NACDS to Senate: Pharmacy can help improve chronic care for Medicare patients
ARLINGTON, Va. — Emphasizing the importance of quality and affordability, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores urged the Senate Committee on Finance Chronic Care Working Group to look to pharmacy in providing accessible, cost-effective preventive health services that can improve care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions.
This week, NACDS submitted a letter to the working group following a request for recommendations to improve chronic care for Medicare patients.
“Community pharmacies and pharmacists provide access to prescription medications and over-the-counter products, as well as cost-effective health services such as immunizations and disease screenings. Access to these types of services is especially vital for Medicare beneficiaries as nearly two-thirds are suffering from multiple chronic conditions,” NACDS wrote in the letter.
In its letter, NACDS stressed the importance of a team-based approach to treat chronic illness. With medications serving as the primary intervention of chronic disease and involved in 80 percent of all treatment regiments, it’s becoming even more critical for healthcare professionals to work together in the best interest of patients.
“A growing body of evidence suggests that when physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals work collaboratively, better health outcomes are achieved,” NACDS wrote in its letter.
In addition, NACDS cited that the lack of pharmacist recognition as a provider by third-party payors, including Medicare, has limited the number and types of services pharmacists can provide, even though they are fully qualified to do so.
“The adoption of policies and legislation to increase access to much-needed services for underserved Americans, such as S. 314, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, would allow Medicare Part B to utilize pharmacists to their full capability by providing those underserved beneficiaries with services not currently reaching them,” NACDS stated in its letter.
NACDS also urged increased utilization of medication therapy management in Medicare Part D to help ensure access to services for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. A number of studies have shown that MTM improves medication adherence and leads to better uses of medicines.
“We believe statutory changes should be made to revise the eligibility requirements so that beneficiaries with certain single chronic conditions will be eligible for MTM,” NACDS wrote.
“Through personal interactions with patients, face-to-face consultations and convenient access to preventive care services, local pharmacists are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow — in partnership with doctors, nurses, and others,” NACDS wrote.
Click here to read the entire letter.
Ateb, Secure Exchange Solutions to incorporate Direct Secure Messaging into patient care
ROCKVILLE, M.D. — Ateb, Inc. announced Friday that it will partner with Secure Exchange Solutions to integrate Direct Secure Messaging into its pharmacy products.
The provider of pharmacy-based patient care solutions will use the messaging service to facilitate the communication between its 500,000 active patients and their prescribers. Secure Exchange will allow healthcare providers access to electronic health records.
Most hospitals and physicians already use Direct Secure Messaging. By adding pharmacies to the conversation, Ateb will not only streamline communication among providers, but it will also encourage pharmacies to participate more in patient care.
“Including pharmacies in the patient care management process empowers them to improve patient adherence and drive healthier outcomes,” Frank Sheppard, president and CEO of Ateb, said.
Teva completes acquisition of 4.6% interest in Mylan
JERUSALEM — Teva announced Friday that it had acquired 4.6% of Mylan’s outstanding shares. The move gives Teva standing in Dutch court, should they decide to pursue action against Mylan.
Teva has offered to purchase Teva for $40 billion, an offer that has been rejected by Mylan, which is currently attempting to purchase Perrigo for $32 billion. Perrigo has rejected Mylan's offer in the past. Abbot Laboratories, Mylan’s largest shareholder, announced earlier this week that it would back the Perrigo acquisition, voting its 14. 5% share in favor of the deal.
Teva on Friday said that if Mylan held a meeting on the Perrigo deal by Aug. 31, Teva would limit its total holding of Mylan’s outstanding shares to 5%.