PHARMACY

McKesson to spotlight solutions at ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting 2015

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW ORLEANS – McKesson will showcase its comprehensive suite of technology solutions and clinical expertise designed to help hospital and health system pharmacy leaders improve their bottom line, without compromising quality and safety at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting 2015. 
 
“Changing reimbursement, along with increased focus on quality and patient satisfaction, continues to put pressure on health system pharmacies to be seen as a center of care rather than cost,” stated Mark Eastham, SVP and general manager, McKesson Pharmacy Optimization. “Our pharmacy consulting team — composed of former health system pharmacists and hospital administrators — can help identify opportunities and work with health system pharmacies hand-in-hand to achieve success in three critical areas: rigorous financial performance, employee collaboration for operational efficiency, and integration of critical technology systems.”
 
Attendees can get a first-hand look at a number of solutions designed to address top pharmacy challenges:
 
  • McKesson Health Systems: McKesson helps customers improve financial outcomes through its evidence-based programs, products and services including specialty and ambulatory pharmacy consulting, pharmacy revenue cycle analysis and support, and indigent drug recovery solutions. In addition, McKesson’s supply chain management solutions such as its competitive generics portfolio, Lean Six Sigma methodologies and training, timely drug shortage information, specialty inventory management technology, and single-source access to specialty products help customers increase efficiency and deliver measurable, time-saving results. McKesson provides actionable pharmacy insights through detailed drug spend analytics, 340B program management and improved billing accuracy;
  • McKesson Pharmacy Systems & Automation: MPS&A offers two new solutions to improve pharmacy outcomes – Adherence Performance Solution and Clinical Programs Solution. The Adherence Performance Solution online dashboard provides valuable data to help health system pharmacies understand and act on patient medication adherence behaviors. The dashboard identifies patients to target for an adherence program based on their current level of adherence and generates data to compare adherence performance to the rest of the market segment to prove the value of the pharmacy to preferred prescriber networks. The Clinical Programs Solution platform integrates with MPS&A’s pharmacy-management system so that health system pharmacies can easily add and manage multiple clinical programs for patients. Whether health system pharmacies use stand-alone vendor services or self-directed programs, the Clinical Programs Solution can save time and money by automatically synchronizing enrolled patient data between clinical programs and the hospital pharmacy’s system, identifying potential vendor programs for patients with specific medical conditions, and giving them easy-to-use tools to build their own customized clinical programs; and
  • Parata: McKesson’s automation partner, Parata, will be demonstrating its Parata Max and Parata Mini robotic dispensing technology to show how automation solutions can fill scripts safely; prevent controlled-substance diversion; manage an increasing script volume; and store, monitor and track drugs safely and securely. Parata automation allows health system pharmacists to free up labor for other value-added activities, such as medication reconciliation consulting, patient education, and post-discharge interventions to improve patient outcomes. Parata’s PASS 208 adherence strip packager will also be featured within the McKesson booth to show how health system pharmacists can make it easy for patients to take the right medication at the right time, every time. PASS adherence packaging organizes medications the way patients take them, by day and time of dose, and empowers pharmacists to take a more proactive role in patient outcomes, avoid readmission for discharged patients, support common “med to bed” health system programs, and provide services to other health system entities such as a hospice or care center.
 
 
 
 
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Critical role of treatment support programs in diabetes self-management

BY DSN STAFF

With the presidential election in 2016, access to health care and cost of medications are some of the most hotly debated topics in America. Consumers, however, have a limited understanding of health insurance, which studies have shown can lead to suboptimal decisions related to their own health.1

For the 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes,2 navigating this complicated landscape can be a hurdle to successful diabetes management, affecting their likelihood to fill their prescription and take their medicine as prescribed. Data show nonadherence can then lead to lower success rates in reaching treatment targets, increased adverse events for patients, and contribute to the rising costs of diabetes care.3,4

Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, is taking a proactive approach to help patients and clinical communities gain access to important medications through its personalized treatment support programs. The company’s health care professional hub, NovoMedLink.com, offers product-support information, educational videos, and access to free educational resources for use in clinical practice.

“Developing personalized tools to assist in treatment access is a primary focus of our patient-support efforts,” said Sean Phillips, Vice President of Managed Markets, Novo Nordisk Inc. “By connecting patients with information and resources related to health care coverage, health care providers and pharmacists play a critical role in helping patients stick to a treatment plan that is achievable for them.”

The site also offers prescription savings details for certain Novo Nordisk diabetes treatments available in the United States, including $20 and $25 co-pay cards and information on receiving a free box of Novo Nordisk needles for eligible patients.

 

References:

  1. Loewenstein G, et al. Consumers’ misunderstanding of health insurance. J Health Econ. 2013;32:580-862. http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/laibson/files/consumers_jhe_sept2013.pdf?m=1391524638. Accessed November 4, 2015.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-web.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2015.
  3. Nasseh K, et al. Cost of medication nonadherence associated with diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Am J Pharm Benefits. 2012;4(2):e41-e47. http://adhereforhealth.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf/CostofMedicationNonadherenceAssociatedwithDiabetesHypertensionandDyslipidemia_Nasseh2010.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2015.
  4. Iuga AO and McGuire MJ. Adherence and health care costs. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934668/. Accessed November 4, 2015.

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Senate drops Canadian drug import amendment

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. – Americans will be unable to personally import prescription drugs from Canada anytime soon. And that's good news according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores – importing Canadian medicines opens the door to possible counterfeit medicines and other medicines not approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration that would otherwise be prevented from entering what is essentially a closed prescription distribution system in the U.S.
 
The amendment calling for personal importation of prescription drugs from Canada was withdrawn amidst debate in the U.S. Senate on budget reconciliation legislation yesterday, NACDS reported Friday. “Given that patient safety cannot be ensured under a personal prescription drug importation system, and that such a system would reduce patients’ access to professional services of their local licensed pharmacists, the Senate made the right decision today,” stated Steven Anderson, NACDS president and CEO. 
 
The personal importation amendment was originally filed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during debate on H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. H.R. 3762 then passed the Senate by a vote of 52-47 – without the importation amendment. 
 
In the letter NACDS sent to all U.S. Senators earlier this week, the association cited the differences in active ingredients in drugs from other countries, as well as different shapes, sizes and colors, which can cause confusion for patients and healthcare professionals.
 
“The United States has an extensive safety net of federal and state laws to ensure that prescription drugs are manufactured, stored, shipped, dispensed and used in a safe manner. That safety net is eliminated when prescription drugs are imported from foreign suppliers and greatly contributes to the potential for counterfeit drugs being imported into the U.S.,” NACDS wrote in its letter. 
 
In addition, NACDS stressed that individuals who obtain prescription medications through personal importation do not have the benefit of a licensed pharmacist to consult with them before using the medications safely and effectively.
 
“We applaud the efforts of Congress to expand access to prescription medications and are committed to working with you to advance policies that do so in a safe, affordable and effective way,” the letter stated. 
 
 
 
 
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