Good Neighbor honors top independents
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. Four Good Neighbor Pharmacy Recognition Awards were presented to customers at the AmerisourceBergen National Healthcare Conferences held in various locations across the country.
The awards recognize the achievements of Good Neighbor Pharmacy stores in the following categories – Pharmacy of the Year, Pharmacist of the Year, Home Health Care Pharmacy of the Year and Diabetes Shoppe “Living Without Limits.”
All award winners were selected from AmerisourceBergen’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy network of more than 3,600 independent pharmacies nationwide. This year’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy Recognition Award winners are:
- Pharmacy of the Year: Samia Zaki and Ahmed Atallah of Fox Drug in Torrance, Calif.;
- Pharmacist of the Year: Ray Marcrom, PharmD. of Marcrom’s Pharmacy in Manchester, Tenn.
- Home Healthcare Pharmacy of the Year Award: Faiz and Joe Oley of Westbury Pharmacy in Richmond, Va.;
- Diabetes Shoppe Living Without Limits Award: Kevin Roeder, The Apothecary Shoppe, Midland, Mich.
The Pharmacy of the Year Award is presented each year to a pharmacy that represents the best that Good Neighbor Pharmacy has to offer and is a model for other stores.
“Fox Drug prides itself on customer service, with patient care being paramount to their success and health of their patients,” said Peter Cerula, corporate VP retail for AmerisourceBergen. “Samia and Ahmed have owned the pharmacy for 20 years. They have become an asset to the community with their services, such as patient counseling, free deliveries and outreach to the community with their flu clinics and participation in local health fairs.”
Fox Drugs participated in a pilot program with AmerisourceBergen to help analyze their point-of-sale data and worked with a business coach to improve their profitability.
Meanwhile, the Pharmacist of the Year Award is bestowed to a pharmacist who is supremely dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people and towns he or she serves. Since opening Marcrom’s Pharmacy in 1978, Ray had a business plan that was more clinical than corporate.
“If we are truly pharmacists, our concern should not just be keeping the business and filling prescriptions. It ought to be providing top-quality health care,” noted Marcom.
In late 2006, Marcom spearheaded meetings with a local aerospace testing facility, its union and AmerisourceBergen to create a seamless prescription benefit plan that provides enhanced patient care from a group of independent pharmacists, and eventually, overall plan cost reductions. This new benefit model has become a showcase for other community pharmacists around the country.
Marcrom’s Pharmacy serves as an advanced community and ambulatory care student training site for the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy. Between seven and 15 students are trained annually to increase their competency and leadership skills.
“Ray Marcrom is a leader for pharmacists everywhere. His commitment to his patients, the community and future pharmacists should be commended,” said James Grigg, group VPt, program management of retail at AmerisourceBergen. “We are honored to be affiliated with a pharmacist of Ray’s character and are pleased to have him as an advisor to Good Neighbor Pharmacy.”
Additionally, Good Neighbor also presented the Home Healthcare Pharmacy of the Year Award to Faiz and Joe Oley of Westbury Pharmacy, located in Richmond, Va. The award is bestowed to the pharmacy that shows excellence in providing patients with medical equipment, supplies and support, and has established a successful home healthcare business in its community.
“When I think of home health care and the understanding compassion and knowledge that go with delivering these products and services, I think of Westbury Pharmacy,” said John Ferrara, R.Ph., corporate VP retail business development for AmerisourceBergen. “Westbury is a destination in the Richmond community for home health care needs.”
The Apothecary Shoppe was honored with the Diabetes Shoppe Living Without Limits Award. The staff visits the local health fairs and senior expos, and conduct diabetes days at independent living centers where they have blood glucose testing and shoe fittings with the Tenderfeet products. In the store, The Apothecary Shoppe has two full time nurses on staff who are available for testing and patient counseling.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois hits e-Rx milestone
CHICAGO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois announced Monday that physicians and healthcare providers in the Illinois E-Prescribing Collaborative reached a major milestone in their e-prescribing efforts: the one millionth e-prescription transmitted. The Illinois Blues program also recorded the significant benefits of expanded use of electronic prescribing technology.
“E-prescribing enhances patient care and prevents errors,” said Scott Sarran, M.D., BCBSIL’s chief medical officer. “E-prescribing reduces the potential for drug interactions, which can be extremely harmful, and even fatal in some cases, and it can eliminate the potential for errors that can occur if pharmacists can’t read hand-written prescriptions.”
Sarran said that since BCBSIL launched the e-prescribing program in April 2007, more than 119,000 possible drug interactions have been flagged. As a result, nearly 20% of prescriptions were changed or cancelled.
Based on national trends, more than 670,000 prescriptions will be changed and cancelled in 2009, due to drug interaction warnings, and more than 53,600 prescriptions will be changed or cancelled due to drug allergy warnings.
The Institute of Medicine reports that more than 1.5 million Americans are injured every year by medication errors and recommends that all prescriptions be written and received electronically by the year 2010, BCBSIL said.
Surescripts, a St. Paul, Minn.-based national electronic prescribing network, said e-prescribing accounts for about 4.5% of all prescribing in the United States. However, since 2007, e-prescribing has more than doubled to 68 million in 2008 from 29 million in 2007.
Sarran said BCBSIL providers using the technology have increased. He has seen growth in the number of scripts routed electronically. According to the 2008 Electronic Prescribing Progress Report, Illinois ranked 21st in the nation for total number of prescriptions routed electronically. In 2007, the state ranked 28th and was 27th in 2006.
Watson Pharmaceuticals recalls fentanyl patches
MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that one lot of 100 mcg/hr Fentanyl Transdermal System patches sold in the United States is being voluntarily recalled from wholesalers and pharmacies.
Watson’s Fentanyl Transdermal System CII is indicated for the management of persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain that requires continuous, around the clock opioid administration for an extended period of time and cannot be managed by other means such as non-steroidal analgesics, opioid combination products, or immediate release opioids.
The recalled patches are from Lot Number 145287A, have expiration dates of February 2011 and were manufactured by Watson Laboratories, Inc. and distributed by Watson Pharma. The affected lot of patches was shipped to customers between April 2 and May 20 of this year. No other strengths or lots were affected and the company does not anticipate any product shortages as a result of this recall. The company has notified the Food and Drug Administration of the recall.
A small number of patches leaking fentanyl gel have been detected in this lot, potentially exposing patients or caregivers directly to fentanyl gel. Fentanyl patches that are leaking should not be used. No serious injuries have been reported in connection with the recalled lot. However, exposure to fentanyl gel may lead to serious adverse events, including respiratory depression and possible overdose, which may be fatal.
Patients using fentanyl patches who have medical questions should contact their healthcare providers.
Anyone who comes in contact with fentanyl gel should thoroughly rinse exposed skin with large amounts of water only; do not use soap. Immediately dispose of affected patches that may be damaged or compromised in any way by flushing them down the toilet, using caution not to handle them directly. Damaged and/or compromised patches that have leaked gel will not provide effective pain relief.
Any adverse reactions experienced with the use of this product, and/or quality problems should also be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Program by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088, by Fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, by mail at MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787, or on the MedWatch Web site at www.fda.gov/medwatch.