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Diabetes Roundtable panel deliberates on compliance, education, social media

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK —Nearly 24 million Americans live with diabetes, and some projections have shown the figure will nearly double over the next 25 years as the annual $113 billion cost of treating the disease nearly triples. But suppliers and retailers already have mobilized to address one of the country’s most serious public health issues.

Thirteen representatives of suppliers and retailers gathered Dec. 1 at Drug Store News’ 7th Annual Diabetes Roundtable at the New York Athletic Club, moderated by Hamacher Resource Group VP Dave Wendland, to discuss what they are doing to help patients prevent and manage the disease.

The rapid increase in the incidence of the disease, and the likelihood that it will increase in the future, was a major theme of the roundtable. “A third of us in here will be diagnosed with diabetes,” AmerisourceBergen Corp. national director of in-store pharmacy solutions Ceci Zeigler told attendees.

The economy has affected medication compliance among patients with a number of disease states, including diabetes, and costs and education have remained important factors in dealing with the disease. “We’re going to have to continue to be creative and innovative to address the cost and education barriers,” Novo Nordisk senior manager of trade operations Rachel Sosalski said.

Panelists also agreed that social media was a way of the future. “Right now, what we have is called ‘static messaging’—the typical, everyday product Web sites, a lot of good patient education,” Takeda Pharmaceuticals director of cross-brand and trade marketing Mike Caracci said. “But that’s not where the patient’s going right now. The patient is going to a place where they want to converse; they want to interact.”

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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