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CVS to report on effects of e-prescribing

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark, in conjunction with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, will present data on April 18 at the annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy that demonstrates how the iScribe e-prescribing tool helps professionals identify and assess medication noncompliance.

“While it is widely recognized that medication noncompliance contributes to adverse drug events, poor health outcomes and increased healthcare costs, research to date has focused on patients who discontinue therapy and has not been able to account for primary noncompliance, where medications prescribed to begin therapy are never filled by the patient,” stated Jan Berger, chief clinical officer for CVS Caremark. “The data collected using iScribe e-prescribing technology, shows us not only that there is an extremely high rate of primary noncompliance for medications to treat cardiovascular conditions, which places patients at increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but also provides information that can help shape how and when healthcare providers can most effectively intervene with education and support.”

The study, conduct in conjunction with Horizon BCBSNJ, analyzed when and if prescriptions written for the treatment of various chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, were dispensed to patients. Data was collected between Jan. 1, 2005 and Oct. 31, 2006 from a subset of 507 Horizon BCBSNJ providers who use iScribe e-prescribing technology. Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis comparing prescriptions for medications to treat chronic diseases as well as prescriptions for antibiotics written via iScribe during this time period to submitted drug claims for medications dispensed between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2006.

Study results found a high rate of noncompliance among all patients taking medications to treat a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, with about 18 percent of those prescriptions unfilled after 60 days.

Noncompliance among patients continuing therapy was about 6 percent, while noncompliance rates for patients initiating therapy with cardiovascular medication were much higher, with up to 70 percent of patients noncompliant after 60 days.

With iScribe, prescribers can send prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy from either a handheld PDA or desktop computer. It provides the prescriber with generic and formulary coverage information and they can check for potentially harmful drug interactions at the point of prescribing. Prescribers can also follow up with patients when iScribe alerts them to unfilled prescriptions.

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Rite Aid helps fund mobile cancer clinic

BY DSN STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. The Rite Aid Foundation, a private foundation managed by Rite Aid Corp., has given a $20,000 grant toward the mobile health initiative of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, one of the leading comprehensive cancer care and research centers in the U.S. and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Through the use of two state-of-the-art education and screening vans, Dana-Farber takes its world class expertise in cancer screening and education “on the road” to deliver critical health and wellness services in the community where people live and work. Since 2002, Dana-Farber has offered mobile mammography service in Massachusetts, and has added a second van to offer prostate cancer screening, and skin cancer screening, in addition to education around sun safety, nutrition, tobacco cessation, human papillomavirus, and gynecologic cancers.

“This is the Rite Aid Foundation’s first grant in the Boston area. Being caring neighbors who are involved in our communities in meaningful ways is one of Rite Aid’s core values,” said Gayle Rife, manager of the Rite Aid Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to help Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in its important work to provide quality cancer screening and education.”

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Take Care launches recruitment program for nurse practitioners

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has kicked off a recruitment program that includes a recruitment video aimed at educating nurse practitioners on the convenient care model and showcasing what sets Take Care apart.

This week and next week, nursing organizations and leaders across the country, including top Deans at nursing schools, will receive the DVD with a note from Take Care Health. It can also be viewed by visiting www.takecarehealth.com/npvideo.

The seven-minute video features comments from Peter Miller, co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of Take Care; Hal Rosenbluth, co-founder of Take Care and corporate vice president of Walgreens; and Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer.

The video also features three Take Care nurse practitioners who discuss their belief in the Take Care and convenient care model, and their support of the company’s mission.

Take Care currently manages more than 145 Take Care clinics and plans to have more than 400 clinics at Walgreens stores by the end of 2008.

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