PHARMACY

Diplomat acquires Houston-based Affinity Biotech

BY David Salazar
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy on Wednesday announced that it had completed an acquisition of Affinity Biotech, a specialty pharmacy and infusion services company based in Houston, Texas, providing treatments and nursing services for patients with hemophilia. 
 
Diplomat acquired the company for $16 million in cash and up to an additional $4 million in contingent payments. 
 
 “Affinity Biotech’s established presence in Texas and New York opens new sales synergies and opportunities,” Diplomat CEO and chairman Phil Hagerman said. “The New York facility allows us to open the door to service the state’s 4.8 million Medicaid patients. Further, the purchase of a second Texas facility builds upon our service to the state’s 3.7 million Medicaid patients. By adding a presence in New York City and Houston, we strengthen Diplomat’s footprint in primary geographic markets and make our organic growth opportunities and our services stronger in the evolving specialty pharmacy landscape.”
 
Diplomat VP and president of Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group Phil Reilly said, “Our partnership with Affinity Biotech will build upon our dedication to being the country’s most patient-centered specialty pharmacy.”
 
Affinity Biotech generated an estimated $27 million in revenue in 2016 and $3 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 
 
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PHARMACY

New pharmacist nutrient depletion tool introduced by iMedicare

BY Brian Berk

NEW YORK — IMedicare introduced a nutrient depletion tool intended to help pharmacies increase profits outside of the annual Medicare enrollment period.

Outside of open enrollment, the iMedicare platform offers various opportunities for pharmacies to consult with patients, increase reimbursements and manage DIR fees. Automatically generated lists are provided relating to improving pharmacy Star Ratings, identifying newly eligible Medicare patients, time-saving outreach options for Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries with year-round opportunities and accessibility to a formulary lookup tool which provides patients with alternative coverage options and pricing for drugs or Medicare plans.

“Our engineering team has developed an intuitive way for pharmacies to identify patients at risk for drug-induced nutrient depletion. The decision-platform seamlessly integrates into pharmacies’ workflows to effectively engage patients for better health outcomes while also increasing pharmacy revenue,” said Matthew Johnson, Pharm.D., co-founder and COO of iMedicare.

Whit Moose, head pharmacist and owner of Moose Pharmacy in Mount Pleasant, N.C., an early adopter of iMedicare’s nutrient depletion platform, will hold a webinar to discuss best practices for pharmacies looking to expand patient offerings in nutrient depletion counseling. For more information on the webinar, click here.

IMedicare is a decision-automation platform that intelligently reduces patients’ out-of-pocket costs for the top pharmacies across the country. Over 5,000 pharmacies use iMedicare.

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En-Vision America expands offerings

BY David Salazar

Since it launched its ScripTalk audible labels, En-Vision America has worked to make prescription labels more accessible for patients who might be visually impaired and thus require an audible label, larger print label or Braille label. And this year, the company is expanding its accessibility by offering label translations into 17 languages.

“We’ve always been in vision impairment and we’ve been doing that for more than 20 years. This is another offering for folks who don’t have English as their primary language,” En-Vision America VP and CTO David Raistrick told Drug Store News.

ScripTalk is at the center of the company’s ScripAbility suite of pharmacy solutions. Patients request a ScripTalk Station that is provided on loan by En-Vision America, and the participating pharmacy places an adhesive RFID tag onto the patient’s medication when filling it. When the bottle is placed on the Scrip-Talk Station, the label will be read aloud to the patient.

In addition to the dosage information that’s read aloud, patients are given an interactive voice response, or IVR, phone number that they call to have the educational leaflets that accompany their prescription read aloud. And if a patient has a Braille terminal attached to their computer display, the ScripTalk station plugs into a computer via USB and the label information will be sent to the Braille terminal. This is especially important for those who are deaf and blind.

“What we’re all about is giving label access to individuals [who] currently don’t have it,” Raistrick said. “We started with ScripTalk, and over the last three years we’re really getting traction in the marketplace. We’re excited about that.”

The traction that En-Vision America has built recently includes both national and regional chains. Walmart began offering ScripTalk in 2012, and in February 2016 Rite Aid made it possible for patients to request accessible labels at every location. More recently, Bartell Drugs began offering the talking labels, as did Texas-based H-E-B. Kim Janicke, H-E-B’s director of retail pharmacy operations, told DSN the company has begun offering ScripTalk at eight pharmacies, with potential to expand to more stores to meet demand.

“It’s worked pretty well on our end.… From a technical standpoint, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of challenges,” Janicke said.

Beyond ScripTalk, En-Vision America has two other offerings within ScripAbility — ScripView large print labels and BRL Braille labels. With ScripView, pharmacies can place a large-print booklet style label that can be read flat for patients who may not need a talking label, but who can’t read the pharmacy’s standard label. And with BRL, pharmacies can select the label information that they emboss in Braille.

“A really small percentage of individuals read Braille, but the ones [who] do absolutely love to have Braille as an option because it’s easy for them,” Raistrick said. “They can pick a prescription up and read it without a device, a magnifier or anything.”

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