PHARMACY

MedPlus installs patient data system for three N.Y. information exchanges

BY Drew Buono

CINCINNATI MedPlus has begun installing its Clinical Portal & Data Exchange Engine for three health information exchanges that qualified for Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers phase 1 grants.

The Clinical Portal & Data Exchange Engine provides secure, Web-enabled, real-time access to patient data for health care professionals. The engine makes it possible for a health care professional to control their patients’ data while also making it accessible to other authorized members of a HIE. While collecting all the data, the engine then consolidates it all for viewing, thus creating an electronic medical record.

The long-range goal is for all New York HIEs to connect via the State Health Information Network of New York. All three systems will be operational in the third quarter of 2008 as called for by HEAL NY.

“MedPlus has a history of developing and integrating leading healthcare information technology for hospitals, physician practices and communities,” said Richard Mahoney, vice president of healthcare information solutions at Quest Diagnostics, of which MedPlus is a subsidiary, and president of MedPlus. “Bringing our Clinical Portal & Data Exchange Engine to the largest HIE program in the United States is a direct continuation of that history.”

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Rx program more expensive than chain store prescriptions

BY Diana Alickaj

DENVER Rx Outreach, a Colorado program aimed at helping low-income people afford drugs for chronic diseases, was found to be more expensive for purchasing drugs than regular chain-store pharmacies.

A 90-day supply from a choice of 110 generics costs about $20 each, and three-dozen other drugs sell for $30 and $40. In contrast, Kmart’s program for a choice of 300 generic medications for a 90-day supply retails for $15, while Costco sells their prescriptions for about $10.66 and Walgreens sells them for about $12.99.

The program, Colorado Cares Rx, was unveiled this month by the Department of Health Care Policy and financing in partnership with Rx Outreach. The program was started by the state to develop a low-cost drug program, but the sponsors are finding it harder to compete with chain store rivals, based on pricing.

Officials claim growing pains, however. Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder, said “This is just a first step. We have to do more.”

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FDA approves Abilify for teens

BY Drew Buono

TOKYO and PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb drug application for Abilify for the acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, with or without psychotic features in pediatric patients aged 10 to 17.

The approval is based on the results of a four-week study that compared Abilify to a placebo in treating pediatric patients with bipolar disorder I. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals sponsored the study.

“We are pleased that the FDA has approved Abilify to treat pediatric patients aged 10 to 17 years suffering from Bipolar I Disorder,” said Taro Iwamoto, Ph.D., chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer, Otsuka Pharmaceutical development and c commercialization. “The approval of this new indication for ABILIFY provides clinicians with expanded treatment options that can help address the therapeutic needs of this population.” 

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