PHARMACY

AAP, FDS partner to boost pharmacy members’ profitability

BY Sandra Levy

The American Associated Pharmacies and FDS, a pharmacy-centric healthcare technology company, are partnering to bring AAP members ProfitAmp, a groundbreaking business analytics tool to improve their pharmacies’ performance and profitability.

ProfitAmp provides powerful business intelligence and a unique level of detail that cannot be obtained with other BI tools on the market, according to the company.

“FDS is committed to helping pharmacies improve efficiency while positively impacting their bottom line, a mission that aligns well with AAP’s goal of providing member pharmacies with tools to enhance profitability, streamline operations and improve care quality,” AAP’s vice president of preferred partners Tracie Heyrman said. “Partnering with FDS to bring our members impactful BI solutions from an industry-leading technology company was a natural pairing, one we expect will deliver significant value and rapid ROI, while improving patient outcomes and strengthening the pharmacy-patient relationship.”

Available exclusively to AAP members, ProfitAmp delivers a deeper look into pharmacy operations, including an analysis of dispensing data through the Pharmacy Management System to identify key dispensing trends, lost patients and income opportunities. It also enables AAP to design organizational strategies around the health of its community to improve member pharmacies’ revenues and profits based on aggregate membership performance.

“The goal of this partnership is to continue providing AAP members with the solutions they needed to excel in today’s pharmacy marketplace. Our business intelligence and analytics tools leverage data from their existing pharmacy systems to drive financial, clinical and operational growth, and improve patient outcomes,” FDS executive vice president of business development Rich Bukovinsky said. “We take pride in the continued confidence and trust that AAP has placed in FDS’ products and services, and look forward to delivering true value to its member pharmacies.”

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FDA approves Teva’s Cassipa for treatment of opioid dependence

BY Sandra Levy

The Food and Drug Administration has given the nod to Teva’s Cassipa (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film, or applied under the tongue, for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. This action provides a new dosage strength (16 ml/4 ml) of buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film, which also is approved in both brand name and generic versions, as well as in various strengths.

“There’s an urgent need to ensure access to, and wider use and understanding of, medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. The introduction of new treatment options has the potential to broaden access for patients. For example, the FDA recently described a streamlined approach to drug development for certain medication-assisted treatments that are based on buprenorphine. This streamlined approach can reduce drug development costs, so products may be offered at a lower price to patients, and we can broaden access to treatment,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb also said that the FDA is committed to helping those with opioid use disorder transition to lives of sobriety.

“We’ve taken a number of steps to advance the development of new FDA-approved treatments for opioid dependence and encourage healthcare professionals to ensure patients are offered an adequate chance to benefit from these therapies. We’re also working to address the unfortunate stigma that’s sometimes associated with the use of opioid replacement therapy as one approach to the successful treatment of addiction. Despite what some may think, individuals who successfully transition onto medication-assisted treatment are not swapping one addiction for another. Opioid replacement therapy can be an important part of effective treatment. Opioid use disorder should be viewed similarly to any other chronic condition that is treated with medication,” Gottlieb said in a statement.

In June, the FDA approved the first generic versions of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film in multiple strengths.

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CVS Health continues instituting programs addressing the opioid crisis

BY Sandra Levy

In its continuing effort to eliminate the abuse and misuse of prescription opioids, CVS Health has launched such programs and initiatives as
increasing access to safe medication disposal sites by installing 750 safe medication disposal units within CVS Pharmacy locations.

Combined with the more than 900 units donated to local law enforcement, the company has facilitated placement of more than 1,650 units nationwide. In total, these units have collected more than 436,000 pounds, or 198 metric tons, of unwanted medication.

CVS Caremark has implemented criteria to help adopting clients manage opioid utilization in a manner consistent with the Centers for Disease Control Guideline. For clients adopting this utilization management criterion the number of prescriptions covered for more than a seven-day supply decreased by 71.9%. Among those clients, the number of prescriptions covered for a seven-day supply or less is now 94.3%, according to CVS.

CVS Pharmacy also has implemented an industry-leading program to increase access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone in 48 states where patients do not require an individual prescription.

Following the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose in April 2018, the company further expanded efforts to educate patients about naloxone. Today, all CVS Pharmacy locations have in-store signage and in-store radio messages to educate patients about the availability and accessibility of the life-saving drug.

“Providing guidance to retail pharmacy patients new to an opioid prescription, our pharmacist-led patient counseling has educated nearly three million patients on safe opioid use and the dangers of addiction over the past five months. In communities nationwide, our pharmacists educate on use, risks, storage and disposal in line with the CDC Guideline,” the retailer said.

Since 2015, CVS has had its own pharmacist-led prevention education program, Pharmacists Teach, which has educated more than 400,000 teens and parents on the dangers of teens misusing prescription drugs.

CVS Health said it is also providing grants to 21 community health centers across the U.S. that deliver medication-assisted treatment and other addiction recovery services. The program will reach nearly 350,000 patients and support 115 physicians working to increase access to medication-assisted treatment.

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