007 under the name Advagraf and under the name Graceptor in Japan in 2008; the drug has been approved in 69 countries so far.

"There remains a large, unmet treatment need for transplant recipients who have a difficult time controlling their immunosuppression drug levels with existing products," Astellas global therapeutic area head for transplantation Roy First said. "Astellas believes tacrolimus extended-release capsules, given the efficacy, safety profile and unique dosing schedule, offer a potentially promising treatment option for recipients."


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Cardinal Health initiates Medicare awareness effort in advance of healthcare-reform changes

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health this week announced that it is kicking off an effort to encourage its retail pharmacy customers to educate their patients about new Medicare benefits and options that will be available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act starting in 2013.

“It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to fully understand their coverage options, and the new benefits and services that are available to them starting in 2013,” stated Jon Giacomin, president of U.S. Pharmaceutical Distribution for Cardinal Health. “Cardinal Health passionately believes that community pharmacists can play a powerful role in helping patients better manage their health — and in helping patients make more informed decisions about their health care.”

In preparation for the Medicare open enrollment period, which kicks off Oct. 15, the Department of Health and Human Services recently made available an array of materials to educate patients about new Medicare benefits — which include new preventive services, such as mammograms and annual wellness visits, as well as new prescription drug savings options.

Cardinal Health is supporting HHS’s educational campaign by promoting these educational materials among its retail pharmacy customers, including several hundred regional chain pharmacy locations and more than 7,500 independent pharmacies, nationwide.

The company also is hosting a series of webinars for its retail pharmacy customers — aimed at ensuring pharmacists and pharmacy owners are familiar with these free patient educational materials. The webinars also will reinforce the important role community pharmacists can play in ensuring patients are aware of their Medicare coverage options.


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