PHARMACY

NCPA recognizes pharmacy schools, students for legislative, patient outreach initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation on Monday announced the top student chapters and outstanding student chapter members at the NCPA 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition. Sponsored by the McKesson Foundation, the 2013 NCPA Student Chapter of the Year is the University of Texas at Austin; the first runner-up is the University of Houston; and the second runner-up is the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

In addition, the 2013 NCPA Most Improved Chapter winner is Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Pharmacy, while the University of Texas at Austin also won the Health and Wellness Challenge and Ohio Northern University won the NCPA Legislative Advocacy Challenge. The NCPA Legislative Advocacy Challenge and the Health and Wellness Challenge are projects created by the NCPA Student Leadership Council to engage NCPA student chapters in legislative and patient outreach activities in their community.  

“NCPA student chapters help future pharmacists become future pharmacy owners through entrepreneurial-based programs during their collegiate experience,” stated Sharlea Leatherwood, NCPA Foundation president. "Amazingly, many of our 2013 honorees were recipients of the same awards in 2012, which is clearly an indication of the ongoing commitment to excellence of these schools.”

The award criteria included commitment to community service, recruiting new members, promoting independent community pharmacy and advocating legislative action. 

In addition, 32 pharmacy students were honored as NCPA Outstanding Student Chapter Members of the Year after being nominated by their peers and faculty at each of their respective schools. All of the chapter awards are sponsored by the McKesson Foundation.

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Fewer than one-quarter of Medicare beneficiaries compared drug costs in 2013, missing $600 in savings

BY Alaric DeArment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don’t compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by eHealth, found that 78% of respondents don’t compare prices, but that the average beneficiary could have saved more than $600 this year on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs if he had. The study was based on an analysis of more than 450,000 unique visitor sessions during Medicare’s 2013 Annual Enrollment Period.

Overall, during the enrollment period only 22% of shoppers entered the names and dosages of prescription drugs they were taking while comparison shopping for Medicare Advantage Drug Plans or standalone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. According to a survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, 90% of Americans older than 65 had at least one prescription drug expense in 2010.

 

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PharmaSmart, Rexall enter deal to integrate kiosk data, electronic patient records

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Health kiosk maker PharmaSmart International and Canadian retail pharmacy chain Rexall will combine PharmaSmart’s biometric screening technology with Rexall’s dispensing system, under a new partnership announced Monday.

Pharmacists at Rexall will be presented with alerts within the electronic patient record that will inform them of a patient’s biometric screening status, with an icon appearing based on average readings and, in most severe cases, urgent alerts to trigger immediate intervention and referral to follow-up care when indicated. For the partnership, PharmaSmart is also working with Rexall’s pharmacy software division, Propharm. The kiosk maker announced a similar deal last month with Astrup Drug, a chain that operates stores in Minnesota and Iowa.

"This program can help close the systemic gaps in chronic disease management, which place a huge economic burden on the Canadian healthcare system," PharmaSmart COO Ashton Maaraba said. "Rexall has shown strong industry leadership with this deployment, and we are confident this program will help drive improved medication adherence, patient outcomes and the overall health of Canadians nationwide."

Pharmacists will also have access to an advanced clinical portal allowing an in-depth overview of the patient’s biometric history. The data are integrated into standardized medication review sessions, and comprehensive program data are available to assess risk stratification and biometric trending geographically and across the full patient population.

"This new tool leverages our community pharmacists and advanced Health IT to drive improved management of chronic disease," Rexall VP pharmacy services Tracey Phillips said. "This new technology enables pharmacists to practice to their full scope, make the necessary interventions and provide a more complete level of care to the patient."

 

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