PHARMACY

Kerr Drug sustains its innovator reputation … ‘Naturally’

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug, North Carolina’s regional pharmacy power, had a busy year in 2010. After shedding 11 stores in the Charleston, S.C., market in 2009, the 90-store chain turned its full focus to serving the healthcare needs of North Carolina’s population.


It was, in retrospect, a wise move. Kerr has launched a series of initiatives in pharmacy care, store design, community health services and iPhone technology at a breathtaking pace, easily sustaining its reputation as one of chain pharmacy’s leading innovators. 


Those innovations are coming both from the pharmacy and clinical-care side of the business, and from the front-end merchandising effort, led by SVP marketing and merchandising Bill Baxley. Key architect of Naturally Kerr, a “store-within-a-store” format that offers natural and organic foods and homeopathic remedies, Baxley is a leader in the chain’s ongoing store renewal project, which has led to constant evolution in store design and development of a groundbreaking hybrid store that blends Kerr’s Community Healthcare Center concept with a full-service drug store, including a front end with improved sightlines and lower gondolas.


The effort may lead to the debut of a new store format in 2011, a company source indicated. 


Kerr’s healthcare innovations remain unrivalled. In partnership with the University of North Carolina, Kerr conducted a pilot study that demonstrated the health and cost-saving benefits of pharmacist-delivered interventions and medication therapy management. It also continues to attract recognition for its community care efforts in diabetes management, smoking cessation, disease prevention, pharmacogenomics and other areas.


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NACDS Foundation encouraging research on problem of primary medication nonadherence

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation is inviting health and pharmacy experts and other researchers to join the Herculean effort to improve patient adherence rates.

The invitation comes in the form of a new Request for Proposal, issued Tuesday by the NACDS Foundation. The foundation is seeking bids from research organizations to study primary medication nonadherence, which occurs when a patient fails to fill or pick up his or her newly prescribed medication.

To that end, the group has set aside funding for qualified researchers to measure PMN rates, and to develop, test and evaluate the effectiveness of PMN interventions in the pharmacy setting.

“The NACDS Foundation’s Request for Proposal seeks to examine primary medication nonadherence rates, and ways in which the healthcare system — through the collaborative integration, engagement and intervention of pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare providers, and the proper and effective use of health information technology — can be utilized to improve overall patient health outcomes and medication adherence rates,” said NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato.

NACDS called medication nonadherence “a patient crisis and multibillion-dollar healthcare problem in the United States.” Citing a study from the New England Healthcare Institute, the foundation noted, “When a patient does not fill or properly take [his or her] prescribed medications correctly it leads to dangerous complications, emergency room visitations and hospital admissions — needlessly costing more than $290 billion annually.”

According to a recent peer-reviewed study, U.S. patients failed to even pick up nearly 1-in-4 newly prescribed medications. “This trend was especially prevalent among patients with chronic disease, such as hypertension and diabetes,” NACDS noted.

All proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on March 15.

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Report: Intel to open worksite clinic for employees

BY Antoinette Alexander

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Intel is helping its employees gain convenient access to health care with the opening this week of an on-site medical center at its Jones Farm Campus in Hillsboro, which will be operated by Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems, according to local news reports.

Later this year, Intel is looking to open a second worksite medical clinic at is Ronler Acres Campus, according to reports.

The 5,000-sq.-ft. Health for Life Center will give Intel employees access to a full-time physician, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistants, a physical therapist, phlebotomists and health coaches, according to reports.

Services include urgent care, routine primary care, lab testing, vaccinations, physical therapy, pharmacy services and fitness training. The medical center also will identify chronic health conditions and provide education on how to reduce risk factors, reports stated.

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