PHARMACY

Chain pharmacy supports Script Your Future campaign

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — A consumer education campaign launched by the National Consumers League and the U.S. surgeon general has received support from the drug retailing industry.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ charitable arm, the NACDS Foundation, engaged in the Script Your Future campaign and said it is the largest contributor to the campaign to date with its $1 million pledge.

“Poor medication adherence is costing Americans their good health, and is costing our nation an estimated $290 billion each year in avoidable healthcare costs,” NACDS Foundation chairman of the board Steve Anderson said. “Improved adherence will contribute to lower overall healthcare costs and increased quality of life. Script Your Future focuses national attention on this issue and helps pharmacists and other healthcare professionals support consumers in taking their medications as prescribed.”

Throughout the next three years, the Script Your Future campaign will provide materials through partnerships with pharmacies, hospitals, medical offices, clinics and health insurance plans; host community events and health fairs; and evaluate medication adherence awareness through research.

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CVS Caremark’s Pharmacy Advisor program named URAC award finalist

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced that it was selected as 1-of-20 finalists for the 2011 URAC Awards for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection.

The accreditation organization will honor the finalists during the URAC 12th Annual Quality Summit on Oct. 4 to 6 in Chicago.

A panel of judges selected CVS Caremark’s Pharmacy Advisor program out of entries from across the nation. Finalists are invited to present their programs at the Annual Quality Summit, which will showcase best practices in two categories: consumer decision-making and consumer health improvement.

To reduce medical costs by improving medication adherence and closing gaps in care for diabetes, CVS Caremark developed Pharmacy Advisor, a solution that leverages its assets both as a PBM and as a national retail pharmacy chain to improve pharmacy care.

Pharmacy Advisor provides members with brief, targeted and proactive consultations through PBM and retail channels across the continuum of care. CVS Caremark engages members according to their expressed preferences and when they are most receptive to messages about their prescribed therapy — face-to-face when members choose to fill prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy or by phone when members choose mail pharmacy.

"We are pleased that CVS Caremark and our Pharmacy Advisor program has been selected as a finalist by URAC," stated Per Lofberg, president of CVS Caremark’s PBM business. "Pharmacy Advisor is an example of our efforts to develop innovative programs that improve patient engagement, better manage chronic diseases like diabetes and help clients manage their healthcare costs."

"URAC’s Annual Quality Summit provides a unique opportunity for leaders in health care to learn what premier companies are doing to advance consumer empowerment and protection," URAC president and CEO Alan Spielman said. "We are proud to honor CVS Caremark’s Pharmacy Advisor program. By sharing these best practices, we can work to inspire the industry as a whole to adopt proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers."

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Novartis’ Diovan HCT wins HCPC’s Compliance Package of the Year award

BY Alaric DeArment

RICHMOND, Va. — A blood pressure drug made by Swiss drug maker Novartis has won an award from the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council.

Novartis Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) won the HCPC’s Compliance Package of the Year award at the council’s RxAdherence 19th annual symposium for its Shellpak packaging design, made by product packaging manufacturer MeadWestvaco Corp. Anderson Packaging, part of AmerisourceBergen Packaging Group, handles the drug’s fulfillment.

“The Diovan HCT design is a great collaboration between the teams at Novartis, MWV and Anderson,” Anderson Packaging senior director of marketing and development services Justin Schroeder said. “The package is well thought out, facilitating patient compliance and adherence [and] supporting patient education and regulatory requirements, while at the same time creating a convenient format for the end user.”

Shellpak is designed to deliver medication in single, controlled doses. Novartis also uses the large, flat label space that Shellpak provides to include an extended content label that educates patients about the importance of adhering to their dosing regimen.

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