PHARMACY

Walgreens enables app developers to schedule Healthcare Clinic appointments

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Walgreens API team on Wednesday announced the availability of the Healthcare Clinic Scheduler Application Program Interface, which gives developers the opportunity to enable their mobile applications to allow customers to schedule an appointment at any Walgreens Healthcare Clinic across the United States. 
 
Currently, Walgreens has approximately 400 Healthcare Clinic locations throughout the nation.
 
A Walgreens study released last year found that retail clinics play an increasingly important role for health care delivery across the U.S., as patients are relying more frequently on nurse practitioners at retail clinics to provide chronic and preventive health services. Specifically, the study found the percentage of visits to Healthcare Clinic locations for preventive services, screening and chronic visit utilization (combined) increased from 4% in 2007 to 17% in 2013. Furthermore, return patient visits to Healthcare Clinic climbed from 15% in 2007, to more than 50% in both 2012 and 2013.
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PHARMACY

Pfizer boosts injectable drug offering with Hospira acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Thursday announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Hospira, a leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies and a global leader in biosimilars, for $90 a share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately $17 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger.
 
"The proposed acquisition of Hospira demonstrates our commitment to prudently deploy capital to create shareholder value and deliver incremental revenue and EPS growth in the near-term," said Ian Read, chairman and CEO, Pfizer. "In addition, Hospira’s business aligns well with our new commercial structure and is an excellent strategic fit for our Global Established Pharmaceutical business, which will benefit from a significantly enhanced product portfolio in growing markets. Coupled with Pfizer’s global reach, Hospira is expected to drive greater sustainability for our Global Established Pharmaceutical business over the long term."
 
This strategically complementary combination will add a growing revenue stream and a platform for growth for Pfizer’s GEP business. 
 
"The addition of Hospira has the potential to fundamentally improve the growth trajectory of the Global Established Pharmaceutical business, vault it into a leadership position in the large and growing off-patent sterile injectables marketplace by combining the specialized talent and capabilities of both companies, including enhanced manufacturing, and advance its goal to be among the world’s most preeminent biosimilars providers," commented John Young, group president, Pfizer Global Established Pharmaceutical business. "We're excited to combine Hospira’s expertise and key talent with that of Pfizer to create a leading global business that will deliver an even broader portfolio of important and life-saving sterile injectable medicines to patients around the world."
 
Both sterile injectables and biosimilars are large and growing categories. The global marketplace value for generic sterile injectables is estimated to be $70 billion in 2020. The global marketplace for biosimilars is estimated to be approximately $20 billion in 2020.
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals in several jurisdictions and approval of Hospira's shareholders, and is expected to close in the second half of 2015.
 
Pfizer's financial advisors for the transaction were Guggenheim Securities, J.P. Morgan and Lazard, with Ropes & Gray acting as its legal advisor and Clifford Chance advising on international regulatory matters. Morgan Stanley served as Hospira’s financial advisor, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom & Affiliates served as its legal advisor.
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Role of community pharmacy in HIV prevention takes spotlight in JAPhA published research articles

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Are community-based pharmacists underused in the care of persons living with HIV? That’s one key question explored in research and experience articles published in the January/February 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

The CDC estimates that more than 1.1 million people older than age 13 years are living with HIV infection in the United States, and almost 16% of those are currently unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of new HIV infections in the United States has remained relatively stable at about 50,000 per year. Unfortunately, for patients in some rural communities easy access to physicians, hospitals and community health centers prevents testing and treatment. However, more than 85% of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of a community pharmacy. The accessibility of local pharmacists is an untapped resource for the delivery of effective and confidential HIV education, testing and care services.

The roles that community pharmacists play HIV prevention, testing and care are explored in several research and experience articles in the January/February 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. The four articles discuss community pharmacists’ roles and pharmacists’ perceptions of their patient care services among people living with HIV.

The objective of the lead research article, "Are community-based pharmacists underused in the care of persons living with HIV? A need for structural and policy changes," by Jennifer Kibicho, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, formerly at the Medical College of Wisconsin, et al., was: “To describe community pharmacists’ perceptions on their current role in direct patient care services, an expanded role for pharmacists in providing patient care services, and changes needed to optimally use pharmacists’ expertise to provide high-quality direct patient care services to people living with HIV infections.”

A second research article, "Nonprescription syringe sales: A missed opportunity for HIV prevention in California," by Robin Pollini, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, et al., sought to: “assess implementation of California Senate Bill SB41 in two inland California counties where prevalence of injection drug use is among the highest in the nation.”

The objective of an experience report, "Pharmacist-provided rapid HIV testing in two community pharmacies," by Kristin Darin, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, et al., was: “To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of pharmacist-provided rapid testing for HIV infection in community pharmacies.” The objective of Darin’s related research notes was: “To evaluate consumers’ interest in pharmacist-provided HIV screening and to evaluate potential barriers and facilitators to HIV screening in the community pharmacy setting.”

The full-text articles are available for a limited time, free of charge on the Journal’s website.

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M.SHERMAN says:
Feb-04-2015 02:07 pm

Pharmacists are one of the most important members of an HIV patients healthcare team. Community Pharmacy is exactly where HIV patients need to be cared for but HIV Care is a Specialty that requires education and extensive knowledge by pharmacists,technicians and ancillary staff. Not only do the pharmacists and staff need to be well versed in clinical aspects of HIV including medications, drug interactions and side effects,adherence and resistance but also on HIV sensitivity issues, benefit management, psychosocial issues and actually how to take care of HIV patients in all areas. It is very important that pharmacists be trained, certified and credentialed to take care of patients and that the pharmacy and staff are vested in and part of the HIV community in their area. Mail order pharmacies such as Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, Cigna etc are the most unsatisfactory pharmacies for HIV patients. HIV patients build long standing relationships with their community HIV pharmacists who help manage their medications and HIV disease as a whole. Companies like Anthem Blue Cross of California and United Healthcare have been successfully sued for discriminating against people with HIV now allowing them to select a pharmacy of their choice without penalty to either the patient or the pharmacy. You can get more information about the Role of The Pharmacist in HIV from my book Saving Lives:The Role of The Pharmacist In HIV http://bit.ly/RxSavingLives and more about training your pharmacists and staff to care for HIV Patients at http://hivpharmacyonlinetraining.com/

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