PHARMACY

6 trends driving pharmacy’s future

BY DSN STAFF

Where is the pharmacy industry heading as it focuses on creating enhanced patient experiences?

At the DSN Industry Issues Summit Chris Dimos, president of retail solutions at McKesson, outlined six key trends, including:

  1. Product Mix Shift: “Brands dominated, then a generic wave came in, and now the wave of specialty and biosimilars are taking off. This evolution changes the patient’s experiences with those products.”
  2. Government Repositioning: “We’re seeing changes in how we’re going to think about government involvement, and as more people age into Medicaid and Medicare, how that will influence our patients’ experiences and our practices.”
  3. Pricing Pressures: “These have been around forever. I don’t think anybody comes in and says, ‘I’d like to pay you more for prescription reimbursement.’ For those retailers in the room, if you do, I’d love to know who that is, because I haven’t seen it in my 30-plus years in the industry. But, there is a willingness to reimburse services that lead to an enhanced patient experience.”
  4. Industry Consolidation: “We’re seeing consolidation both vertically and horizontally. These consolidations create both threats and opportunities, but most of the time there’s an opportunity to have new and creative solutions come about.”
  5. New Entrants: “Nontraditional health care new entrants are changing and shaping the way that health care will be provided in the future.”
  6. Digital Impact: “One of the most impactful trends is consumerism. Patients are saying, ‘I want to take more control of my own journey, and I want to have the tools associated to be able to create that journey.’”
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PHARMACY

Webinar to focus on flu prevention in older adults

BY David Salazar

Sanofi Pasteur will be offering a live educational webcast for pharmacists aimed at helping pharmacists understand the impact the flu can have on older patients and those with chronic conditions.

The webinar, “The Role of the of the Pharmacist in Helping to Prevent Influenza in Older Adults,” will be presented by Michael Hogue, dean of the Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy and speaker of the American Pharmacists Association House of Delegates. Recently, it was announced that Hogue was elected president-elect of the APhA, an office he will assume in 2019-2020 prior to taking over as APhA’s 165th president in March 2020.

The presentation will focus on the medical burden and economic impact of the flu on patients older than 50 years old, as well as how the flu can exacerbate chronic conditions. It will feature a review of data on two flu vaccines that were compared to standard-dose flu vaccines for efficacy and safety in older adults. It also will feature strategies to improve immunization rates to prevent the flu in older patients.

The webinar will take place Jan. 24 at 12:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. EST. To register, click here.

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PHARMACY

Industry groups urge members to submit DIR comments to CMS by Jan. 25

BY Sandra Levy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association are urging member companies to submit official comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in support of direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR fee, reform concepts described in the agency’s proposed rule, “Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses.”

The deadline to submit comments is Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. EST.

NACDS said it encourages members to convey in their comments that DIR fee reform is vital for helping to reduce patients’ out-of-pocket drug costs at the pharmacy counter, and for the viability of pharmacy patient care and the value that this care creates in the form of reductions in overall healthcare costs.

Members also should urge CMS to take swift action on the DIR fee reform aspects of “file code CMS-4180-P – and to assure that DIR fee reform is implemented for plan year 2020,” NACDS said.

NCPA is directing members and patients to visit its home page at www.ncpanet.org and click on #FixDIR to submit comments.

Other tips for submitting impactful comments include the following: reference file code CMS-4180-P at the top of your company’s comments; review the detailed submission instructions outlined on the first page of the proposed rule and ensure sufficient time for mailed submissions to arrive by Jan. 25; and share with NACDS an electronic copy of your company’s comments by emailing the document to [email protected]

For further information, NACDS members can contact Tom O’Donnell, NACDS’ senior vice president of government affairs and public policy, at (703) 837-4216 or at [email protected]

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