Walgreens creates health and wellness research depot with new website
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced the launch of its Center for Health & Wellbeing Research, a website that features more than 50 Walgreens outcomes studies completed over the past six years. Areas of research include access to care and patient experience, adherence and clinical outcomes, digital health and member engagement, health care costs, HIV and specialty pharmacy, vaccinations and more.
“We are thrilled to be unveiling the Walgreens Center for Health & Wellbeing Research,” stated Harry Leider, chief medical officer and group VP, Walgreens. “Our goal is, through scientific research, to help improve patient care and outcomes while lowering health care costs. We are dedicated to providing value to health care on a national scale and the Walgreens Center for Health & Wellbeing Research will showcase the work we are doing every day to advance that mission.”
Visitors to the site will find summaries, links and original documents related to company research reports and studies that have been published in peer-reviewed medical and health care publications, as well as presented at scientific and industry conferences.
Walgreens is working with academic institutions on its research, including Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Scripps Translational Science Institute, the University of California, San Francisco – School of Pharmacy and the University of Chicago Medicine. The institutions provide guidance, specialized expertise and industry insights that contribute to the Walgreens outcomes research agenda. Researchers from Walgreens and these institutions actively collaborate on a variety of research studies.
“Walgreens has been a valued partner in a long-standing and productive collaboration, which has given our clinical and research faculty the opportunity to develop, implement and evaluate novel programs to reach patients where they are to improve their access to quality care,” said Jeanne Clark, a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins medical director for its collaboration with Walgreens. “We are looking forward to continuing our work together.”
The Walgreens Center for Health & Wellbeing Research is led by a team of more than 25 Walgreens health services researchers, clinicians, statisticians, public health practitioners, actuaries and data scientists.
NACDS discusses opioids in meeting with HHS Sec. Price
ARLINGTON, Va. — National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson on Monday participated in a meeting with Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price about pharmacy’s engagement in solutions to the opioid epidemic.
“NACDS appreciates Secretary Price’s outreach, his sincere desire to learn more about pharmacy’s current role in addressing opioid issues, and his interest in identifying opportunities for HHS to assist in these efforts,” Anderson said. “With all parties acknowledging the tremendous impact inflicted by this issue on communities and families across the nation, we had an excellent discussion about the extensive collaboration and focus that is needed to help solve the problem. We value the Secretary’s appreciation of pharmacy’s zero tolerance for drug abuse and diversion and its 100-percent commitment to patient care.
Anderson said that NACDS' comments shared with the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis were discussed in the meeting. Following the release of the Commission’s preliminary report, Anderson had called for a “national curiosity” around the issue.
NASP launches resource site about DIR Fees
WASHINGTON — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy on Monday launched a new resource hub built around educating patients and pharmacists about the impact the organization sees direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees having on specialty pharmacies and the patients they serve.
“Big Pharmacy Benefit Management firms have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated and opaque that very few people understand how they impact sick seniors enrolled in Medicare,” NASP executive director Sheila Arquette said. “DIR fees endanger the integrity of the Medicare Part D program, which is intended to ensure quality, satisfaction, and cost effectiveness for sick seniors across the nation.”
StopDIRfees.com is aimed at showing how NASP sees access clinical and patient support services being reduced by DIR fees. The organization also highlighted new research showing the increased out-of-pocket costs caused by Medicare Part D benefit design, rebates and remunerations. It includes information and testimonials about how DIR fees are imposed, as well as an online petition and contact information for elected officials.
“Big PBMs risk putting profits over patients, and squeezing out the specialty pharmacies working as an extension of physicians treating sick seniors as they manage complex, life-altering, or life-threatening diseases,” Avella Specialty Pharmacy CEO and NASP president Rebecca Shanahan said. “It’s time for Washington to take action by requiring PBMs to stop DIR fees and enhance transparency by opening up their ‘black box’ of information. We need big PBMs to engage in an open and honest discussion around containing prescription medication costs for sick seniors, and work with specialty pharmacies to establish standards and incentives that apply to the unique services provided or patients treated by specialty pharmacies.”