PHARMACY

NACDS, NCPA express support for Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Friday that they have issued a letter to Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., expressing pharmacy’s support for H.R. 1092, the Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act, which would help preserve Tricare beneficiaries’ access to pharmacy-based healthcare services.

The bill, introduced by Jones, prohibits increases to retail pharmacy co-payments.

"We understand the burden of rising health costs and the need to control spending in the military healthcare system," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey in the joint letter. "However, we do not support efforts to modify pharmacy co-payments to further encourage the use of mail order."

NACDS and NCPA indicated they have long supported efforts to preserve access to pharmacy services for Tricare beneficiaries and their families. The groups also have worked with Congress, the Department of Defense and the administration to enhance such pharmacy-based Tricare services as expanding access to immunizations, which can help improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs.

"We offer our assistance in developing policy options that control prescription drug spending, while at the same time allowing retail pharmacies the privilege of providing prescription drugs and services to our nation’s military personnel," the letter concluded.

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PHARMACY

Link between diabetes, high-fat diet clarified

BY Alaric DeArment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The link between high-fat diets and Type 2 diabetes has been known for a long time, but researchers at the University of North Carolina said they’ve found out how that link occurs.

Led by UNC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine professor Jenny Ting, the team found that the key contributor to Type 2 diabetes is a diet high in saturated fat, but not unsaturated fat. Such diets cause immune cells to produce interleukin-1beta, an inflammatory protein.

“The cellular path that mediates fatty acid metabolism is also the one that causes interleukin-1beta production,” Ting said. “Interleukin-1beta then acts on tissues and organs, such as the liver, muscle and fat, to turn off their response to insulin, making them insulin-resistant. As a result, activation of this pathway by fatty acid can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes symptoms.”

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Diplomat CEO receives Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year award

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy president and CEO Phil Hagerman has been named the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year, Diplomat said Friday.

Hagerman was among 45 nominees for the award, announced Thursday night during a reception at Lawrence Technological University. The award receives sponsorship from tax audit and advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP, WWJ Newsradio 950 and the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report. The university developed the award program to recognize Michigan business executives involved in professions and industries expected to be key to the state’s economic future.

Diplomat recently moved into the former General Motors Great Lakes Technology Center in Flint, Mich., where it plans to spend $12 million to refurbish the building and hire 150 more workers before the end of the year.

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