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Healthgrades launches Cold and Flu Center information resource for consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — Healthgrades on Monday announced the launch of its new Cold and Flu Center at http://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/cold-and-flu/, designed to provide consumers with actionable information to stay healthy this fall. The launch coincides with the release of a new Healthgrades study that finds that there is a significant gap in consumer understanding of the importance of flu shots, as well as a lack of awareness of the different flu vaccine options.
 
The survey finds that one in three (34%) Americans do not intend to get a flu shot. Among respondents who do not intend to receive a flu vaccine, more than two-thirds (69%) will not get one because they do not think they need one or prefer not to get vaccines altogether. Furthermore, 70% of consumers will not request a specific form of the flu vaccine like a nasal spray or traditional shot.  
 
Among respondents who do intend to receive a flu shot, 37% plan to do so in their doctor’s office and 39% plan to do so in their workplace with only 22% of consumers opting to get a flu shot at their pharmacy or drug store. Overwhelmingly, 91% of these consumers say that they plan ahead for their flu shot and two-thirds (68%) plan to get their shot during the month of October.
 
“Each year as many as one in five Americans get the flu,” said Brad Graner, president, publisher and advertising solutions, Healthgrades. “Despite their ubiquity and the CDC’s recommendations, our research showed that there is still room for the industry to educate consumers on these topics.”
 
At the Healthgrades Cold and Flu Center, content on topics ranging from understanding guidelines on who should get a flu shot to debunking myths about the common cold is combined with interactive tools, as well as the ability to search for a local practitioner to obtain a flu shot or treat a cold.
 
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Mirixa Corp. names former Walgreens, Rite Aid executive CEO

BY Michael Johnsen

RESTON, Va. — Mirixa Corporation, founded by the National Community Pharmacists Association, on Tuesday announced that its board of directors has appointed Marvin Richardson as CEO effective Nov. 4. In addition, he will be a member of the company's board. 
 
Richardson joins Mirixa from Walgreens. 
 
With a career spanning more than 34 years, Richardson is a veteran of health care and retail pharmacy services, having co-founded and managed several companies. In 1989, Richardson co-founded Low Cost Health Care with his wife Melanie, an independent pharmacy business with four locations and a long-term care pharmacy operation. In 2003, he co-founded and was CEO of PrairieStone Pharmacy, a 21-store retail pharmacy chain based in Minneapolis. During his tenure at PrairieStone, DailyMed was successfully launched — a comprehensive Medication Therapy Management program with compliance packaging of pharmaceuticals. 
 
 
Additionally, Richardson served as SVP pharmacy operations for Rite Aid and most recently worked within the specialty division of Walgreens, focusing on a number of pharmacy adherence initiatives. He has served on various pharmacy industry boards, including the NCPA LTC Advisory Committee, has been an advisor to government leaders on healthcare policies, and has received the Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2008.
 
"Marvin has the ideal background to take Mirixa to the next level," said Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "As a pharmacist with extensive industry knowledge and a proven track record, he has the ability to move the business forward with energy and vision. We eagerly anticipate the future of Mirixa as he drives and executes strategies that will enhance our position within the industry."
 
"I'm excited to join Mirixa at this significant stage," Richardson said. "Mirixa has exceptional assets and a solid foundation in place. I plan to build on our accomplishments to date, provide even greater value to our clients by empowering and engaging our over 50,000-strong pharmacy network, and of course, reinforce the importance of pharmacists within the healthcare industry."
 
Mirixa Corporation is the leader in targeted patient care services delivered via the nation's largest pharmacy-based patient care network, according to the company. Dedicated to improving patients' health, Mirixa enables the healthcare community to deliver patient care services through retail pharmacy. The MirixaPro web-based clinical platform is used by pharmacists to deliver standardized patient care services.
 
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Rite Aid to provide free resources for upcoming annual Medicare Part D enrollment period

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — To help senior customers as they get ready to select a prescription drug plan or update their existing coverage during the upcoming annual Medicare Part D enrollment period, Rite Aid is offering free resources. Beginning Oct. 15, customers can use Rite Aid’s Medicare Advisor, available at any Rite Aid pharmacy, to request the three lowest-cost prescription drug plans based on current prescriptions filled at Rite Aid. The resource tool is also available online at www.riteaid.com/medicareadvisor.
 
"Rite Aid is committed to offering convenient, informative and easy-to-understand resources to help our customers make the best decisions to achieve their individual health and wellness goals," said Robert Thompson, EVP pharmacy for Rite Aid. "Prescriptions play an important role in maintaining good health, and that’s why it’s important to review your prescription drug coverage each year. Accessible in Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide or from home, our Medicare Advisor is a valuable tool for customers evaluating their prescription coverage, helping them to confidently choose the best plan based on their prescription needs."
 
With Rite Aid’s Medicare Advisor, customers can compare the estimated annual costs of various plans, including monthly premiums, brand and generic co-pays and drugs covered. Customers can then discuss their Medicare Advisor report with their Rite Aid pharmacists, who are available to answer questions they may have.
 
Rite Aid will serve as the exclusive co-branded preferred pharmacy provider for the new Symphonix Rite Aid Premier Rx (PDP). There is no deductible for those enrolled in the plan, which also offers low copays and covers an expansive list of covered medications. Rite Aid is also the exclusive preferred pharmacy provider for the Symphonix Rite Aid Value Rx (PDP). Both plans are available everywhere Rite Aid operates except Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
 
Rite Aid is in the networks of hundreds of other Medicare prescription drug plans, the retailer noted.
 
The Medicare Part D enrollment period runs through Dec. 7.
 
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