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Cardinal empowers pharmacists with legislative toolkit

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health recently introduced a legislative toolkit that makes it easy for community pharmacists to share their views about policies affecting the pharmacy industry.

The toolkit, available online at LegislativeToolkit.com, arms community pharmacists with knowledge so they can effectively communicate to elected officials the concerns of local pharmacists.

“Community pharmacists must raise their voices and participate in the legislative process,” said Steve Lawrence, SVP retail independent sales at Cardinal Health. "[Community pharmacists] can make a difference on the issues that affect our industry.”

The toolkit provides:

  • A database to learn which elected officials to contact;
  • Guides on how to make communications with elected officials effective, whether by phone call, letter or hosting a pharmacy tour;
  • An explanation of key legislative language; and
  • An overview of key pharmacy issues identified by both state associations and the National Community Pharmacist Association.

According to Lawrence, some of the issues that affect the more than 8,000 independent pharmacies that Cardinal Health serves include:

  • The need for pharmacists to receive provider status, so they can be reimbursed for delivering certain healthcare services to patients;
  • The impact that narrow insurance networks have on patient access to pharmacy care;
  • The need for community pharmacies to be fairly reimbursed for dispensing prescriptions; and
  • The ability to communicate how fair reimbursement helps ensure patients have reliable access to community pharmacies.
     

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Pharmacists educate patients on the National Mall

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — Community pharmacists play a vital role in helping patients live healthier lives, as well as in improving the cost-effectiveness of health care. That’s a key message that community pharmacists will convey during the upcoming Health on the National Mall event.

“Pharmacists are community educators on health, in the very broadest sense and, oftentimes, they’re a patient’s most trusted healthcare provider,” said Ron Clerico, VP of marketing strategies and solutions at Cardinal Health. “This event demonstrates the many ways pharmacists are leading change in communities across the country by helping their patients better manage their overall health so they can live longer, healthier lives.”

“Community pharmacists play a critical role in helping patients achieve better health outcomes,” said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “This is particularly true in rural communities where the independent community pharmacist may be the only provider for many miles around. NCPA is proud to partner with Cardinal Health on this event to increase public awareness about how pharmacists help millions of Americans every day. In addition, we again urge Congress to enact H.R. 4190 to expand recognition of pharmacists as providers and to expand Medicare coverage of pharmacist-delivered healthcare services in medically underserved areas.”

The Health on the National Mall event, co-sponsored by Cardinal Health and the National Community Pharmacists Association, will be held July 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall in front of the Capitol Building.

Visitors of the free event will be able to stop by 1-of-10 tents, which will be staffed by community pharmacists, to learn about health topics ranging from heart health and diabetes management, to weight management and asthma.

The event is part of Cardinal Health’s annual Retail Business Conference, aptly themed “Leading Change” this year. The theme further communicates the critical role that community pharmacists can play in improving patient health, as well as today’s fast-changing healthcare environment.

 

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Sandoz launches generic Diovan tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz on Monday announced the launch of valsartan tablets, an authorized generic version of Diovan tablets. The drug is used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Sandoz previously launched an authorized generic version of Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) in 2012. Both drugs are marketed in by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

“We are pleased to offer authorized generic versions of these leading anti-hypertensive medicines, which together represent the number one prescribed branded ARB medicine in the US,” said Peter Goldschmidt, president of Sandoz. “This important partnership with our colleagues at NPC is further evidence of the key role played by Sandoz and Novartis in increasing patient access to high-quality healthcare.”

Net sales for Diovan and Diovan HCT in 2013 were approximately $1.7 billion. Sandoz will market generic Diovan in 40-mg, 80-mg, 160-mg and 320-mg dosage strengths.

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