PHARMACY

Big week in exec moves as Rexall, McKesson tap industry vets

BY Antoinette Alexander

It was a big week for executive promotions, particularly the appointment of Mary Kelly as EVP and chief merchandising officer at Rexall Pharma Plus and Chris Dimos, who has joined McKesson as SVP corporate strategy and business development.

There’s no doubt that these two industry leaders bring much to the table in their new roles.

As Rexall Pharma Plus CEO Frank Scorpiniti said in making the announcement, Kelly brings a wealth of experience in the drug retail industry. For more than 26 years she led business teams in Canada and the United States and, most recently, served as EVP merchandising and category management at Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart. She also brings to Rexall Pharma Plus the merchandising and pharmacy expertise she garnered during her 17 years at Target, as well as her experience at Revco Drug Stores and Eli Lilly.

Dimos also made headlines with his new role at McKesson. He comes to McKesson from Supervalu, where he was president of pharmacy operations. And before Supervalu, he served as VP pharmacy services with Albertsons. One of the brightest and most talented pharmacy executives in the business, Dimos is known not only for his pharmacy operations prowess, but also for his work in helping to bridge the gap between pharmacy and the front-end through health-and-wellness initiatives.

For example, when Dimos was at Supervalu he discussed how the grocer was conducting healthy eating tours, encompassing a number of such targeted conditions as diabetes and heart health. He also noted how the retailer had made significant progress in developing comprehensive clinical programs and services, such as fielding more than 2,100 immunizing pharmacists and developing comprehensive and reimbursable MTM programs. Clearly, his perspectives will benefit McKesson in its business development initiatives.

Yes, it was indeed a big week for executive promotions and industry observers will be watching as each of these industry vets settle into their new roles. DSN exclusively broke these stories — another reminder that you need to be wired in to DrugStoreNews.com for all the latest news that impacts your business.

 

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CVS/pharmacy, Humana partner on Affordable Care Act consumer education

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Looking to help Americans better understand their healthcare coverage options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Humana and CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday a strategic retail partnership.

Humana representatives will be present at CVS/pharmacy’s Project Health events starting this month. Humana also will hold in-store events at CVS/pharmacy locations to educate individuals and their families about healthcare coverage options under the ACA.

  • CVS/pharmacy’s Project Health – Project Health is a CVS/pharmacy wellness program designed to improve access to health care and deliver preventive services. Humana representatives will be present to answer questions about health coverage under ACA at 80 CVS/pharmacy Project Health weekly events in such states as Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Texas during the months of October and November.
  • Health coverage information – Humana representatives also will be in more than 500 CVS/pharmacy stores located in 12-of-the-4 states where Humana is offering individual health insurance as a Qualified Health Plan on federal and state individual market public exchanges. Representatives will answer questions that individuals and their families may have about their health coverage options. Representatives will be in CVS stores select Wednesdays, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., throughout the six-month open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, which started Oct. 1.

“Providing information about new health insurance coverage opportunities is in keeping with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” stated Helena Foulkes, EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark. “We are pleased to combine our innovative suite of services and our new and existing relationships with such organizations as Humana to help patients understand and have access to information about insurance options in their community.”

Humana and CVS/pharmacy also will provide educational brochures and other materials that will be available to individuals and their families.

People can visit HCR411.com in order to find the closest CVS/pharmacy store that has a Humana representative. Individuals can view a listing of the stores that have Humana representatives, as well as the dates and times they’ll be in store by typing in their zip code.

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New game app improves adherence among diabetes patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A new mobile game app designed by CyberDoctor showed improvements in medication adherence, diet and exercise in diabetes patients, according to a study.

The company said that breakthrough clinical trial results for the game, called PatientPartner," documented for the first time the effectiveness of a story-driven game in changing health behavior and biomarkers. The study was conducted among 100 nonadherence patients at Hershey, Pa.-based Pinnacle Health Systems and presented at the Health2.0 Conference Wednesday in Santa Clara, Calif.

According to the study, medication adherence among patients using the game increased from 58% to 95%, equivalent to three additional days of adherence per week. Meanwhile, diet and exercise adherence respectively increased by 24% and 14%, all contributing to a decrease in blood sugar levels from 10.7% to 9.7%.

"The findings are significant because this is an independent, [institutional review board]-approved clinical trial proving that PatientPartner can dramatically improve patient health," CyberDoctor CEO Akhila Satish said. "While there are many health apps available today, this clinical trial proves that a single, 15-minute use of our app actually impacts patient behavior and biological measures, and at a consistently higher level than previous adherence interventions."

PatientPartner is a short, narrative game in which patients choose a character and make decisions for the character, and then as themselves. The game analyzes how they make these decisions and offers patients targeted feedback. Patients then can play sophisticated training modules to learn how to make better choices. The game is based on validated theories of behavioral change and decision making derived from scientific theories applicable to all people and diseases. According to a 2005 National Institutes of Health study, medication nonadherence causes 125,000 deaths per year in the United States, while a widely cited New England Healthcare Institute study from 2009 estimates the annual cost of nonadherence at nearly $300 billion.

"As a physician who has seen the terrible effects of nonadherence on patients in my own practice, I am tremendously encouraged by the clinical trial results for PatientPartner," CyberDoctor board member Mantosh Dewan said. "Because PatientPartner is not connected to a doctor electronic medical record, this easy-to-use, scalable application can reach more patients in a fast, inexpensive way and create longer-lasting results than most other methods."

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