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Thorne Research, Integrative Health Resources collaborate on sports nutrition line

BY Michael Johnsen

SANDPOINT, Idaho — Thorne Research on Tuesday announced the development of a line of nutritional supplements targeting athletes under the banner Thorne Performance, in collaboration with Integrative Health Resources. 

"Nutritional supplementation plays a significant role is athletic performance, and nutritional deficits and overtraining can lead to a diminished ability to recover and a greater likelihood of injury," stated Paul Jacobson, Thorne CEO. "Thorne Performance aims to be the leader in sports-based nutritional supplementation by meeting the demands of individuals who regularly engage in intense physical activity and lead active lifestyles." 

"In many of our programs, including Life Time Fitness and Corvette Racing, we have seen firsthand the need for innovation in managing the metabolism of people who exercise at any level," added James LaValle, clinical pharmacist and CEO of Integrative Health Resources and partner at Thorne Performance. "The Thorne Performance credo, ‘Purely Driven,’ embodies our philosophy:  products that are pure, targeted and of the highest quality. Coupled with a renowned team experienced in the needs of people who train, this new resource will help athletes at every level to push themselves to their personal limits." 


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NCPA independent pharmacist survey challenges abusive auditing practices

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

NCPA polled more than 350 community pharmacists about their recent experience with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers and other Medicare Part D plan intermediaries. The survey also asked about generic drug reimbursement caps known as maximum allowable costs (MACs). 

Among the findings:

  • 96% stated that a typical PBM contract has minimal or no transparency on how generic pricing is determined or what the reimbursement rate will be;

  • Almost 50% of respondents said that more than 10% of the time, PBMs set MAC reimbursement for generics below the pharmacy’s cost of simply acquiring the drug, much less dispensing and overhead costs; In addition, 92% said payments are not increased promptly to reflect a drug’s rising market costs;

  • 3-in-4 pharmacists said audit requirements across Medicare Part D plans are not consistent, increasing their compliance burden; and

  • Nearly 87% stated that PBM reimbursement and auditing practices are “significantly” or “very significantly” affecting their ability to provide patient care and remain in business.

When asked which drugs had MAC limits set below the pharmacy’s cost of acquiring the product, more than 600 drugs were identified, including budesonide (for asthma); atorvastatin (cholesterol); clarithromycin (antibiotic); fentanyl patches (pain); hydrocodone (pain/inflammation); and methylprednisolone (steroid for allergic reactions, skin conditions and breathing disorders).


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LoyaltyOne: Consumers less willing to share personal information with companies

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Consumers continue to be cautious about sharing their personal information, according to an online survey conducted by LoyaltyOne, a global provider of coalition loyalty, customer analytics and loyalty services.

Among 1,000 respondents surveyed, LoyaltyOne found that 78% of them do not feel they receive any benefit at all from sharing information, up from 74% in 2011; less than half feel that companies use their personal data to better serve the consumer, an 11% slip from 2011; and 62% said they would share more personal data if it meant receiving relevant product and service offers, down from 66% in 2011.

"These responses point to an unmistakable trend. Marketers’ efforts to create relevant customer experiences through data need to be re-addressed or they run the risk of their efforts not resonating with customers," LoyaltyOne president Bryan Pearson said. "Consumers are disappointed. For years they’ve provided their valuable information and they’re not realizing something of suitable worth in return. If businesses don’t act quickly to demonstrate they have the consumer’s best interest at heart, they risk an erosion of the business-to-consumer relationship."

The survery also found that only 50% said they’d be willing to give a trusted company their religious affiliation, followed by their political affiliation and sexual orientation (both 49%), health information (36%), mental health information (26%), browsing history (24%) and smartphone location and number of sexual partners (tied at 15% each). Last on the list was their social security number (11%).

For detailed results of the report, click here.

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