PHARMACY

Meijer to open a retail pharmacy at Butterworth Hospital

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health and Meijer on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to explore Meijer's opening and operating a full-service retail pharmacy on the campus of the Spectrum Health Medical Center.
 
A final agreement would allow Meijer to operate a comprehensive retail pharmacy in Butterworth Hospital, building upon a national growing trend to offer improved access and convenience to patients who choose to have prescriptions filled before leaving the hospital.
 
“As part of our goal to transform the care model, we are working to help patients obtain their medications more efficiently. We expect this move to help drive better health outcomes for our patients and enhance their satisfaction and overall experience,” said Christina FreeseDecker, Spectrum Health Hospital Group president. “The relationship with Meijer is built upon a partnership of mutual respect and serves as an extension of Spectrum Health’s commitment to positively impact the health and wellness of the communities we serve.”
 
“The genuine care provided at our pharmacies continues to differentiate Meijer as a leader in the industry,” added J.K. Symancyk, Meijer president. “That role will continue to evolve as individuals become more focused on leading healthy lifestyles. We believe this partnership with Spectrum Health continues this evolution while providing an opportunity to improve patient health.”
 
The pharmacy will provide patients, families, employees and hospital providers with an oncampus option for medications and over-the-counter products. This pharmacy would also include access to the Meijer free prescription program, which has filled more than 23 million prescriptions, saving customers nearly $350 million since 2006 when the program began. 

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Report: R.I. bill banning tobacco sales faces backlash

BY Antoinette Alexander

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On the heels of CVS Health’s decision to pull tobacco from its shelves, a bill sponsored by Rep. Katherine Kazarian, D-East Providence, that would ban pharmacies statewide from selling tobacco products is facing some headwinds from independent pharmacies, according to a local news report.

According to the Providence Journal, independent pharmacies oppose the bill, arguing that they wouldn’t be able to survive without the sales. There are fewer than 20 independent pharmacies in the state.

Meanwhile, health advocates praise the effort. During a hearing Tuesday before the House Corporations Committee, health advocates argued that selling tobacco products and prescriptions under the same roof sends a mixed message.
 

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Teva’s ProAir RespiClick granted FDA approval

BY Ryan Chavis

JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Teva Pharmaceutical’s ProAir RespiClick (albuterol sulfate) inhalation powder, the company announced on Wednesday. The inhaler is used to treat or prevent bronchospasm (asthma) in patients 12 years of age and older who have reversible obstructive airway disease. It’s also indicated to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm in patients 12 years of age and older. Teva said it expects the product to be available to patients during second-quarter 2015.
 
“ProAir RespiClick is the first and only breath-actuated, dry-powder rescue inhaler to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute asthma symptoms,” said Dr. David Bernstein of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology. “The approval of ProAir RespiClick is significant as it eliminates the need for hand-breath coordination during inhalation.”
 
The FDA’s approval was based on a program consisting of eight clinical trials that evaluated the inhaler’s safety and efficacy in both adults and adolescents who had asthma and EIB. The results showed the inhaler to be safe and effective with side effects consistent with ones seen with previous albuterol inhalers, Teva said, adding that the most commons adverse events in greater than 1% of patients (compared to placebo) were back pain, body aches and pains, upset stomach, sinus headache and urinary tract infection.

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