PHARMACY

CVS Caremark receives URAC accreditation for mail service pharmacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has been awarded mail-service pharmacy accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare-accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry.

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, offers the only third-party, voluntary accreditation program of this scope for the PBM and prescription service industry. All standards were developed by URAC’s Pharmacy Advisory Committee, which includes a wide range of stakeholders: employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, retail pharmacy, PBM organizations, pharmacy professional organizations, labor and large public purchasing groups.

“CVS Caremark is pleased to receive this accreditation,” stated Chris Luthin, EVP operations management for Caremark Pharmacy Services. “This demonstrates the company’s ongoing focus and commitment to provide outstanding service and improve the customer experience through our mail pharmacy service.”

Added Alan Spielman, URAC president and CEO, “By applying for and receiving URAC accreditation, CVS Caremark has demonstrated a commitment to quality health care. Quality health care is crucial to our nation’s welfare and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards and undergo rigorous evaluation by an independent accrediting body.”

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After flooding, power outage in Rhode Island, CVS/pharmacy up and running

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has restored the pharmacy computer system in its stores after massive flooding in Rhode Island caused a national computer system outage that impacted all of the chain’s 7,000 pharmacies.

CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that service was restored to its pharmacies Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

For the most part, stores were able to fill prescriptions, but they were unable to process the insurance claims. As a result, pharmacists were instructed to complete all prescription requests and keep records for insurance purposes.

The CVS headquarters in Woonsocket lost power mid afternoon. It was one of several office complexes affected by flooding problems at local power substations, according to a local news report. The power loss caused the widespread computer outage.

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FDA: Stalevo may increase male patients’ risk of cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Data from a long-term clinical trial may indicate a possible cancer risk in men taking a drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The agency notified healthcare professionals and patients that it was evaluating data from the STRIDE-PD trial indicating a possible risk of prostate cancer in patients taking the Novartis drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone). It cautioned, however, that it had not concluded that a risk existed and that other clinical trials evaluating Stalevo and a related drug, Comtan (entacapone), did not show an increased prostate cancer risk.

Novartis issued the following statement in response to the FDA report: “Novartis is coordinating with the FDA as it evaluates data from the STRIDE-PD study related to an unexpected imbalance in reports of prostate cancer cases. STRIDE-PD was conducted in patients with early Parkinson’s disease to investigate a potential new indication outside the terms of the current label. Previous controlled clinical trials have not found an increased risk of prostate cancer.”

Stalevo and Comtan had collective sales of $217 million in 2009, according to Novartis financial reports.

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