Walgreens, Take Care Health Systems celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. One of the nation’s largest drug store chains and its retail clinic division are applauding healthcare professionals during National Nurse Practitioner Week.
National Nurse Practitioner Week, which is held from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, is sponsored by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. A 2009 RAND study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine notes that such retail health facilities as Take Care Clinics offer treatment of common ailments at a substantially lower cost than physician offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms while providing equal or better levels of care quality. Employer-based health and wellness centers typically provide a two to four dollar return on investment for employers who utilize them while improving the health and well-being of employee populations, according to Take Care Health Systems data.
“Nurse practitioners and other front-line healthcare providers are a vital part of Walgreens vision to provide greater access to high-quality, affordable health care that is convenient to communities where people work and live,” said Hal Rosenbluth, Walgreens SVP and president of Walgreens health and wellness division. “Both the advanced clinical education and holistic patient-centric focus which are synonymous with the nurse practitioner profession have served as a catalyst for care delivery innovations that have become a key component of the solution to the nation’s healthcare crisis.”
A wide array of healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, physical therapists, fitness and health coaches, x-ray technicians and others practice at Take Care Health facilities. The company is dedicated to empowering all health care professionals in an effort to address national healthcare challenges while creating paramount patient experiences.
“Unprecedented patient engagement scores and exceptional clinical outcomes at Take Care Clinics are a testament to the skill and ability of nurse practitioners to delight, treat and advocate for patients,” said Sandra Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Healthcare professionals across the country are relishing the opportunity to be a part of healthcare delivery models that challenge the status quo while improving access for all.”
NACDS battles House importation plan
ALEXANDRIA, Va. Chain pharmacy opposition to new drug importation proposals is growing in urgency, as momentum builds in Congress for legislation that would allow Americans to directly import pharmaceuticals from Canada and other countries for their own use.
The latest skirmish is brewing in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., has proposed an importation amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health Care for America Act. The amendment from Emerson, who is considered an advocate for community pharmacy on some other issues, would authorize the importation of prescription drugs.
In response, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores today sent a letter to House Rules Committee chairwoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter, D-N.Y., and ranking committee member David Drier, R-Calif., expressing alarm over the Emerson proposal. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson told the lawmakers that while the organization “shares the goal of reducing prescription drug costs,” its members fear that importation would put patients’ and consumers’ health and safety at risk, minimize the role of pharmacists in the dispensing of medication and counseling of patients, and adversely disrupt patient care and service.
“We do not believe that consumer safety can be assured under a prescription drug importation system,” Anderson wrote. “In addition to concerns about the safety and effectiveness of imported drugs, individuals who obtain medications through personal importation are less likely to benefit from the professional services of their local licensed pharmacists.”
NACDS’ CEO also expressed “serious safety and operational concerns” over the operation of a commercial importation industry. For instance, he noted, “the amendment would authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate the use of unproven ‘track and trace’ technologies that are costly and burdensome for the pharmacy industry and the healthcare system.” Such a system, Anderson told the House panel, would “add huge costs to prescription drug distribution,” and burden drug retailers and wholesalers with “complex, technically difficult” and “disruptive” changes.
The House proposal follows a similar move last month in the Senate, where NACDS has registered its opposition to the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009, or S. 1232. Like the Emerson amendment in the House, the Senate proposal would permit the personal and commercial importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other nations outside the purview of the Food and Drug Administration.
IMS Health agrees to acquisition by investment funds
NORWALK, Conn. Healthcare market intelligence firm IMS Health will be acquired by investment funds managed by private investment firm TPG Capital and the CPP Investment Board for $5.2 billion, IMS announced.
IMS’ board of directors agreed unanimously to the deal, whereby TPG will buy the firm for a total of $22 a share, including the assumption of debt.
“This transaction enables our shareholders to realize substantial value from their investment in IMS with an immediate cash premium, while at the same time strengthening our position to capture long-term growth opportunities,” IMS chairman and CEO David Carlucci said in a statement. “With the backing of world-class private equity partners, we will continue our focus on expanding into new markets, further improving the quality and depth of offerings we deliver to our clients and playing a bigger role in the healthcare market.”
IMS expects the deal to close by the end of first quarter 2010.