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EPIC Pharmacy Network to join Cigna-HealthSpring Rx 2015 pharmacy network

BY Michael Johnsen

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — Cigna-HealthSpring Rx, a national Part D plan, on Thursday announced that members of EPIC Pharmacy Network will be part of its 2015 pharmacy network. Additionally, members of EPIC Pharmacy Network have a preferred cost-share arrangement with Cigna-HealthSpring Rx, which means generally lower costs for Medicare Part D customers with savings on copays and coinsurance. 
 
The lower costs of Cigna-HealthSpring’s preferred arrangements will provide Part D customers a copay savings that will range from $3 to $10 per script.
 
Cigna-HealthSpring’s preferred cost-share arrangements are expanding in 2015, and a complete listing is available here.  The Cigna-HealthSpring Rx plan is nationwide and offers preferred arrangements as a way to help customers save money on their healthcare costs, and the expanded 2015 options provide more choices for affordability to customers.
 
“We are pleased to have the members of EPIC Pharmacy Network as part of our 2015 pharmacy network, and furthermore that we can offer our customers more savings and affordable choices to help lower their drug costs,” said David Holladay, president of Cigna-HealthSpring pharmacy for Medicare and Medicaid. “Medication adherence is a vital part of overall health, especially for our Medicare customers who may average 10 or more daily medications, so it’s a top priority for us to find new and continued ways to maintain affordability and cost savings for our customers, which is exactly what our preferred cost-share arrangement with EPIC Pharmacy Network creates.”
 
“EPN is proud to provide another opportunity for our more than 1,900 member pharmacies to provide personalized health care to patients. We are committed to providing the tools and services that enable independent pharmacies to thrive in today’s marketplace,” said EPIC Pharmacy Network president Angelo Voxakis.
 
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Wahl Clipper helps fight childhood cancers via “Get Buzzed” campaign

BY DSN STAFF

STERLING, Ill. — Wahl Clipper, maker of hair clippers, and Kappa Sigma Fraternity are urging college students nationwide to "Get Buzzed for Good" by picking up a clipper and raising funds to support the St. Baldrick's Foundation and its fight against childhood cancers.

Starting this month, college students will be shaving their heads to support “Get Buzzed,” a new fundraising campaign from Wahl and Kappa Sigma Fraternity to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation to support childhood cancer research. The campaign kicks off with a live head-shaving event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, where students from area universities such as George Washington, Catholic University of America, George Mason and Towson University are putting their head where their heart is.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000 for childhood cancer research. To help make this a reality, other schools and students are getting buzzed, as well. On Nov. 15, New York University's Kappa Sigma chapter is organizing a head-shaving event with several universities in the Greater New York City area coming together to support the cause. Colleges participating in the campaign can be found at getbuzzed4good.com.
  
At each “Get Buzzed” event, students and the general public will have the opportunity to take the stage and get their head shaved in front of family and friends. Those who do will join a growing fraternity of supporters who have helped the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The organizer of head-shaving events has raised more than $152 million for lifesaving research since 2005. This year alone, more than 57,000 volunteers, including students, business professionals, first responders and beauty queens, have gone under the clippers at more than 1,300 St. Baldrick's events.

“Get Buzzed” supports "Cuts for a Cause," a new program from Wahl Clipper to help raise funds for nonprofit organizations through charitable head-shaving, haircutting and facial hair trimming events. In just one year, "Cuts for a Cause" has helped nonprofit organizations such as St. Baldrick's raise nearly $1 million through product donations and contributions.
 

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Restore Health pharmacist develops allergy-relieving toothpaste

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, Wis. — Shara Rudner, director, clinical trials group for Restore Health, was part of a research collaboration that developed a new delivery system that could help millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies. 
 
William Reisacher from Weill Cornell Medical College and research colleagues teamed up with Rudner to study a novel method of delivering allergenic extracts using a compounded toothpaste vehicle. Research results were featured in the July/August 2014 International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding.
 
"We know that 20% to 40% of the U.S. population suffers from allergic rhinitis," Rudner said. "It is important for people living with allergies to work with their physician to develop an appropriate allergy treatment plan that will effectively reduce their symptoms. This research shows that using a toothpaste delivery system to treat patients with allergic rhinitis is very promising."
 
 
"This new delivery system for millions who suffer from AR could give physicians another tool to help their patients find relief and help the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies," said Matt Wanderer, CEO of Restore Health. 
 
"An important part of Shara's contribution to Restore is the forward-looking research and development of innovative approaches to patient care, including novel drug delivery systems such as toothpaste for agents of immunotherapy," said Murray Firestone, president of Restore Health. "It's truly creative to use an activity in which patients already engage, brushing their teeth, to support adherence with their drug regimen; the definition of a disruptive technology.  Kudos to her and her research colleagues."
 
Reisacher holds equity in Allovate, the company that developed a toothpaste vehicle for immunotherapy delivery, and additionally serves as an unpaid consultant to the company.
 
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