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Ahold USA names Hershey executive to newly created position of SVP marketing

BY Michael Johnsen

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA on Monday announced that Amy Hahn has been appointed to the newly created position of SVP marketing effective April 28. In this role, Hahn will lead and drive critical initiatives of strategic marketing, market insights and analytics, advertising, promotion, brand development, corporate communications, innovation, digital strategy and execution. 

She will also be responsible for developing digital retailing and loyalty plans.

“Amy brings a wealth of retail marketing experience to her new role with Ahold USA and will be utilizing her expertise to drive the voice of the consumer throughout all of our communications and loyalty initiatives,” stated Jan van Dam, EVP marketing, supply chain and e-commerce.

Hahn joins Ahold USA after more than 20 years with the Hershey Company where she established a reputation for driving revenue and profitability through innovation in strategy, product development, merchandising, marketing and category management. She began her career with Hershey in engineering and supply chain, moving into progressively responsible positions in brand management and product merchandising. Hahn also led the revitalization of Hershey’s e-commerce and web business. Most recently, she served as the global VP/general manager for direct retail and licensing where she led a 700-person cross-functional team, expanding Hershey’s presence across North America, Asia and the Middle East. 

Hahn holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

 

 

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BIO supports Delaware legislation creating pathway for substitution of interchangeable biologics

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Delaware BioScience Association last week commended the Delaware State Senate for passing legislation designed to create a pathway for the substitution of interchangeable biologic medicines.

The Delaware State Senate passed Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 118. 

“Senate Bill 118 enjoys the support of a broad coalition of biologic and biosimilar manufacturers, along with industry, physician and patient groups,” stated Jim Greenwood, BIO’s president and CEO. “This bill includes transparent communication on all biologic medicines dispensed in order to maintain a consistent and complete medical record. This legislation represents a significant step forward, ensures transparency and communication between patients and their treatment teams and is fully consistent with the BIO principles.”

The FDA is currently developing a pathway for the development and approval of safe and effective interchangeable biologic products in the United States.

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AssistRx launches iAssist to simplify the prescribing of specialty therapies

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — AssistRx last week introduced a new technology that simplifies the prescribing of specialty therapies while streamlining communications between prescribers, pharmacies, patients and manufacturers. It’s smart technology that can lead to patients receiving specialty medications weeks earlier than ever before, the company claimed.

Called iAssist, the solution gives healthcare providers access to a web-based application certified by SureScripts. iAssist earned SureScripts’ White Coat of Quality distinction for technology vendors in 2012 for upholding the highest standards for clinical e-prescribing.

iAssist simplifies the prescription process, making it timely by providing electronic prior authorization, signatures and patient consent; instant access to patient eligibility information; customized electronic enrollment forms; and mobility with real-time access to all application features at any time from any location. 

The launch of iAssist coincides with recent legislation in New York requiring electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. This regulation, which mandates a shift in the healthcare industry from manual to electronic prescription processes, aims to improve and monitor prescription accuracy and misuse. As similar legislation pends nationwide, iAssist offers healthcare practitioners a solution with a streamlined process and better communications among prescribers.

“It eliminates unnecessary paperwork, follow-up calls and removes the human interpretation of prescriber handwriting and then electronically tracks patient prescription history, and sends scripts and important information directly to the reimbursement HUB or preferred pharmacy,” stated Edward Hensley, co-founder of AssistRx. “It also presents clinical questions that are specific to an identified insurance plan, and even identifies invalid information through embedded smart technology.”

Users can access patient-specific protected healthcare information and then instantly and securely transmit that information between healthcare providers, which leads to increased efficiencies, informed care decisions, better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs, the company noted. 

Even HIPAA consent from patients is available more quickly through smart phone and web-based technology Hensley noted. “Patients begin their medication sooner than ever because their enrollments and prescriptions have instant validation  — it reduces the number of days and even weeks in some cases," he said. "AssistRx is on track to collect more than 150,000 HIPAA consents in 2014 alone.”

AssistRx, which participated on the National Council for Prescription Drug Program’s task force on ePA guidelines established last year, has now contracted with 19 manufacturers and is approaching 30 specialty brands, which represents more than $17 billion in brand sales. The company anticipates adding at least 10 brands this year.  

Currently, AssistRx is working with national payors and pharmacy benefit managers on strategies to use its technology platform to drive patients toward Centers of Excellence in the fast-growing, high-cost specialty channel. AssistRx is also working with some of the nation’s largest reimbursement organizations in integrating iAssist information into their current systems. 

“Our technology strengthens the stakeholders’ partnership with patients, prescribers, payors and pharmacies through rapid and online communications,” Hensley said. “Communications between every partner in the distribution channel is essential for time-sensitive and compliance-crucial therapies.”

 

 

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