PHARMACY

McKesson ideaShare 2018 highlights big opportunities for independents

BY Sandra Levy

McKesson ideaShare 2018, held in Las Vegas through July 12, has focused on myriad opportunities for community pharmacists to improve their knowledge, performance and profitability while networking with industry experts.

This year’s conference featured focused learning, interactive exhibits, workshops and networking with peers to provide pharmacy owners with the expertise and tools to maximize their clinical, operational and financial performance.

“McKesson continues to invest in clinical solutions, revenue generating tools and technology designed to help independent pharmacies provide quality care for their patients, while also improving their business performance,” said McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical and Specialty Health president Nick Loporcaro.

“Our goal is for Health Mart pharmacies to be top of mind for their patients when they think about wellness and quality local health care. This is how they will continue to compete and thrive,” said Health Mart and McKesson Retail Solutions president Chris Dimos.

One of the many highlights of the annual meeting was introducing attendees to Health Mart Atlas, its newly launched PASO partnership with the American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., or APCI, which focuses on making managed care easier for community pharmacy by helping to identify opportunities that are right for their needs, and giving pharmacies the time to focus on those opportunities.

The meeting also showcased myHealthMart, designed to help Health Mart pharmacies improve performance and patient care. myHealthMart integrates the digital tools available, including the Operations Toolkit.

Health Mart also unveiled the next generation of the Health Mart Marketing Hub. First launched in 2013, the Health Mart Marketing Hub has been revamped based on customer feedback to allow for easier searching, faster customization and expanded offerings. The new site will feature greater flexibility, giving pharmacies access to hundreds of professionally-designed marketing materials, and expert support.

Health Mart introduced new packaging for its private label products,  as well as expanded product categories, such as vitamins, eye and ear, and upper respiratory. Health Mart is also building new planogram solutions and increasing the frequency of private label promotions, as well as enhancing the new item auto-ship promotion platform.

A children’s vitamin support program which helps pharmacies build relationships with families in their community and expand services as a healthcare provider made its debut. Vitamins will be ordered through McKesson Connect and marketing materials are available through the Marketing Hub.

To help Health Mart pharmacies maintain a year-round vaccination offering and create an additional revenue stream, Health Mart announced it has partnered with PrescribeWellness to provide expanded access to the VaccineComplete program and collaborative practice agreements.

Finally, Health Mart also introduced new capabilities for its Physician Outreach Program. New drug category information will enable pharmacies to see the top categories prescribed by local prescribers improving their ability to target physicians based on the type of patients they see and the drugs they prescribe, the comapny said.

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PHARMACY

Dr. Reddy’s introduces generic Plaquenil tablets

BY Sandra Levy

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has received the OK from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Concordia’s Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets) in a 200-mg dosage strength.

The product is indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria due to P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax; the prophylaxis of malaria in geographic areas where chloroquine resistance is not reported; the treatment of chronic discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus in adults; and the treatment of acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis in adults.

Dr. Reddy’s hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets are available in 200 mg tablets in the bottle count sizes of 100 and 500.

The product’s market size was approximately $215 million for the 12 months ended May 2018, according to IQVIA data.

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NACDS RxImpact calls on Senate to support action on DIR fees

BY Sandra Levy

NACDS RxImpact pharmacy advocates are urging Senators to sign a letter to Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar that is being led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.  The letter describes the negative effects on Medicare patients and on pharmacies of the rapid expansion of the use of  direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees in recent years.

The NACDS RxImpact program has consistently linked pharmacies’ real-world experiences with their legislators to urge action on DIR fees.

In March, pharmacy advocates from all 50 states reached all members of Congress through in-person meetings in Washington, D.C., during NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill, with DIR fees among the priority issues discussed. This topic also is a focus of NACDS RxImpact Congressional Pharmacy Tours and other events in states and Congressional Districts.

“NACDS thanks Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Sen. Jon Tester — as well as all of the senators who are signing the letter — for their leadership in explaining the consequences of the current state of DIR fees, and for urging Sec. Azar to not allow the current focus on drug prices to pass without taking meaningful action on this extremely critical issue,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

“The senators are making clear the consequences of DIR fees on patients, who are facing higher cost-sharing for drugs and who are hitting the ‘donut hole’ coverage gap more quickly. The Senators also are sharing the real-world jeopardy to patient care when pharmacies learn well after a transaction occurs that some of the payment that they received must be returned to a health plan.”

DIR fees were originally intended to capture and report rebate amounts paid by manufacturers at the end of the plan year during the reconciliation process in Part D. In recent years, however, NACDS said the fees have become a catch-all category used increasingly by payers to include various pharmacy price concessions, such as fees related to performance-based programs or fees for participation in a preferred network. As a result, pharmacies find themselves in the untenable position of being paid by plan sponsors for prescription services, only to find out later that some of the payment must be returned, NACDS said.

In April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated in the Final Part D Rule that it has the authority to take action to remedy this issue and that no legislative action would be needed before it could begin a rulemaking process.

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