PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation supports increased HIV testing awareness

BY Gina Acosta

ARLINGTON, Va. – As public health authorities seek to raise awareness about HIV testing, a study funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation is evaluating a model that may provide patients with increased access to HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and link patients to a specialized physician or health department as needed for further care.

Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are providing technical assistance for the Foundation’s study, and other key public health agencies also are partnering on the study. This initiative reflects the priority that the CDC is placing on raising awareness about improving access and awareness regarding HIV testing, as evidenced by the agency’s annual awareness campaign.

The NACDS Foundation study, led by principal investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, currently is underway in 50 stores with pharmacies, and a total of 75 locations are planned in the greater Detroit, Mich.; West Virginia/Ohio; and Atlanta, Ga., metropolitan areas. The study is designed to evaluate the impact of expanding access to community testing for both HIV and the Hepatitis C virus.

“This study exemplifies key goals of the NACDS Foundation because it combines an identified public health need to improve access to testing and care with awareness and prevention priorities that require collaboration and public engagement,” said NACDS Foundation President Kathleen Jaeger. “Evidence-based research on HIV and Hepatitis C expands upon the NACDS Foundation’s ongoing study of point-of-care testing for flu and strep throat.”

Nearly 45,000 people are diagnosed with HIV every year and approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV. However, only one in eight people know they have it. The need for testing and increased awareness is critical, as more than 90 percent of HIV infections in the U.S. could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people with HIV and making sure they receive early, ongoing treatment. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV as part of routine healthcare.

Patients who seek care in participating stores are counseled by trained pharmacists on risk factors and prevention, and those with reactive tests are referred to a physician or health department for confirmatory testing.

The study will evaluate the ability of this model to increase patient screenings and link them to additional care as needed. It will evaluate the number of patients screened, their demographics and test results. For patients with reactive tests, the rates of linkage to care and treatment will be assessed. The study also will identify barriers to follow-up care.

The study is expected to conclude in March.
 

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PHARMACY

McKesson showcases leadership and innovation at ideaShare 2016

BY Gina Acosta

CHICAGO — McKesson's ideaShare 2016, an interactive forum for independent pharmacists from across the U.S., kicked off Monday in Chicago.

The annual conference and exhibition provides attendees with access to industry thought leaders, pharmacy programs and solutions, continuing education courses, and networking events all focused on providing pharmacy owners with insights on how to thrive in today’s market and ensure they are set up for future success.

“McKesson ideaShare is designed to help independent pharmacies invigorate their business, improve results for their patients and build the foundation for future success. McKesson and Health Mart are pleased to drive innovation in this environment through continued investment in the new business-building tools, clinical solutions, and technology being highlighted here,” said Mark Walchirk, president, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “We encourage every independent pharmacist and owner to take advantage of all the tools and programs available to help their business thrive.”

As the industry continues to go through rapid change, Health Mart helps pharmacies to stay ahead of the curve with the Health Mart Pathway to Better Pharmacy Performance and Profit. The Health Mart Pathway offers a strategic road map to help independent pharmacies shift the way they approach their clinical and financial performance and pharmacy operations. The Health Mart Pathway details a pharmacist approved, realistic process for members to make practical changes to their business to enhance their profitability. The Pathway also recommends the resources, tools and expert advice pharmacies need to build a successful future. Building on the established success of its peer-to-peer Town Hall format, Health Mart will host a unique peer-coaching session during ideaShare where attendees will share best practices to help them create an action plan to accelerate their movement along the Pathway.

Throughout McKesson ideaShare, Health Mart will showcase its unparalleled educational resources and support designed to help pharmacies learn how to implement and maximize Med Sync. From Town Hall Meetings and Health Mart University’s Learning Experience, to a “Get In Sync Playbook” and discussions with experienced pharmacists via “Med Sync Masters,” Health Mart provides the resources and hands-on tools to improve patient outcomes and free-up time to offer additional profitable clinical services.

“Med Sync is not the end goal but rather the vehicle to enable our pharmacies to transition their business model from prescription-based to patient-based profits by extending their patient-centric approach to the entire pharmacy with vaccinations, health screenings, performing more adherence interventions or adding specialty pharmaceutical capabilities.  Ultimately, the foundation of Health Mart’s strategy is to help our members perform their best clinically and implement innovative business practices that support efforts to increase adherence and deliver quality patient care,” added Courtman. 

As more adults get their vaccinations in the pharmacy setting, McKesson and Health Mart are making sure independent pharmacies can take advantage of this service to retain and gain new patients and generate revenue by creating the Vaccination Nation pavilion at this year’s McKesson ideaShare. This one-stop-shop of immunization resources makes it easy for attendees to speak with manufacturers, get questions answered, and pre-book flu vaccine. To complement McKesson’s vaccine and immunization portfolio, Health Mart also offers a comprehensive set of resources to help pharmacies start and grow their immunization services.

Health Mart’s Guide to Pharmacy Immunizations, available to all McKesson customers, guides stores through the key aspects to establish a pharmacy-based immunization program, including reimbursement, standing orders, emergency planning and adverse events, storage and handling.  With the Health Mart Vaccine Starter Kit, pharmacies get the next-level of support that includes 12 months of step-by-step personal coaching to get their pharmacy’s vaccine program up and running, marketing their services, and generating revenue.

At 2016 McKesson ideaShare, Health Mart is announcing the broad expansion of its physician-signed Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA) program to cover nearly every state that requires a CPA to prescribe and administer eligible immunizations to patients in their community. By extending the CPA program nationwide, Health Mart helps more of its pharmacies save time and stay competitive.

McKesson continues to make significant investments to help Health Mart and independent pharmacies gain access to preferred networks, improve their bottom line and plan for their future:

• AccessHealth: As a market leader in managed care solutions and support for independent pharmacies, McKesson AccessHealth provides the education, expertise and tools pharmacies need to gain access to, and compete in the right preferred networks. At McKesson ideaShare, AccessHealth is sponsoring a special Sunrise Session where attendees will hear first-hand from a national PBM about the activities and outcomes critical to maintaining access to lives. In the exhibit hall, attendees will explore AccessHealth’s contracting and performance programs that help independent pharmacies understand and navigate the managed care landscape, deliver best-in-class medication-related performance outcomes, and optimize their reimbursement.

• RxOwnership: McKesson’s RxOwnership will host the annual Ownership Transfer Luncheon, featuring a panel discussion with industry experts experienced in buying, selling, and starting pharmacies. In the past year, McKesson has assisted over 440 owners start new pharmacies and has helped more than 3,000 pharmacies through the ownership-transfer process since 2008.

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Pharmasave pharmacists trained in medication therapy management

BY Gina Acosta

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Pharmasave announced that its pharmacists have been trained to be leaders in providing medication therapy management programs.

This includes reviewing medications for appropriateness, identifying potential problems such as drug interactions, alternative therapies and contraindications and patient counselling on appropriate use. 

“Our pharmacists have been leaders in medication management services for many years and we want to raise awareness with consumers of this valuable service, particularly among the senior population,” said Allison Nourse, Pharmasave national professional services manager. “These services are core to our philosophy of care and we’re proud of our dedicated team of health care professionals, committed to improving the health outcomes for Canadians in communities across the country.”

In addition to medication therapy management, Pharmasave pharmacists offer access to a wide variety of exceptional patient care programs, including injection services such as flu shots and other vaccinations, travel health, diabetes management and chronic conditions care.

“Pharmasave stores are individually owned and operated, and our pharmacists are extremely committed to providing the best possible care for their patients. They really take the time to get to know their patients and genuinely want to work with them to address any healthcare concerns and provide guidance on how to reach the best possible health results. Our structure lends itself well to providing customized care, as each store has the opportunity to tailor their product and service offerings to best meet the individual needs of their local communities,” added Nourse.

With more than 580 stores in nine provinces, Pharmasave is one of Canada’s leading independent community pharmacies. 

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