PHARMACY

NACDS rolls out initiative to improve immunization rates

BY Gina Acosta

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is launching three demonstration projects that aim to foster health care collaboration and increase pharmacy-based immunizations.

The goals of the project are for chosen healthcare entities to work together to develop and implement a value-based payment model that is scalable and replicable, and that results in improved immunization rates for a targeted population that are recorded in the appropriate state-based registry.

The models also will feature innovative methods for sharing immunization information among the participating health plans or systems, accountable care organizations, community pharmacies and patients. The awardees also will collaborate with public health agencies to improve pandemic vaccine preparedness.

“Legislators and regulators at the federal and state levels often reference pharmacists’ success in promoting the necessity of vaccines, and in increasing access to them,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “These demonstration projects seek to improve patient health by aligning the interests of healthcare partners which should increase immunizations and improve the healthcare outcomes of patients across the country.”

NACDS released a request for proposals in February 2016 seeking proposals that align interests across healthcare stakeholders to drive immunization rates. NACDS received more than 20 proposals and convened an independent review committee comprised of experts in the fields of public health, pharmacy operations, and healthcare quality.
To develop the demonstration projects: (1) The University of Pittsburgh will partner with Giant Eagle and the University of Pittsburgh Health Plan;  (2) the University of Nebraska Medical Center will partner with Hy-Vee, the Nebraska Health Network and the University of Iowa Health Alliance;  and (3) the University of Washington will partner with Bartell and QFC and the Washington State Health Care Authority to develop the demonstration projects.

The demonstration projects aim to fulfill the goals of an $800,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to NACDS, which examines innovative healthcare collaborations designed to demonstrate increased rates of pharmacy-based immunizations including influenza, pneumococcal, pertussis and herpes zoster. The grant also focuses on improving pandemic planning among pharmacies and state health departments, in addition to improving access to HPV vaccine resources and education for pharmacists.

 

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AmerisourceBergen adds resources to support independent pharmacies

BY Gina Acosta

LAS VEGAS – AmerisourceBergen is launching several new programs to help independent pharmacies improve business performance while meeting growing patient need.

“At AmerisourceBergen, we are championing the independent pharmacist,” said president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Brian Nightengale, RPh, Ph.D. “Whether it is hearing feedback from our customers about how to improve their buying experience or delivering new solutions to enhance business profitability and patient care, we are fully committed to supporting the success of independently owned community pharmacies.”

The company highlighted the new solutions at ThoughtSpot 2016, Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s annual trade show, in Las Vegas. AmerisourceBergen leaders highlighted solutions designed to drive improved results across the entire pharmacy – from front-end sales to back-end operational performance.

Resources include:

Advocacy Resources: As part of AmerisourceBergen’s ongoing support for independents, the company has added a new resource, OurIndependentVoice.com. The newly launched website provides pharmacists a centralized place to access tools and resources to join advocacy movements that impact care in the community setting, research policies impacting independent pharmacy, access letter templates and write to legislators, and connect with other pharmacists and pharmacy organizations.
Specialty at Retail: The rapid growth of specialty products provides a natural intersection for community pharmacy to provide personalized patient care in complex therapies. These specialty products often have a high burden of administrative tasks that can be challenging for an independent pharmacy to operationalize economically. AmerisourceBergen is developing a specialty at retail program that will allow member pharmacies to better service patient needs while diversifying revenue streams. Through this program, independent pharmacies will be able to focus more on patient care instead of spending time and resources navigating administrative tasks.
Front-End Retail Excellence: Good Neighbor Pharmacy is offering its members comprehensive services to optimize front-end sales, including access to business coaching, manufacturer promotions, point of sale (POS) data and reporting tools, and Retail Remedy, a monthly publication with news, tips, and product specials focused on retail strategies. While at ThoughtSpot 2016, many pharmacists joined an all-day front-end profit building seminar presented by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and sponsored by Good Neighbor Pharmacy. This session kicked off a new five-year partnership to provide similar learning opportunities in convenient settings for pharmacists.
Generics Buying Enhancements: AmerisourceBergen has redesigned the generics buying experience to not only deliver competitive up-front prices, but to serve pharmacists differently based on the way that they want to buy.

New to ThoughtSpot this year was an Innovation & Technology Showcase. Throughout the conference, attendees could visit the showcase to learn more about:

• ABC Order, a new ordering platform developed with pharmacists for pharmacists. The platform is engineered to fit within the pharmacy workflow to enable effortless ordering, smarter inventory control, quicker access to data and simple issues resolution. The new platform will be made available to customers in 2017
• Best practices for medication therapy management (MTM) programs to manage adherence and patient communications, and working with Medicare
• How partners of AmerisourceBergen’s Pharmacy Services Administrative Organization (PSAO), Elevate Provider Network, implement technology solutions to support reimbursement discussions with payers, and improve MTM, adherence and reimbursement

Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s 2016 Pharmacy of the Year Award was announced during general session. HB Pharmacy from North Arlington, N.J. received the esteemed award for exemplifying what it means to be a Good Neighbor Pharmacy in their commitment to enhancing patient care and lives in local communities. Since Gaspar Bellitti opened HB Drugs in 1964, the family-owned pharmacy has remained committed to its innovative, patient-minded approach to care. Driven in part by his father’s ideals, owner John Bellitti has invested in technology solutions that enable the staff to spend more time with patients. Under his leadership, the pharmacy has adopted an integrated approach to patient care, operating with the core belief that a person’s health and wellness requires a collaborative effort among all healthcare practitioners.

Following the Pharmacy of the Year announcement, retired NASA astronauts and twin brothers Scott and Mark Kelly delivered the keynote address. The astronauts reflected on the experiences and lessons that shaped their perception of teamwork and leadership, discussed how they learned to face and overcome adversities and shared personal strategies for adapting to change.

 

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Teva gets FTC approval for Allergan generics acquisition

BY David Salazar
JERUSALEM — The Federal Trade Commission has approved Teva’s proposed consent order for its planned acquisition of Allergan’s generics business, Actavis Generics, the company announced Tuesday. With the final regulatory hurdle behind it, the company said it expects the $40.5 billion transaction to complete next week.  
 
“We are pleased to have received all of the requisite regulatory approvals for our acquisition of Actavis Generics,” Teva president and CEO Erez Vigodman said. “This acquisition is a transformative step for Teva as we continue to claim a differentiated space in the global pharmaceutical industry. The generics industry is one of the most attractive industries in the world in terms of growth rates, profitability, return to investors and contribution to healthcare systems and societies around the world.”
 
Teva expects the acquisition to bring in $1.4 billion in operational and tax synergies by the end of 2019, with a 14% accretion in earnings per share in 2017 and 19% in 2019. From the time the deal closes to the end of 2019, Teva said it expects to generate more than $25 billion of free cash flow that it says will allow it to pursue other acquisitions to expand its presence in key growth markets. 
 
“The new Teva will be ideally positioned to realize the opportunities the global and U.S. generic markets offer,” Vigodman said. “The transaction strongly reinforces our strategy and yields very compelling economics. As a result, it opens a new set of possibilities for us in generics and specialty medicines.”
 
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