PHARMACY

Walmart further emphasizes pharmacy, health services with Lewis hire

BY Mike Troy

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Walmart’s hiring of Dijuana Lewis is yet another sign the company no longer is content being a fast-follower when it comes to its pharmacy and healthcare businesses, whereas a decade ago, Walmart’s emphasis was on simply operating pharmacies, filling as many prescriptions as possible and keeping up with chain drug leaders who were setting the pace in terms of innovative programs.

(THE NEWS: Healthcare exec joins Walmart. For the full story, click here.)

These days, it’s more about developing innovative programs and finding new ways to extend its reach into pharmacy and health services that align with the company’s value proposition of helping people save money so they can live better.

Lewis’ background and accomplishments at Wellpoint suggest she is ideally suited for Walmart. The Indiana native spent 16 years at the healthcare company holding a variety of roles, but what stands out is the fact that many of those roles were focused on improving efficiency, reducing costs and delivering an improved experience for customers. Sounds like an ideal fit for Walmart, as the company looks to play a bigger role in influencing the nation’s healthcare delivery system and then profiting from those changes.

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PHARMACY

Who better than pharmacy to boost medication compliance?

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Farmers and tradesmen. That’s who politicians used to be. Back then, legislative initiatives weren’t splintered by a hundred different agendas. But the reality of today’s lawmaking process is so much more convoluted; that’s why educating policy-makers around the hardwood issues is so paramount.

(THE NEWS: NACDS president opines about the cost of medication nonadherence. For the full story, click here.)

And you can’t get much more paramount than the cost of health care. That really gets to the roots in all of this healthcare reform. It’s become a question of how do you deliver on yesterday’s promise of Medicare and Medicaid today and at the same time budget for it tomorrow?

That’s why this kind of independent editorial content is so valuable. While the advertisers supporting this Media Planet publication — full-page advertisers included Cardinal Health, CVS Caremark, McKesson and Merck — all may have a stake in the outcome, the indisputable fact remains that increased medication compliance saves dollars. And the medical profession best equipped to augment that compliance is pharmacy.

NACDS, of course, isn’t the only association trumpeting a quantified healthcare value. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is about to set off an advocacy campaign of its own, targeting Congress that will seek to do for the medicine cabinet what “Got Milk?” did for the dairy case.

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PHARMACY

Julie Philp joins NACDS

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has hired Julie Philp as director of federal affairs to bring additional pharmacy and legislative expertise to the government affairs team. She joins NACDS on April 11.

"Julie is a seasoned advocate with experience in pharmacy and on Capitol Hill, and she will bring a wealth of expertise to NACDS," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "NACDS members will enjoy working with Julie, and we are pleased to welcome her to NACDS’ highly effective team."

Philp, who will report to Paul Kelly, NACDS VP federal government affairs, will play a critical role in conveying to lawmakers the ability of pharmacy services to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient health. She will help advance NACDS’ pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy advocacy efforts by building and maintaining relationships with members of Congress and their staff, as well as monitoring key healthcare developments on Capitol Hill.

Philp served as director of government relations for the Association of Community Pharmacists and worked with the American Capitol Group on healthcare issues. She also has worked in legislative capacities for Reps. John Campbell, R-Calif.; Michael Burgess, R-Texas; and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

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