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Crossmark names Ben Fischer CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

PLANO, Texas — Crossmark, a sales and marketing services company, has named Ben Fischer CEO.

He most recently served as Crossmark’s president and COO. He succeeds Joe Crafton, who is retiring after 26 years of service with the company. Fischer will assume his new role as CEO, effective April 7.

“Ben and I have worked together for 25 years as rusted colleagues, partners and friend, and his commitment to our company, clients and customers has been instrumental in the growth of Crossmark,” Crafton stated. “His deep industry knowledge and relationships as well as his tenure with the company and strong leadership make him uniquely qualified to become our next CEO.”

 “We are not only a well-established, leading sales agency, but also a well-established, leading marketing services company as a result of Joe’s vision for the company,” Fischer stated. “I look forward to building on this success, and will ensure we stay focused on the core tenets of great service, great planning and great execution, while further driving the effectiveness of sales and marketing integration to benefit our clients’ businesses.”

Fischer began his career in sales with Unilever and joined Crossmark in 1990. He has held various roles within the company ranging from account executive and regional VP to president of the sales agency prior to being named COO in 2009.

 

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M.MCCANNA says:
Mar-27-2014 11:39 am

Ben - Congratulations on this promotion. Well deserved. Even though it has been over 15 years since I worked with you, while I was at Bausch & Lomb, I knew then you were destined. Best Regards, Mick McCanna mick.mccanna@akorn.com

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Bronson FastCare to open inside Portage Meijer store

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORTAGE, Mich. — A Bronson FastCare retail healthcare site is slated to open inside a Meijer store in Portage, Mich., on April 1, offering the first-of-its-kind service in the area.

The new Bronson FastCare clinic will offer medical care for minor ailments such as sore throats, fevers, flu and colds, ear and sinus infections, pink eye, skin rashes and allergies. Lab services will also be available for pregnancy tests, monospots, rapid strep and urinalysis.

“At Bronson, we are always looking for ways to improve access to healthcare services. That means making sure we are doing all we can to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time,” said John Jones, Jr., SVP and COO, Bronson Medical Practices. “Bronson FastCare is a great new resource that serves everyone regardless of whether or not they have insurance or their own primary care doctor. It is designed to help all people who have minor health concerns get the care they need quickly, affordably and with maximum convenience.”

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who work under the guidance of emergency medicine physicians with Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services, will provide the care — the same group that staffs the emergency departments at Bronson hospitals in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Paw Paw. A report following each visit can be sent to a patient’s primary care doctor. If a patient arrives with symptoms that exceed the scope of services, the patient will be referred to another Bronson facility that can handle that condition.

“The primary difference between Bronson FastCare and other immediate care and urgent care centers in the area is a direct link to the comprehensive Bronson system of care,” Jones said. “That includes medical specialists, services in the hospital and outpatient services. In addition, FastCare will meet the same Bronson quality standards as the other Bronson services. And it has the same electronic medical record system used at all Bronson locations in the Kalamazoo area. This helps patients track all of their visits and enables providers to coordinate a patient’s care from one service location to the next.” 

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New microsite to bring awareness for silent victims of flawed drug policy

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK — The Drug Store News Group, the leading provider of news, information and clinical education for the retail pharmacy industry, has launched the new microsite, Drugstorenews.com/pain-management, to help bring attention to another tragic side of the prescription drug abuse story — the millions of Americans who live in chronic pain that may be unable to access the medications they need thanks to proposed changes in regulatory policy.

Last fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that combination prescription pain medications containing hydrocodone be reclassified as schedule II controlled substances. The change would limit the amounts of these drugs that a pharmacy can buy from a wholesaler. The unintended effect is that when a legitimate patient shows up at the pharmacy, the medications they need may not be available.

While prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States — according to the to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 14,000 people died from prescription drug overdoses in 2008, about three-quarters of which were caused by opioid-based painkillers — as many as 100 million Americans live with chronic pain, according to Institute of Medicine estimates.

The new site at Drugstorenews.com/pain-management, gives a voice and puts a face on these legitimate patients and what it means when they are unable to access the medications they need to manage pain. Working with the U.S. Pain Foundation, Drug Store News was able to capture the stories of those living with chronic pain and their daily struggles. The new Drug Store News microsite ties into the U.S. Pain Foundation’s INvisible Project, a photojournalistic showcase of the day-to-day experiences of real people with chronic pain, which was first introduced in 2010. The goal of the INvisible Project is to shed light on the pain that can’t be seen, but greatly affects the lives of the Foundation’s members; to make visible the experiences and challenges associated with chronic pain that are often hidden behind the walls of hospitals, bedrooms and the confines of public awareness. 



Drugstorenews.com/pain-management will be updated regularly with new content, including a dedicated newsfeed for articles related to pain management legislation, policy issues and patient access, as well as related video and audio content.

"There is no denying that prescription drug abuse is a major problem in America," said Drug Store News Group editor in chief Rob Eder. "But there is another side of the story, and we want to make sure it gets told. We created this site to help educate media professionals, policy-makers, legislators and other important stakeholders about what it means for honest patients who will suffer as a result of this flawed policy. We wanted to tell the story from the point of view of the legitimate patient who needs these medications to manage pain, perhaps even making it possible for them to complete other disease-related therapies — like chemotherapy — allow them to sleep through the night, continue to go to work and otherwise enjoy the daily activities of a normal life."

"We are thrilled to see Drug Store News, a leader in retail pharmacy information focus on the issue of patients and their need for treatment," said Paul Gileno, president and founder of the U.S. Pain Foundation. "As an organization founded by people with pain, for people with pain, we applaud DSN and are happy to work with them to shed additional light on our brave INvisible project members who  continue to share their stories in order to shed light on the struggle of those managing chronic pain."

According to patient advocacy groups, there is no research that proves that reclassifying products containing hydrocodone to higher, more restrictive classifications will curb abuse of pain medications. In fact, oxycodone, which is already a schedule II medication, remains one of the most heavily abused prescription drugs. Further, there is evidence that suggests that these more restrictive classifications block access to medications and cause honest patients harm. Prescriptions for schedule II medications can’t be transmitted by phone or fax, and they cannot be refilled. Patients with chronic pain would be forced to visit their doctors just to get a refill.

What is needed to effectively combat prescription drug abuse and protect patient access to critical medications, these groups say, is a commission of federal and state government agencies, law enforcement and healthcare professionals to pursue more equitable solutions that target illegitimate sellers, better educate prescribers and implement more advanced drug monitoring and tracking technologies.

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R.JOHNSON says:
Mar-28-2014 12:15 pm

The process of changing HCD, a very good pain reliever and unfortunately a highly abused drug, to a more restricted form will not decrease the amount of abuse. I feel the duty falls upon the PCP or Pain clinic to appropriately diagnose and treat the patient. Apparently the FDA/DEA have covertly inhibited prescription abilities that treat pain. PCP/Pain clinics have done their best to examine and treat patients in pain. There are those who abuse the Rx. Does the prescription monitoring inhibit seekers from obtaining pain meds from their PCP? And would the changing from schedule III to II really make a difference other than the stated difficulties in treating those with chronic pain. I would think that educating existing MDs,DOs,PAs,NPs and even RNs, who in my opinion do most of the stigmatizing in evaluating painful conditions. For example, Fibromyalgia does not fall into a HCD treated condition. Instead of forcing storage of delivery cost, invest in education in evaluation of signs and symptoms both physical and psychological of true organic causes or pain and especially nonorganic causes. Ultimately, the provider will require protection for undertreating pain if no sx/sx of an organic cause is found and law suits increase. That is why providers treat pain and hope for the best, identifying early on the red flags of addition. So, it is through education of the providers that will better serve patients suffering with chronic pain and/or addiction.

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