NACDS promotes pharmacies as face of neighborhood health care in USA Today column
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A special report in Friday’s USA Today featured the National Association of Chain Drug Stores as a leading advocate for empowering patients to take their medications correctly, and for the array of health services that make community pharmacies the face of neighborhood health care, NACDS has announced.
The report, titled “America’s Other Drug Problem,” explores the opportunities and challenges in achieving patient medication adherence. Face-to-face counseling between pharmacists and patients has been shown to be highly effective in improving health and reducing healthcare costs by preventing costly forms of care, including emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and more extensive and expensive treatments, NACDS noted.
In a featured column, NACDS SVP pharmacy care and patient advocacy Kathleen Jaeger presents her perspective as a mom, pharmacist and patient care advocate. The column notes the extensive training that pharmacists receive through a six-year advanced degree program, and their accessibility in healthcare delivery. Jaeger outlines the essential services available at community pharmacies, including medication counseling, vaccinations, health screenings and other wellness programs.
"Through personalized, one-on-one healthcare interaction, your community pharmacist can help improve your health and quality of life,” Jaeger writes. “It’s time to partner with your community pharmacist — the face of neighborhood health care — to turn your questions into answers, and to improve your health and that of a loved-one.” More than half of all Americans are afflicted with at least one chronic illnesses, while approximately one-third of patients suffer from two or more of these diseases, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Medications are the prime method to treat these illnesses, helping to improve health outcomes and patients’ quality of life.
“Regrettably, most Americans do not take their medications as prescribed. Some patients are confused about their prescriptions, and patients cite many diverse reasons for putting aside their medications,” Jaeger writes. “In 30 states, pharmacists are working with doctors under collaborative management agreements to improve a patient’s drug therapy. And some health plans, employers and insurers are now teaming up with community pharmacists to help patients with chronic diseases understand and take their medications correctly.”
Community pharmacist-provided medication therapy management helps patients understand their medicines, identify potentially unsafe drug interactions and reduce medication nonadherence, which annually costs $290 billion to treat costly complications and avoidable hospital visits, NACDS noted.
Furthermore, community pharmacists in all 50 states are authorized to provide vaccinations against the flu, and in 47 states pharmacists are permitted to provide at least one additional vaccination, including vaccinations for pneumonia, tetanus, hepatitis and shingles.
Competition really heating up in Canada
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that Target has revealed the locations of its first 12 stores in Quebec is just one more reminder that the competition in Canada is really going to heat up.
(THE NEWS: Target confirms locations of 12 Quebec debut stores. For the full story, click here)
As previously reported, Target snapped up the leasehold interests of 189 sites currently operated by Zellers and plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada, the majority of which will open in 2013.
Meanwhile, Loblaw Cos. is gearing up for Target’s entry into Canada with its acquisition of 95 Zellers pharmacies script files, excluding British Columbia and Quebec locations, the Financial Post recently reported. Analysts hailed Loblaw’s deal as a “huge win” for the retailer as it will enable Loblaw to gain market intelligence as it aims to ramp up its 500 stores’ volume and potentially acquires some long-term business, the Financial Post reported. The Financial Post noted that Loblaw has been adding pharmacies to its banners across Canada, including No Frills. It also has been pushing health and wellness to its grocery shoppers.
The ramped up pharmacy competition in Canada comes at a time when patients there increasingly are tapping into the healthcare knowledge, expertise and services available at their local pharmacies. A recent Nielsen survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores found that it’s no longer enough for a pharmacy to be a place where medication and advice are dispensed — 96% of nearly 6,000 respondents surveyed believed that it’s important for their pharmacist to play an increased role and work closely with their doctor to optimize care.
Furthermore, the study found that 72% of respondents indicated that they have talked to their pharmacist about health issues beyond their prescribed medication. The most common subject was the treatment of minor ailments (41%), such as mild burns or insect bites. Advice on vitamins and supplements (26%) and dealing with adverse medication reactions (24%) also were commonly discussed.
There’s no doubt that Canada is a hotbed of activity within the pharmacy market, and industry eyes will be closely watching those north of the border for some time to come.
Teva launches authorized generic sleep disorder drug
JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched an authorized generic version of Cephalon’s Provigil, used for conditions like shift work sleep disorder and narcolepsy, the company said Friday.
Teva acquired Cephalon for $6.8 billion in October 2011. An authorized generic is the branded drug marketed under its generic name at a reduced price.
Provigil had annual sales of about $1.1 billion, according to IMS Health.