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Kerr Drug evolves retail pharmacy with revamped community health center concept

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Pharmacogenomics in Aisle 1?

Not quite, but the continued evolution of Kerr’s Community Healthcare Center store concept certainly offers a glimpse into what role community pharmacy could play in the American healthcare system of the future — and it goes far beyond just MTM. Like the deal CVS Caremark announced last week with Generation Health, pharmacogenomics, the study of how genetics influence drug response, represents the new frontier of community pharmacy.

In fairness, pharmacogenomics has been a part of the specialty pharmacy business for some time; given the cost of many of these drugs, the investment in DNA testing to optimize therapy is a no-brainer. But, projects like Kerr’s pilot with UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, which will focus on patients taking Plavix, target the long-term savings generated by patients on traditional drug therapies getting the most out of those medications. These types of programs will be instrumental in demonstrating community pharmacy’s value beyond simply dispensing.

It is important to note that all of the stories about innovation in community pharmacy are not generated solely by the likes of CVS Caremark and Walgreens, though clearly they are the leaders. But the story of Kerr and its Community Healthcare Center concept are an important reminder of the innovation and leadership that also continues to come out of Chapel Hill, N.C.

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Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy expands to Southern California

BY Allison Cerra

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy last week announced the opening of its branch in San Bernardino, Calif.

Diplomat has six additional locations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Florida.

“In January, our contracts with managed care organizations in California will potentially impact over 1 million people,” stated Atheer Kaddis, Diplomat’s VP managed care. “Our new San Bernardino location is an important resource for those patients. It will also provide our customers in the Western United States with best-in-class distribution and patient care services.”

“With new West Coast managed care contracts and expanded national programs we are thrilled to be adding a location in the greater Los Angeles area,” stated Phil Hagerman, president and CEO of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy. “We also look forward to providing new jobs in southern California as we build out our facility to be a full service West Coast distribution center for Diplomat.”

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Accu-Chek partners with Mylestone Health to enhance iPhone app, Web site

BY Michael Johnsen

INDIANAPOLIS Roche Diabetes Care, the maker of the Accu-Chek line of blood glucose meters and insulin delivery systems, has partnered with Mylestone Health, the developer of Glucose Buddy and its related Web site, www.glucosebuddy.com, to enhance the capabilities of Roche’s iPhone app.

The new version of Glucose Buddy iPhone app and Web site now both include Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs, an easy-to-use tool that shows the before-and-after effects of meals, activities and other specific events on your blood glucose levels. It is designed for use when you want to focus on one thing in your daily eating habits or routine.

“We are so pleased to be joining forces with Mylestone Health to offer our Testing in Pairs tool as part of its already highly successful iPhone app Glucose Buddy,” said Roche VP marketing Dan Kane. “We believe with the addition of the new Accu-Chek Testing in Pairs tool, people with diabetes will feel empowered and motivated to make changes based on the simplicity of the tool and the ability to personalize the experience.

“We recognized Mylestone as a company that already has relationships with thousands of Glucose Buddy users on an innovative platform, and we have a useful tool to offer people with diabetes that can help them take the self-management of their condition a step or two further,” Kane added.

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