PHARMACY

Express Scripts: Carelessness leads to pharmacy-related wasteful spending

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS Such seemingly insignificant behaviors as forgetfulness and procrastination are costing the U.S. healthcare system big time, according to a report released Tuesday by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

According to the Express Scripts 2009 Drug Trend Report, such common behaviors result in $163 billion in pharmacy-related wasteful spending each year. The costs include $106 billion related to non-adherence, $51 billion in missed opportunities to lower medication costs and $6 billion in missed opportunities to lower medication delivery costs.

The report created a group of personas, such as Robert the Loyalist and Leigh the Sporadic Forgetter, to illustrate behaviors that contribute to wasteful spending.

“The good news is that these potential savings in the pharmacy benefit are tied to one of the few variables in health care we can readily influence: behavior,” Express Scripts SVP and chief medical officer Steven Miller said. “This research shows that in terms of achieving lower costs and improved outcomes, healthcare reform starts in the home.”

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Report: Kroger seeks to expand The Little Clinic business

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Kroger views its in-store health clinic business, The Little Clinic, as an important part of its commitment to health and wellness, and is in the midst of developing an expansion plan, according to a local report.

 

"It is part of our long-term plan," Kroger spokeswoman Meghan Glynn was quoted as saying in a Cincinnati Enquirer article. "Customers more and more are focused on health, fitness and wellness, especially with rising healthcare costs."

 

 

There are currently 80 Little Clinics inside select Kroger stores nationwide. The relationship between Kroger and the clinic operator began in 2003 when Kroger opened its first Little Clinic in a Kroger store in Louisville, Ky. In February, Kroger acquired The Little Clinic for, according to the news report, a price tag of $86 million.

 

 

Kroger had declined to comment on how it might change the business model or growth Little Clinic brand going forward.

 

 

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Michael Stoll, former VP corporate benefits for Kroger, was recently named CEO of The Little Clinic.

 

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Analyst upgrades AmerisourceBergen, deems company top drug distributor

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Boasting more than 3,600 Good Neighbor Pharmacy banners under its independent network has helped push AmerisourceBergen ahead of its wholesaler competitors, prompting a Goldman Sachs analyst to name ABC his top pick among pharmaceutical distribution companies on Friday, according to an Associated Press report.

Because of that large network of independents, Goldman Sachs’ Robert Jones believes ABC stands to benefit the most from the number of generic drugs that will enter the marketplace over the next few years. Jones suggested ABC would get a “larger boost than its competitors” because the wholesaler has greater exposure across its independent affiliates as compared with its pharmacy chain customers.

Jones kept a “Buy” rating on AmerisourceBergen, with a price target of $35 per share, while downgrading Cardinal Health to “Neutral” from “Buy” and maintaining a “Neutral” rating on McKesson Corp, the AP reported.

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