PHARMACY

Genoa marks telepsychiatry milestone

BY David Salazar

Behavioral health pharmacy and telepsychiatry company Genoa, a QoL Healthcare Company, has reached a big number with its remote psychiatry offering. The Tukwila, Wash.-based company announced Tuesday that it had facilitated more than 100,000 telepsych consultations on its video conferencing platform.

Genoa attributes the milestone to its recent buildup of its telepsychiatry operations, which grew to include 35 in 2017 from 20 at the start of the year, and included 250 providers. In 2017, the company grew to serve more than 2,500 patients per week.

“The need is clear. One-in-5 Americans has a mental illness, and one-in-17 has what is considered a serious and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. Getting care quickly can be a matter of life and death,” Genoa Telepsychiatry general manager Samir Malik said.  “Unfortunately, more than 80 million Americans live in areas that do not have enough psychiatrists. This shortage contributes to nearly sixty percent of individuals who have an active mental illness failing to seek care.”

The company’s platform is able to reduce wait time for an appointment by as much as 30%, Genoa said, adding that it integrates workflows and reduces the need for extra communication among the care team.

“Eighty-five percent of our patients come back for follow-up visits. They really appreciate the service,” Malik said. “By empowering patients with greater choice in location and time, telepsychiatry helps tear down treatment barriers and reduce stigma – a key factor that keeps many from ever seeking care.”

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This year’s flu activity threatens to become ‘Texas big’

BY Michael Johnsen

This year's flu continues to be Texas big, according to the Walgreens Flu Index released Wednesday, as the top 10 communities experiencing the greatest amount of flu incidence were all located in the Lone Star State for the week ended Jan. 6.

Iowa, Idaho and Arkansas rank behind Texas in terms of flu activity. And Montana, Idaho and Iowa ranked highest among states experiencing flu activity gains.

That's significant, as the 2017/2018 influenza season is already going into the record books as the strongest season since 2009, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The top 10 designated market areas with flu activity for the week ending Jan. 6 were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  4. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas;
  5. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  6. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas;
  7. Houston;
  8. San Antonio;
  9. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; and
  10. Austin, Texas.

The top 10 markets experiencing flu activity gains for the period were:

  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Wausau-Rhinelander, Wis.;
  3. Davenport, Iowa-Rock Island-Moline, Ill.;
  4. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  5. Palm Springs, Calif.;
  6. San Diego;
  7. Milwaukee;
  8. Duluth, Minn.-Superior, Wis.;
  9. Madison, Wis.; and
  10. Los Angeles.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides valuable insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.
 

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Amneal introduces Busulfex generic

BY David Salazar

Amneal Biosciences has launched its generic of Otsuka’s Busulfex (busulfan injection, 6 mg/ml). The product is indicated to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Amneal said that its generic is available in cartons of eight single-dose vials, each of which contains 60 mg of the drug in a 10-ml clear sterile solution. The product is made without natural rubber, latex, gluten or preservatives, Amneal said.

The drug had U.S. sales of roughly $80 million for the 12 months ended October 2017, according to data from IQVIA.
 

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