PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic receive Award of Excellence from National Influenza Vaccine Summit

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark’s retail clinic division, have received the National Influenza Vaccine Summit 2009 Immunization Excellence Award for a Corporate Campaign.

The award, co-sponsored by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was presented in Dallas, as healthcare leaders from more than 100 government and private organizations gathered at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit annual meeting.

The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions toward improved adult and/or childhood influenza vaccination rates and, more specifically, corporate campaigns that increase awareness and delivery of influenza vaccinations nationwide.

Through its integrated “Flu Shots Made Simple” campaign, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic administered more than 1.2 million flu shots in its retail locations during the 2008/2009 flu season. The coordinated approach included 7,500 flu shot clinic events held in CVS/pharmacy stores and flu shots on demand seven days a week at about 500 MinuteClinic healthcare centers located inside select CVS/pharmacy locations across the country. More than 6,000 nurse practitioners, registered nurses and pharmacists administered shots as part of the program.

To educate the public about the importance of getting an annual flu shot, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic designed an integrated marketing communications campaign that included television, print, direct, in-store promotion and public relations.

“CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are delighted to be recognized for our efforts to vaccinate our customers and patients and to help keep them and their families healthy during the cold and flu season,” said Donna Haugland, chief nursing officer, MinuteClinic, who accepted the award on behalf of MinuteClinic and CVS/pharmacy.

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic will announce plans for their 2009/2010 flu shot campaign soon. Flu shots will be available at in-store flu shot events and daily at MinuteClinic. In addition, MinuteClinic will continue to administer rapid flu testing and serve as a surveillance provider to local health departments in 25 states and more than 50 metropolitan areas.

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NACDS Marketplace Conference kicks off with Meet the Market format

BY Drug Store News Team

BOSTON It was a cool and crisp day as attendees filed into the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Sunday to take part in the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference annualized Meet the Market format, which this year represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments, including 270 retailers representing some 80 companies.

The Meet the Market format, where smaller and new suppliers are able to secure 10-minute meetings with their category buyers, takes on greater value in a recession economy, where many retailers are cutting more SKUs from their planograms than they’re slicing in, noted Larry Lotridge, NACDS VP conference services. “We know when the economy’s tight you still want to get in front of the retailers,” he said, “because our industry is still selling.”

Lotridge noted one supplier last year negotiated a 100-store test run in Walmart after an initial meeting at Meet the Market. This year, Lotridge said, that supplier is likely to secure full distribution with the mass marketer. “You want to be the company with the product on the shelf,” he said.

And such formats as Meet the Market are opportune to help new or small companies accomplish just that.

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NACDS, NCPA endorse Rep. Mike Ross’ MTM legislation

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two pharmacist organizations announced their support for H.R. 3108, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.

The bill was introduced on June 26, and immediately was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Committee on Ways and Means, two House committees with jurisdiction over comprehensive healthcare reform legislation.

Pharmacist-provided medication therapy management involves a licensed pharmacist’s work with a patient to review, monitor and identify problems with a patient’s medication plan.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of Rep. Ross as he continues to advocate for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy healthcare reform legislation in Congress,” stated National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Rep. Ross’ bill signifies the importance of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management for improving medication adherence, enhancing patient health and reducing long-term healthcare costs.”

National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts also supported the bill, stating that MTM improves patients’ adherence and their outcomes through the utilization of pharmacists’ expertise. “H.R. 3108 will expand the pool of Medicare Part D patients that can access this valuable service and recognize pharmacists for the savings they provide to the healthcare system,” Roberts said. “We thank Congressman Mike Ross for introducing this bill, and urge other members of the House to support it. We call on the Senate to introduce similar legislation. Ultimately, for healthcare reform to be fully successful, it must include proposals such as this to improve quality while lowering overall costs.”

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