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NCPA, Arkansas Pharmacists Association, Pfizer sponsor nine-month medication adherence program

BY Michael Johnsen

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — More than 75 locally-owned community pharmacies throughout Arkansas are enhancing patient care by participating in a unique nine-month medication adherence program sponsored by the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, National Community Pharmacists Association and Pfizer. 
 
The APA/NCPA/Pfizer Adherence Program is measuring the effectiveness of medication synchronization, which helps to improve patients’ adherence to their monthly maintenance medications by filling all  maintenance medications on the same day each month. In addition, the program includes frequent communications between the pharmacist and the patient to help to identify any problems with therapy, or other issues that arise such as a hospitalization, between filling cycles. 
 
Each participating pharmacy in Arkansas has committed to enrolling 100 patients in the synchronization program, using technology from software vendor Prescribe Wellness. Since the program began in May 2014, 5,000 patients have been enrolled.
 
At the conclusion of the APA/NCPA/Pfizer Adherence Program in February 2015, the adherence data will be analyzed for increases in adherence, decreases in health care costs and improved Medicare STAR ratings, the Arkansas Pharmacists Association reported.
 

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Roundy’s makes flu shots available

BY Michael Johnsen

 

MILWAUKEE — Roundy’s stores — which include Pick ‘n Save, Copps, Metro Market and Mariano’s — on Monday announced that flu shots were made available at all pharmacies, with no appointment needed during pharmacy operating hours.
 
“We’re pleased that year after year more and more of our patients and customers take advantage of this advanced service that we offer,” stated George Kowalski, VP Roundy’s pharmacy. “We will be encouraging as many people as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones this year by getting their flu shot.”
 
All Roundy’s pharmacists are certified immunizers and are available to administer the traditional flu vaccine and Fluzone HD for patients ages 65 and older. Roundy’s flu shots are given at a regular price of $26.00.
 
 

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CVS Health study shows improved adherence and outcomes for generic statins

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — A new study by researchers at CVS Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital found that patients who took a generic statin were more likely to be adherent to their medication than those starting on a branded drug, and had an 8% lower rate of the composite endpoint of cardiovascular events and death.

The study, published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is the first to investigate whether starting on a generic versus a brand-name drug for the treatment of high cholesterol is associated with improved health outcomes.

"While statins are the most frequently prescribed drugs in the U.S. and have been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol and cardiovascular-related deaths, they are only effective if patients take them," stated Joshua J. Gagne, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital and lead author of the study. "This study is the first to provide evidence that starting therapy with a generic statin versus a branded drug improved both medication adherence and clinical outcomes."

The researchers reviewed medical and pharmacy claims for more than 90,000 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older, with prescription drug coverage between 2006 and 2008. Among patients in the study, the mean co-payment for a generic statin was $10 compared with $48 for a branded statin. The main outcome measures of the study were adherence to statin therapy and health outcomes as determined by tracking hospitalizations for acute coronary syndromes or stroke and death.

"We know that medication non-adherence is complex and very personal and that there are many reasons patients fail to adhere to therapy," stated William H. Shrank, SVP and chief scientific officer of CVS Health, and the study's senior author. "Drug cost is one important factor. This study provides clear evidence that the use of lower cost generic medications, when appropriate, not only reduces cost for the patient and improves adherence, but also improves health and reduces mortality."

 

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D.STANLEY says:
Sep-23-2014 08:00 pm

They needed a study to show people are more likely to buy and take prescriptions when they cost less? This must be the kind of work the scientists who graduate with 2.0s end up doing.

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