PHARMACY

NACDS says N.Y. Legislature made right choice in rejecting cut in Rx state funding

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The New York State Legislature’s rejection of a cut in state funding for pharmacy services has won praise from an organization representing retail pharmacy chains.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores released a statement Friday said the proposed cuts, part of a deficit-reduction plan, would have reduced pharmacy reimbursement for brand-name drugs under Medicaid and the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Programs by $40 million, to the average wholesale price minus 17.25%.

“By removing pharmacy services from the chopping block, the New York State Legislature has delivered a beacon of hope for pharmacies and the patients they serve,” NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson said in a statement. 

“Times are tough in New York and across the nation, but pharmacy has an important story to tell as the face of neighborhood health care.” 

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MinuteClinic now provider of BlueCross BlueShield of S.C.

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, the retail-based clinic operator owned by CVS Caremark, has become a provider in the Preferred Blue network of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Under the partnership, BlueCross? Preferred Blue and Medicare Advantage members now have in-network access to MinuteClinic locations in the Columbiaand Greenville markets. 

In September, the company opened its first retail-based clinic in South Carolina inside select CVS stores in Greenville, Lexington and Richland counties. 

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CVS/pharmacy announces launch of ‘A Su Salud’ health fairs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced the launch of its 2009 “A Su Salud” (To Your Health) health fairs, which are held to help build awareness about the importance of prevention and help promote early detection of disease.

The health fairs, which will provide free health screenings, will be held in such cities as Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.

In 2008, the company provided free and low-cost medical screenings and services valued at $55 million to the community through the A Su Salud program and direct referrals from the events. This year, CVS/pharmacy renews its commitment to preventative care and again will offer comprehensive health risk assessments at more than 750 store-based events.

Of the individuals screened last year, 47% had high cholesterol, 39% had a high-to-moderate risk of developing osteoporosis, 27% had hypertension and 21% had diabetes, with more than half being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time.

Many of the health fairs also focused on cancer screening for women, who comprised 78% of the A Su Salud event attendees in 2008. This year, CVS/pharmacy again will partner with local and state agencies to host mobile units offering low-cost and no-cost cancer detection services for women, including mammograms and pap smears.

Once screened, CVS/pharmacy helps patients through on-site physician consults that analyze the results and refer patients to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities within that neighborhood, or to their primary care physician should additional follow-up be required.

For more information and a full calendar of A Su Salud events, visit www.asusalud.com or call (888) 604-0333.

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