PHARMACY

Independent pharmacies tap into long-term care market with new center

BY Alaric DeArment

DENVER Healthcare services company Cardinal Health will work with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacies to help independent retail pharmacies tap into the long-term care market, Cardinal said Thursday.

According to statistics from 2008, the number of adults in the United States needing nursing home or assisted living care is expected to be 20 million by 2050. Officially launched at Cardinal’s Retail Business Conference in Denver this week, the Long Term Care Specialized Care Center will give independents access to long-term care field specialists, discounts on the ASCP’s policy and procedure manuals and continuing education courses and market analyses.

“Many independent pharmacists want to start serving the high-growth long-term care market, but doing so requires a specialized knowledge base and skill set,” Cardinal VP market management and product development Jay Williams said. “That’s why we’ve partnered with ASCP – the recognized expert in geriatric pharmacotherapy – to provide our customers with the education and building blocks they need to immediately start serving the medication needs of the long-term care facilities in their communities.”

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Reaching out to new CMS administrator Berwick, NACDS highlights pro-patient, pro-pharmacy goals

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is moving quickly to establish a working relationship with newly installed Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald Berwick.

NACDS on Wednesday sent a letter to Berwick, who was tapped by President Obama to serve as the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson urged continued collaboration with CMS on issues related to pharmacy that he said are vital to quality health care and cost reduction.

“NACDS and its member companies are committed to improving patient adherence to their prescription drug regimens,” Anderson told Berwick. “We strongly believe that access to neighborhood pharmacies and pharmacist-provided care can improve health outcomes for patients and reduce costs.”

Anderson also pointed to issues of major concern to retail pharmacy, including fair reimbursement for prescription and pharmacy services, pharmacy’s role in a medical home and the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse. He pledged NACDS’ support in working with the new CMS chief on ongoing efforts to reduce fraud and waste in the healthcare system.

“We look forward to working with you on these and other issues that impact chain pharmacies and the patients they serve,” the letter concluded.

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Eli Lilly acquires Alnara

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Drug maker Eli Lilly has finished its acquisition of a company developing a pancreatic disorder treatment.

Lilly announced Tuesday that it had finished acquiring Alnara Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company, in a deal announced July 2. Lilly acquired Alnara for an upfront payment of $180 million, and Alnara stockholders could receive up to $200 million in additional milestone payments based on product performance.

Alnara is developing liprotamase, a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy under review by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease resulting from cystic fibrosis, removal of the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis and other conditions.

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