PHARMACY

MinuteClinic launches Monitoring Made Easy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. MinuteClinic officially announced the introduction of new health-condition monitoring services for patients with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and asthma.

The new monitoring services, called Monitoring Made Easy, are available at MinuteClinic locations in CVS/pharmacy stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The services, performed by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants, are designed to support patients with ongoing health conditions in between visits to their primary care provider or to provide assistance to patients who may not receive regular care.

“By providing health-condition monitoring at MinuteClinic, our goal is to be a convenient and affordable resource where patients can not only receive an exam and regular lab tests, but also spend meaningful time with a practitioner to obtain advice and have questions about their condition and medication answered,” stated Andrew Sussman, M.D., president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark.

How it works: MinuteClinic will send all health care monitoring results to a primary care provider with patient permission. Visit summaries are sent via electronic medical record or fax, typically within 24 hours. In addition, MinuteClinic practitioners will help patients locate a primary care provider in the community if they do not have one. A collaborating physician (medical director) is on call during MinuteClinic operating hours.

 

The monitoring services are available seven days a week, including weekday evening hours; no appointment is necessary.

 

 

When providing the services, practitioners review the patient’s medical history and perform an exam and tests based on nationally established clinical practice guidelines for standards of care, which may include an a1c test and foot exam for diabetes, breathing and oxygen level testing for asthma, a lipid profile for high cholesterol and a blood pressure check and microalbumin test for high blood pressure.

 

 

Most health insurance plans cover MinuteClinic health-condition monitoring services. Self-pay visits start at $62 and patients are informed of additional lab charges at the time of their visit.

 

 

A series of blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight evaluation screening services also are provided to patients who have not been previously diagnosed with a condition but want to determine if they are at risk.

 

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After flooding, power outage in Rhode Island, CVS/pharmacy up and running

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has restored the pharmacy computer system in its stores after massive flooding in Rhode Island caused a national computer system outage that impacted all of the chain’s 7,000 pharmacies.

CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that service was restored to its pharmacies Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

For the most part, stores were able to fill prescriptions, but they were unable to process the insurance claims. As a result, pharmacists were instructed to complete all prescription requests and keep records for insurance purposes.

The CVS headquarters in Woonsocket lost power mid afternoon. It was one of several office complexes affected by flooding problems at local power substations, according to a local news report. The power loss caused the widespread computer outage.

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FDA: Stalevo may increase male patients’ risk of cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Data from a long-term clinical trial may indicate a possible cancer risk in men taking a drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The agency notified healthcare professionals and patients that it was evaluating data from the STRIDE-PD trial indicating a possible risk of prostate cancer in patients taking the Novartis drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone). It cautioned, however, that it had not concluded that a risk existed and that other clinical trials evaluating Stalevo and a related drug, Comtan (entacapone), did not show an increased prostate cancer risk.

Novartis issued the following statement in response to the FDA report: “Novartis is coordinating with the FDA as it evaluates data from the STRIDE-PD study related to an unexpected imbalance in reports of prostate cancer cases. STRIDE-PD was conducted in patients with early Parkinson’s disease to investigate a potential new indication outside the terms of the current label. Previous controlled clinical trials have not found an increased risk of prostate cancer.”

Stalevo and Comtan had collective sales of $217 million in 2009, according to Novartis financial reports.

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