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Fred Meyer preps for flu season with needle-free vaccine option

BY Allison Cerra

PORTLAND, Ore. — Fred Meyer customers seeking to be immunized against the flu this fall now have a needle-free option.

The retailer announced Thursday that stores across Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington offer both traditional flu shots and a needle-free option, which is manufactured by Bioject Medical Technologies.

“While needle-free vaccines have been used in the past in some public agencies and the military, this is the first time this option has been available to the public through their pharmacies,” Fred Meyer VP and director of pharmacy Marc Cecchini said. “This provides a great alternative for customers who are wary of needles but want to protect themselves against the flu.”

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JDRF, InnoCentive launch challenge for treatment of diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and InnoCentive are calling for innovative ways to approach the discovery and development of a glucose-responsive insulin drug as a means to treat Type 1 diabetes.

JDRF and InnoCentive’s $100,000 Challenge is open to anyone with a solution that fits the published criteria and requires a written proposal. Submissions will be accepted through Nov. 9. The winning solution from this challenge could be further developed into a second phase, named the preclinical proof of principle “validation phase,” JDRF and InnoCentive said. This second phase would require a detailed research plan proposal and could offer the winning solver(s) the opportunity to become a member(s) of the team created to put the winning solution into practice.

“JDRF is an organization that recognizes the importance of innovation in the healthcare industry,” InnoCentive president and CEO Dwayne Spradlin said. “This approach of looking beyond traditional researchers to gain new insights, ideas and solutions illustrates their commitment to finding a better way to treat diabetes. We are excited to be partnering with JDRF to find new ways to enhance the quality of life for patients while helping patients better manage their disease.”

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Pennsylvania legislation would ban mandatory mail order

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — Bills proposed in Pennsylvania’s state legislature would allow patients to have their prescriptions filled through mail-order and at community pharmacies for the same price.

House Bill 511 and Senate Bill 211, which promoters said are designed to give a "booster shot" to local pharmacies and save jobs, are the latest episode in what appears to be a growing battle between pharmacy benefit managers and retail pharmacies.

The bills would amend a state insurance law to prevent payers and PBMs from requiring patients to use mail-order. In addition, it would forbid payers and PBMs from imposing extra charges or other special requirements if they don’t obtain their drugs through mail-order or limits on the drugs they can obtain through retail pharmacies.

The bill’s restriction on requiring patients to use mail-order is similar to legislation in New York that has passed both houses of the state legislature and is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, the proposed merger between PBM giants Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions has met vigorous opposition from retail and specialty pharmacy groups.

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L.KAGEL says:
Sep-09-2011 11:27 am

I believe this is an excellent idea. There is no reason for consumers to have to use mail order. Why should community pharmacy be put at risk. it is all about choice and that is what America stands for. I look forward to seeing my local pharmacist for advice and answering questions. That voice on the phone from someone who I have no idea who they are will not be missed. Finally some government agency looking out for the consumer

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