election
PHARMACY

NACDS’ Anderson provides state-level election results analysis

BY Sandra Levy

Aggressive engagement at the state level will remain a top priority of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in 2019, in partnership with allied state associations and other key in-state partners. That’s according to NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson in a recent memo, in which he provided the following overview of the state elections:

Eighty-seven of the 99 state legislative chambers were up for election with over 80% of the total state legislative seats in the country in play. The outcomes of the state elections indicate gains by Democrats. Preliminary results indicate that Democrats gained control of at least seven state legislative chambers, less than the average 12 chambers that change party hands in every two-year election cycle dating back to 1900.

These seven chambers include the Colorado Senate, Connecticut Senate (tied prior to the election), Maine Senate, Minnesota House, New Hampshire Senate and House, as well as the New York State Senate.

Party control of the Alaska House is pending the outcome of several races that are still too close to call and results are still being tabulated. Republicans retain majority control of 29 state legislatures while Democrats control 18 state legislatures.

Currently, Minnesota is the only state in the nation where the legislature is divided — the Senate remains in Republican control while the House flipped to the Democrats. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the last time that occurred nationally was in 1914. State legislative control is pending in Alaska as results are still being tabulated. Nebraska has a non-partisan, unicameral chamber.

Gubernatorial elections took place in 36 states in 2018. Democrats picked up seven governors’ offices, including Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, while Republicans gained one in Alaska. The net effect is Republicans hold 27 of the 50 governorships next year while the Democrats hold 23.

Preparing for 2019 Republicans maintained their control over a majority of state governments with combined control of the state legislative chambers and the governorships in 21 states (down from 25) while Democrats will now control 14 state governments (up from eight). Thirteen states have divided control (down from 16). Nebraska is nonpartisan. Alaska is pending the outcome of the House races.

In Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah voters approved ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid coverage while Montana voters rejected a ballot measure to remove the sunset date for the current Medicaid expansion that was tied to a tobacco tax increase.

Earlier this year, Oregon voters approved a tax plan levied on Oregon’s largest hospitals and many health insurance policies by 2019. Funds will be spent on Oregonians’ health care.

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PHARMACY

Lupin launches generic Xenazine

BY Sandra Levy

Lupin is introducing its generic Xenazine tablets (tetrabenazine). The generic Valeant Pharmaceuticals drug, which will be available in 12.5- and 25-mg dosage strengths, was previously approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The product is indicated for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease.

Xenazine tablets had a market value of $153 million, according to IQVIA September 2018 data.

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McKesson high volume solutions
PHARMACY

Q&A: McKesson HVS’ Tammaro talks customized central fill

BY DSN STAFF

For more than 25 years, McKesson High Volume Solutions has been designing and implementing central fill, mail and specialty pharmacy systems that automate the dispensing of more than 200 million prescriptions per year. Drug Store News spoke with McKesson HVS vice president of sales, Joe Tammaro, to discuss the role automation plays in a successful central-fill pharmacy.

Drug Store News: What types of pharmacies benefit most from central fill?

Joe Tammaro: Almost any pharmacy with multiple dispensing locations can benefit from centralization and automation as long as they have a progressive outlook when it comes to embracing technology and culture change. While we’ve seen smaller operations be successful, the typical customer is a chain or health system that fills around 2,000 scripts per day.

Central fill is an enabler. It’s the engine that allows a pharmacy to offer clinical services and increase the value of its pharmacy staff, expand in to new markets like mail order or adherence packaging or even add new geographic markets.

DSN: How does McKesson HVS differ from other out-of-the-box competitors?

Joe Tammaro

JT: That’s simple, we have a high-touch, consultative approach to solving our customer’s problems. Most of our leadership and many of our employees were once customers who understand the importance of building lasting relationships with not only those choosing to implement the system, but also those using it on a daily basis.

The machinery and technology are the easy part. Where HVS truly excels is in the integration of the interconnected systems, logistics, inventory management and new store-side processes for the customer. Our software is specifically designed to tie everything together, so the pharmacy can fill prescriptions through their central fill and not give it a second thought. Once the prescription is entered on the front end, our software helps determine the best route through the system to ensure it is filled in the most efficient way and delivered back to the prescribing location, or sent directly to the patient. Our systems are truly customized to the unique needs of each client, which is what sets us apart. In the 31 years I’ve been doing this, I honestly don’t think I’ve seen two identical systems.

We can, and have worked with many software and hardware partners, but being part of McKesson, we have relationships within the organization that add value to our systems that others can’t replicate. For instance, we offer a seamless integration with the EnterpriseRx Pharmacy Management System, so the store-side and central-fill systems operate in unison. Another of our sister companies, Supplylogix, plays an integral role in how we help manage inventory. Together, we can help increase sell-through rates to minimize potential losses from unsalable returns at each dispensing location. And, being part of McKesson Distribution, we know the logistics and shipping world. Bottom line, these are the things that often make or break central-fill success, and we excel in all of them.

DSN: Tell us about the process of designing a system.

JT: First and foremost, it’s a consultative approach. One of the first things we do is conduct extensive interviews within the prospective business to identify specific goals they have for the system now and in the future. Only then can we design a system that not only utilizes superior technology but also grows with them. We’re part of the customer’s process long before any hardware is installed as we build a strategy, analyze their prescription capacity, and work through any potential regulatory compliance issues.

We have multiple purchase models that make central fill easy to adopt. If available capital is an issue, we have a model called “Central Fill as a Service,” where we retain ownership of the facility, staff it, provide inventory and only charge the customer a per-script fee. This can be a real cost savings. Of course, we offer the traditional purchase model, as well.

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