PHARMACY

Finding synergy between food, Rx

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News interview with Helen Eddy, VP health and wellness at Hy-Vee

Drug Store News: How did Hy-Vee get the idea to have pharmacists and dieticians collaborate on educating patients about disease states and health management?

Helen Eddy: We started by having three corporate dieticians on staff, which grew into having dieticians in the stores. The evolution of the pharmacist and dietician teams was just a natural partnership that evolved quickly. I credit our stores for recognizing the synergies and developing the programs. At Hy-Vee, the best ideas come from our stores.

DrSN: What do you hope to accomplish the most?

Eddy: Richard Jurgens, our chairman and CEO, has stated that our goal is to be the healthiest company in America, and then to help the states in which we operate become the healthiest states in the nation. We will do that through employee and customer programs that help them live healthier lifestyles and reverse the obesity epidemic.

DrSN: How do you leverage your capabilities as a supermarket pharmacy in educating patients with chronic disease states?

Eddy: Supermarket pharmacies are uniquely positioned to help customers achieve their health goals through the combination of pharmacy and healthy food choices. Every time that we are educating a customer about a disease, we address diet and healthy lifestyles.

Prescription medications alone usually are not enough to achieve the desired health outcome. It also requires that we address diet and nutrition. The supermarket, where [customers] shop, is the ideal classroom for teaching customers how to live healthier lives.

DrSN: What roles can supermarket pharmacies play in the U.S. healthcare system?

Eddy: Our healthcare crisis will not be resolved until we address obesity and begin preventing chronic disease. The supermarket pharmacy is an accessible, unique resource for both patients and healthcare professionals. Supermarket pharmacies have the health expertise of their pharmacists, combined with healthy, fresh food.

At Hy-Vee, we are already seeing physicians referring patients to our dieticians and pharmacists for education because we combine nutrition and chronic disease education. The result is better patient outcomes.

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PHARMACY

Walgreens offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens now is offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries at all of its more than 7,100 pharmacies throughout the country.

Following the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D insurance plans, Walgreens is assisting those beneficiaries who’ve made changes to their prescription drug coverage. Review sessions with Walgreens pharmacists are available daily by appointment through Jan. 31, and are designed to help patients maximize their plan benefits.

Review sessions include:

  • A review of beneficiary’s current medications, tiers within their selected plan, co-pays and cost-savings opportunities
  • Discussion of available health and wellness services including pneumonia and shingles vaccinations and 90-day prescription benefits
  • Checks for potential drug interactions

Customers can call their nearest Walgreens pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Visit www.walgreens.com or call 1-800-Walgreens for store locations and hours.

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Watson files FDA application for generic LoSeasonique

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Labs, a subsidiary of specialty pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals, has filed an abbreviated new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for an oral contraceptive.

Watson is seeking approval to market its levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (0.10-mg/0.02-mg) oral contraceptive product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545, which is owned by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Teva.  Watson’s levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol product is a generic version of Teva’s LoSeasonique, which is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.

On Nov. 23, 2009, pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, Watson notified Duramed that its ANDA requesting approval from the FDA for a generic version of LoSeasonique contained a paragraph IV certification asserting that the LoSeasonique patent is invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed.  Teva Women’s Health filed suit against Watson on Jan. 6, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545.  Based on available information, Watson believes it may be entitled to 180 days of generic market exclusivity or shared exclusivity should its product receive approval.

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