PHARMACY

McKesson to amplify independent pharmacies’ healthcare delivery role

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson sparked its McKesson IdeaShare Conference at the Moscone Convention Center here from June 29 through July 2 with a number of programs designed to bolster the competitiveness and profitability among independent pharmacies.

“Today’s evolving healthcare landscape is providing more opportunities than ever before for independent pharmacies to elevate their role in healthcare delivery, more tightly align with other healthcare providers and increase their connection with patients,” said Brian Tyler, McKesson U.S. pharmaceutical president. “McKesson ideaShare is designed to inspire and support independent pharmacies as they pursue and achieve new levels of clinical and business success.”

McKesson used the conference as a launch pad for its Physician Outreach Program, a solution that enables independent pharmacies to identify and better partner with physicians in their area. The program will help pharmacists target high-volume prescribers to help promote the personalized services and clinical expertise they offer.

McKesson also enabled its consumer outreach with a Mobile Messaging program. As more patients are connecting to healthcare providers in new and different ways, McKesson’s new suite of messaging services will allow independent pharmacists to send automated medication reminders, pick-up notifications and auto-refill messages via text, email or automated phone messages directly to their patients’ mobile devices.

McKesson also showcased its new private-label brand program, announcing the first round of the new store brands will reach shelves in October and subsequent category launches in the months to follow.

To help maximize reimbursements for services rendered, McKesson introduced its McKesson Reimbursement Solutions, a suite of reimbursement solutions to help pharmacists capture maximum reimbursement for the prescriptions they dispense. The suite included tailored solutions to meet the needs for all independent pharmacies, whether they’re part of the Health Mart franchise, McKesson’s AccessHealth managed care network or unaffiliated with either.

McKesson also is helping its independent pharmacy customers provide flu vaccines to consumers now that pharmacists can administer those inoculations in all 50 states.

Additionally, McKesson announced that the Health Mart Healthy Living Tour kicked off its 2011 tour. The Living Tour features a mobile screening unit that will travel across the country to raise diabetes awareness by administering free health screenings and providing diabetes education. The tour will visit 20 states across the United States through November 2011.

Looking forward, McKesson announced the creation of an online community for Health Mart pharmacists to go live in the fall. Participating pharmacists will be able to gain easy access to McKesson Connect Community through McKesson Connect, McKesson’s online pharmaceutical ordering portal. McKesson Connect Community will be rolled out to additional McKesson independent pharmacy customers throughout the year.

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PHARMACY

CVS forum puts spotlight on med adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander


WASHINGTON — In a move that not only shed more light on how to battle the $300 billion problem of medication nonadherence but also helped to raise consumer awareness on the importance of adherence, CVS Caremark convened its first-ever national forum in late May.


The forum brought together health experts — including Troy Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, and William Shrank of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School — to discuss the body of published medical studies for the first half of CVS Caremark’s three-year research partnership with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


During the discussion, Shrank highlighted some of the key findings of the research to date and told attendees that researchers have been working to get a sense of the predictors of whether or not a patient will abandon prescriptions. A key predictor: cost. “When medications cost [more than] $50 a prescription, there was a four to five times greater rate of abandonment. This may not come as a great surprise, but this really highlights this notion of sticker shock,” Shrank said. 


Emerging from the discussion also were several key recommendations, including, but not limited to:


Developing tools that will allow pharmacists to predict and target patients who are at risk for nonadherence and prescription abandonment;


Working with pharmacists and other healthcare providers to simplify pharmacy care for those with the most complex therapies by utilizing a “pharmacy home” concept;


Researching the use of financial or other incentives to encourage adherence; and


Developing a personalized medication approach, such as through pharmacogenomics or individualized counseling with pharmacists.

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Fionnuala Walsh joins Lilly’s executive committee

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly’s SVP global quality has joined the drug maker’s executive committee, effective July 1.

Fionnuala Walsh, who joined Lilly in 1988, will continue in her current role at Lilly, where she ensures the company maintains high-quality standards across its worldwide operations.

Walsh reports to company chairman, president and CEO John Lechleiter.

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