PHARMACY

NCPA: Independent pharmacies rate high in Consumer Reports survey

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has highlighted a recent Consumer Reports magazine survey, which gave independent community pharmacies high marks for overall customer satisfaction and the best ratings of any pharmacy provider in such categories as “speed and accuracy”; “courtesy and helpfulness”; and “pharmacists’ knowledge.”

According to the publication’s pharmacy survey featured in the March 2014 issue of the magazine, patients at independent pharmacies reported shorter wait times and a greater likelihood that independents would have medication in stock, compared to some other pharmacy options.



“Patients come first for independent community pharmacists and it’s encouraging to see that their efforts are noted and appreciated in this survey,” stated NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, who is also quoted in the article. “We congratulate America’s independent pharmacists on this milestone and look forward to continuing to support their efforts to support medication adherence, improve patient health and reduce overall health costs.”



The NCPA noted that independent community pharmacies are consistently recognized in national consumer surveys for their customer service. Locally owned and operated franchisees of Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Mart and The Medicine Shoppe received the highest customer satisfaction rating from patients in their category of the J.D. Power 2013 Pharmacy Study. In addition, the Pharmacy Satisfaction patient survey sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals reported similar findings.
 

 

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Hy-Vee to offer flu, strep tests as part of study

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Hy-Vee has teamed up with the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy and Ferris State University to offer rapid-diagnostic flu and strep tests in its pharmacies.

Hy-Vee stores in Omaha and Papillion are among 60 sites throughout three states that will have pharmacists trained to administer these tests, the results of which are available shortly after the test is given. In addition to the testing, pharmacists also will be able to fill prescriptions to treat identified illnesses, if needed, under protocol set by prescribing physicians.

The tests are part of a research study conducted by UNMC and Ferris State and are available to Hy-Vee customers who qualify for the program. Participants must be at least 19 years of age and exhibit symptoms consistent with influenza or strep.

“At Hy-Vee we are committed to the health and wellness of our customers and communities,” Bob Egeland, VP of pharmacy at Hy-Vee said. “Our pharmacists have long had the job of helping our customers get well and make educated choices in their treatments. This is just another way that we can improve our level of customer service and save people time and money when the situation warrants.”

Also collaborating with Ferris State University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy is Meijer. As previously reported by Drug Store News, the mass-merchandise chain announced earlier this month that its pharmacy locations in Michigan would be participating in the study and offering free testing for flu and strep throat.

 

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Frost & Sullivan: Global biosimilars space to reach $24 billion by 2019

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — The imminent entry of several companies — including big pharma, small biotech and generic participants — into the global biosimilars space will propel the market toward exponential growth. The market is expected to soar from $1.2 billion in 2013 to $24 billion in 2019, reported Frost & Sullivan in research released earlier this week. 

Already, such Indian groups as Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Biocon and Reliance Life Sciences are making a concerted effort to enter the European market, the report noted. Although these companies have not yet penetrated the European market, due to the stringent regulatory pathway, new product launches are expected in the mid-term.

Also, untapped U.S. markets with a strong biosimilars pipeline, as well as markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America with a low cost of manufacturing, will afford key growth opportunities.

"On one hand, the market is powering ahead regarding the strength of participants’ global expansion strategies, and on the other, it is still beset by traditional patent-infringement issues," said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare senior research analyst Srinivas Sashidhar. "Moreover, the strategies adopted by innovator companies need to be taken into account. For instance, Johnson & Johnson has extended the European patent life of its innovator drug Remicade until February 2015, thereby delaying the launch of Hospira’s biosimilar monoclonal antibody (mAb) Inflectra and Celltrion’s biosimilar mAb Remsima."

To further reduce the time to market, companies should also explore opportunities in mergers and acquisitions and alliances with companies having expertise in biosimilars manufacturing and development, like Teva’s alliance with Cephalon and Lupin Pharmaceuticals’ alliance with Neuclone.

"In addition to mAbs, follitropins, interferons and low molecular weight heparins are likely to emerge in the long run," Sashidhar added. "However, some companies may focus on specific therapeutic classes depending on their capabilities and strategic fit."

 

 

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