PHARMACY

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy launches redesigned website

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has launched its new website, the company said Monday.

Diplomat said the website design had been in beta testing for the past several months, overseen by VP technology and marketing Jennifer Cretu.

"Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has experienced explosive growth since the last significant updates were made to the website in April 2010, when the company announced its headquarters move to Flint and an expected 1,000 new jobs filled through 2015," Cretu said. "Our website is an entree to Diplomat, and we needed a modern, easy-to-navigate site that employed a simplified and more open design."

New features include an overview of the company’s services, support and advocacy resources for patients; information on financial assistance; an explanation on the expanding role of pharmacists; information on Diplomat’s partnerships with hospitals, health providers, drug makers and retail pharmacies; and health news and research summaries on the company’s blog. The company is also active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

"Patients who use Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy services are being treated for complex, chronic conditions and life-threatening illnesses and often have questions about their clinical treatment plans, drug interactions, side effects and other topics related to their specialty pharmacy prescriptions," Cretu said. "We connect with them using social media as a complement to our industry-leading call centers, which handle over 50,000 calls each month. The easier it is for patients to reach out and connect with us, regardless of the medium, the greater the opportunity to meet our goals for patient compliance and adherence — and keeping patients healthier."

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Leticia Moreinos Schwartz to promote Type 2 diabetes awareness among Hispanics

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck has hired celebrity chef and cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz as a spokeswoman to reach out to Hispanics living with Type 2 diabetes, the drug maker said Friday.

The company has launched a campaign titled Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon (Taking Diabetes to Heart) to educate Hispanics on small lifestyle changes. Schwartz will visit several cities to show how traditional dishes can be made healthy without compromising taste while educating people with the disease on how to live a healthier lifestyle. Schwartz will also take part in the American Diabetes Association’s Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event in Miami on Sunday.

"My grandfather died from complications from his Type 2 diabetes, so I know how important it is for people living with Type 2 diabetes to manage their disease to help reduce their risk of serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke," Schwartz said. "In the Hispanic community, we all take to heart our families, our food, our culture and our community activities, and diabetes impacts all of these aspects of our lives."

According to Merck, Type 2 diabetes affects Hispanic Americans more than other ethnic groups, and they have a 66% higher risk of being diagnosed with it than non-Hispanic whites; nearly 12% are diagnosed with diabetes, one of the highest rates among any ethnic group.

 

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Fla. bill allows biosimilar, branded substitution

BY DSN STAFF

A new bill (HB 365) in Florida’s state legislature would allow pharmacists to substitute biosimilars for branded biotech drugs, according to published reports. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the Health Quality Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow for substitution while requiring pharmacists to notify prescribing physicians within five days and require the doctor and pharmacist to maintain a record for at least four years. A similar bill (SB 732) is pending in the Florida Senate, according to reports.

According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Florida is 1-of-10 states where biosimilar legislation is pending. Other states include Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

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