PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation awards $140,000 in grants to promote pharmacy practice, boost patient care

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. New efforts to improve clinical care, disease management and other broadly based community pharmacy practice models got a big shot in the arm this week.

That boost came today when the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation announced the award of four grants totaling nearly $140,000 to help fund projects to address, identify and develop ways to promote the practice of community pharmacy and improve patient care.

Among the winners was Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, for a program pairing pharmacy interns with chain pharmacy innovators; the New Mexico Medical Review Association, to fund a pilot study on improving medication adherence through Medication Therapy Management; the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy, to fund research on pharmacist-delivered diabetes and lipid management services provided as part of the Northern California Collaborative for Pharmacist Care Services; and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy for an “Analysis of Physician Identified Medication-Related Needs in the Community: Opportunities for Pharmacist-Provided Medication Therapy Management.”

“Without the generosity of donors, we would not be able to provide aid to schools and institutions working to advance the role of community pharmacies in patient care,” said NACDS Foundation president Phil Schneider.

Letters of inquiry are due February 1, 2008 for consideration in the Foundation’s next funding cycle.

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FDA approves Depomed’s 1,000 mg Glumetza

BY Drew Buono

MENLO PARK, Calif. Depomed has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a 1,000 mg strength of Glumetza tablets. Glumetza is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adult patients with Type 2 diabetes.

“This approval is good news for patients with Type 2 diabetes who are on metformin therapy and prefer to take fewer tablets per day,” stated Carl Pelzel, president and chief executive officer of Depomed. “The American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend that metformin therapy be titrated to its maximally effective dose, generally regarded as 2,000 mg/day as tolerated. We believe this 1,000 mg dosage form is a great addition to the Glumetza franchise, as we now have two ways for patients to achieve 24-hour glycemic control: the original Glumetza 500 mg tablets, which start out as small, easy-to-swallow tablets that expand once in the stomach, and the new 1,000 mg tablets, which require fewer tablets to hit the target dose. We are working very closely with our commercial supplier, Biovail, to make these tablets commercially available in the United States in the near future.”

Depomed acquired exclusive U.S. rights to the 1,000 mg formulation of Glumetza in December 2005 from Biovail, and has a supply agreement with Biovail related to the formulation. Glumetza had sales of $3.8 million in the third quarter of 2007.

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Ivans launches LIME Medicare Internet solution

BY Drew Buono

STAMFORD, Conn. Ivans, a technology company that provides Medicare connectivity solutions and services has unveiled its new product, an Internet solution for healthcare providers that processes Medicare transactions, called LIME.

The goal of the program will be to save providers time and money through its elimination of manual searches and by streamlining the claims process so claims are paid faster and more accurately. The program is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Using LIME, providers are able to process Medicare claims 10 times faster than dial-up modems. Providers indicated that while it used to take one hour to process three claims, by using the new program 30 claims can be processed during that same time period. Because this is a multi-user solution that can be used for other Medicare transactions such as eligibility and claims remittance, the time and money saved in a one-year period is equivalent to three staff members working full-time.

Currently, more than 100,000 part A and part B healthcare providers are supported by Ivans solutions.

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