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Study: Vaccinations in alternate settings like pharmacy save significant employer healthcare dollars

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — A study recently published in the Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation journal found that when more vaccinations are administered in an alternate setting, such as a pharmacy, employers realize a greater cost benefit. 

According to the study, in a typical U.S. population, an influenza immunization program will be cost-beneficial for employers when more than 37% of individuals receive vaccines in nontraditional settings, such as pharmacies. In a scenario where 50% of persons are vaccinated in nontraditional settings, estimated net savings were $6 per vaccinated employee or dependent. And immunization programs limited to a pharmacy setting produce an estimated net savings or $31 per vaccinated member.

"Although annual influenza vaccination could decrease the significant economic and humanistic burden of influenza in the United States, immunization rates are below recommended levels, and concerns remain whether immunization programs can be cost beneficial," stated Ian Duncan, the study’s lead author. "Both universal and targeted vaccination programs can be cost beneficial. Proper planning with cost models can help employers and policy makers develop strategies to improve the impact of immunization programs."


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ProPhase rejects Matrixx acquisition proposal

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Monday announced that it rejected an unsolicited, nonbinding proposal from Matrixx Initiatives to acquire the company for $1.40 per share in cash, subject to further due diligence by Matrixx.

ProPhase stock was up 20 cents to $1.39 in mid-afternoon trading.

Matrixx is the owner of the Zicam brand of cold and allergy products and is a direct competitor to ProPhase’s Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy product line.

On Sept. 4, Matrixx purchased for $200,000 a three-year option to acquire almost 1.5 million of the company’s common stock for $1.40 per share from Guy Quigley, ProPhase’s former chairman and CEO when the company was still known as Quigley’s. Matrixx also acquired from Quigley a voting proxy to vote the shares subject to the option.

"It remains our view that by investing in our Cold-Eeze brand, we are building our distribution platform and pipeline, which has led to securing increased shelf space with our retailers for the upcoming cold season, and which has provided us with the opportunity to introduce new and improved products, including the national launch of Cold-Eeze Oral Spray and Cold-Eeze Daytime/Nighttime QuickMelts for the upcoming cold season," ProPhase chairman and CEO Ted Karkus said.

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Walgreens, Rx Response augment disaster response solution

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Walgreens and Rx Response on Monday announced a new healthcare collaboration developed to help ensure patient access to medications following a natural disaster. 

"Medications, especially for those with chronic conditions, can be one of the most important health care needs that are difficult to meet in the aftermath of a natural disaster," stated Tim Belka, Walgreens director of global security services. "By giving people a place to go for information and critical pharmacy or health care services during a time of crisis, Walgreens and Rx Response can help with disaster relief efforts for impacted communities."

The relationship centers around the Rx Response Pharmacy Status Reporting Tool and enhancements made to that tool as a result of the Rx Response-Walgreens relationship. The PSRT is an online program that allows emergency managers and the public to readily locate open pharmacies in communities that have been impacted by severe weather or other events. The tool was first developed by Rx Response in 2009.

In partnership with the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, Emdeon/eRx and Relay Health, the PSRT monitors electronic billing transmissions from pharmacies to insurance processing companies. When a pharmacy is transmitting electronic billing data, it is presumed open and Rx Response posts the pharmacy’s location on an interactive map on the Rx Response website.

Walgreens will be the first U.S. pharmacy chain to provide status reports on its pharmacies directly to Rx Response, to help ensure more timely reporting on Walgreens stores able to help serve impacted communities.

The tool most recently was deployed in response to Hurricane Isaac and its enhanced capabilities provided federal, state and local emergency management officials with valuable assistance in the days following the hurricane.


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