PHARMACY

Washington Post: Clinics take burden off ER for less

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Washington Post op-ed column. —Establishing more retail-based clinics—and investing in such allied professionals as nurse practitioners—could be key to easing the pressure on overburdened emergency rooms. That advice is not coming from an executive at a retail-based clinic operator, or even an industry analyst; it’s from an emergency room doctor telling it like it is in a

It is no secret that ER visits have been—and continue to be—on the rise. However, if the recently passed healthcare-reform bill is not coupled with an aggressive game plan to deliver healthcare services to the millions of newly insured, the ER will continue to be the first place many seek care, the op-ed stated. One way to steer some of the patients with only minor ailments away from bottlenecked ERs: Establish more retail-based clinics.

“First, establish more offices and clinics that are not based in hospitals—and do not carry hospital overhead. The recent trend toward low-cost, retail- and pharmacy-based clinics has been a relative success for what these facilities offer: quick evaluation and treatment for simple problems. They have been found to cost less than one-fifth of what an ER costs for the same complaint.… Second, invest in allied professionals and paraprofessionals, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical technicians, to deliver much of this basic care. Training more primarycare physicians will not be enough,” the op-ed stated.

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Pennsylvania boosts pharmacists’ role; NACDS hails bid for collaboration

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a gesture hailed by retail pharmacy advocates, the Keystone State is moving to expand the role its pharmacists play in improving patient health and outcomes.

The move comes with enactment of a Pennsylvania law, H.B. 1041, which will open new opportunities for collaborative medication therapy management between physicians and pharmacists on behalf of patients in a community pharmacy setting. Previously, such team approaches were permitted only in such institutional settings as hospitals and nursing homes in the state. 

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores had high praise for the new law, calling it an “important victory,” and citing the efforts made by the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association toward its passage. “With the enactment of this legislation, Pennsylvania has said ‘yes’ to improving the health and lives of patients, and to reducing overall healthcare costs,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This new law recognizes the expertise of pharmacists, the accessibility of community pharmacy and the ability of pharmacists to help patients properly manage their health conditions for the well-being of patients and for the good of society.”

Pennsylvania is the 33rd state to allow collaborative drug therapy management in the community setting, according to NACDS research. “Nine states allow it in institutional settings only, and eight do not allow it at all,” noted the group Friday.

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Taro receives FDA approval for Kytril generic

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its generic version of a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients on chemotherapy, the Israeli generic drug maker said Friday.

The FDA approved Taro’s granisetron hydrochloride tablets in the 1-mg strength. The tablets are a generic version of Roche’s Kytril tablets.

Granisetron tablets had sales of around $15 million in 2009, according to unnamed industry sources cited by Taro.

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