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CVS Pharmacy acquires Red Cross Pharmacy’s 14 stores

BY David Salazar

CVS Pharmacy is acquiring all 14 of the retail pharmacies operated by Marshall, Mo.-based Red Cross Pharmacy, effective June 6. CVS Pharmacy said that it would be transferring files from stores in Grain Valley and Kearney, with the remaining locations set to remain operating in the same locations with the same staff.

“All along, our mission has been to be the best employee-minded, patient-focused pharmacy service driven pharmacy organization,” Red Cross Pharmacy president and CEO Scott Hartwig said. “While I believe we have done a great job in accomplishing this, it has become increasingly difficult to provide quality pharmacy care under the current payment model. It is time to pass our retail business to a company with more resources that can take it to the next level of care.”

CVS Pharmacy said the acquisition would be completed in mid-July, with the locations rebranded and converted to CVS Pharmacy banners. It added that it expects to retain nearly all of the company’s 170 retail pharmacy employees.

“CVS Pharmacy looks forward to bringing its innovative pharmacy care programs and services to Red Cross Pharmacy patients in Missouri,” CVS Pharmacy region director Wayne Lum said. “We will continue to provide excellent care to patients and look forward to introducing our industry-leading offerings at these new locations.”

With Red Cross Pharmacy’s retail pharmacy operations sold, the company is left with two long-term care pharmacies and a medical equipment company.

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Health Mart boosts flu shot offering with PrescribeWellness

BY Michael Johnsen

PrescribeWellness inked a five-year partnership with McKesson that will provide mutual members with expanded access to VaccineComplete and Collaborative Practice Agreements. The expanded scope of the program will offer Health Mart franchise pharmacies broadened revenue streams and opportunities to better serve patients through enhanced clinical services, particularly the administration of vaccines.

“Millions of Americans are not properly immunized each year, but the combined scale of PrescribeWellness and Health Mart pharmacies has the ability to change that,” Al Babbington, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based PrescribeWellness, said. “Once limited to filling prescriptions and dispensing drugs, pharmacists are increasingly providing direct care to patients. Armed with the tools they need to go ‘beyond the fill’ to deliver vaccines and other important clinical services, pharmacists make a real difference in the health and well-being of their communities.”

“After performing a competitive analysis and speaking with our members, it became clear they were looking for a defined process and vaccine program support that would allow them to engage with the community and grow their revenue stream,” Lisa Petersen, McKesson retail vaccine program manager, said. “Our partnership with PrescribeWellness provides comprehensive back-end support so our customers can spend more time focused on patient outcomes.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that during the 2016-2017 flu season, the flu shot prevented more than 5 million illnesses, 2 million medical visits and 84,700 hospitalizations, underscoring the benefits and improvements needed in the current vaccination program.

Meanwhile, according to a recent PrescribeWellness survey, 55% of Americans prefer to be immunized at their local pharmacies instead of at the doctor’s office, including 28% of parents, who enjoy the convenience of getting the whole family immunized at once. But most pharmacies miss more than 70% of immunization opportunities.

PrescribeWellness offers a solution for these missed opportunities. With VaccineComplete, pharmacists can see that a patient is due for vaccination so that immunization can be offered during a pick-up visit or proactively invite eligible patients to be immunized with a pre-recorded message. A pharmacy can follow a reliable, state-compliant process to screen and educate patients as well as administer, store and dispose of vaccines.

“Using VaccineComplete, pharmacies can launch and maintain a year-round vaccination offering, which will result in more revenue for the pharmacy and enable them to become a healthcare destination for a wider patient base,” Babbington added.

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Walgreens brings #ItEndsWithUs to Chicago

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Wednesday announced its national #ItEndsWithUs campaign is coming to Chicago to educate local teens on the opioid epidemic.

As part of WE Day Illinois at The Allstate Arena in Rosemont, 15,000 youth will hear real stories of addiction and how Walgreens is working to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The #ItEndsWithUs campaign objective is to provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community, which are available at the #ItEndsWithUs hub at www.walgreens.com/itendswithus.

The campaign will feature actor Brandon Larracuente from the popular Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and “Bloodline.” Larracuente, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the #ItEndsWithUs campaign. Larracuente will also introduce Becky Savage, a local mother who had two sons die from opioid overdose in the same night. The video above features Savage.

Savage is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the risks of opioids.

“I believe there’s power in knowledge and that we can make a difference by talking about opioid misuse and abuse,” said Savage. “If my sons understood the risk of opioid overdose, I’m sure they would have made a different choice that night. I hope to raise more awareness through the #ItEndsWithUs campaign.”

Of the 2,278 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths during 2016, more than 80% (1,826) were opioid-related fatalities.

Walgreens has also installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 of its pharmacies across 45 states and is in the process of expanding its program to an additional 900 Walgreens across the country. When the expansion is complete, safe medication disposal kiosks will be available in 1,500 Walgreens nationwide, including 80 locations throughout Illinois.

“We continue to be truly inspired by the response of the safe medication disposal program from communities around the country,” Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, said. “We are excited to continue our expansion program and believe it serves as an excellent example of health care organizations coming together in collaboration to address a real health crisis facing the country.”

Following WE Day Illinois, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at its final WE Day event in Seattle on May 3, 2018. This event follows the campaign’s previous stops at WE Day California in Los Angeles, WE Day Texas in Dallas and launch at WE Day UN in New York City in September 2017.

 

 

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