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NCPA releases new HIT report

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK The adoption of electronic health records, electronic prescribing and other health information technology isn’t just for regional and nationwide chains, but for small, independent pharmacies as well, and it’s something that needs to happen on a grand, nationwide scale.

 

That’s why the National Community Pharmacists Association released its report, “Health Information Technology and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: A Road Map for Community Pharmacy,” urging independent pharmacies to “immediately” begin preparing for an electronic healthcare environment.

 

 

Many independent pharmacies already have adopted health-information technologies, such as point-of-sale systems and interactive voice response systems, the next generation of which not only will allow patients to set up prescriptions for pickup 24 hours a day, but will also allow doctors to prescribe over the phone.

 

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Medco report: Specialty pharmacy spending driven by cancer drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. Cancer drugs will become the biggest driver of specialty pharmacy spending, with global sales of the drugs expected to reach $80 billion by 2012, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions.

Spending on cancer drugs increase by 15.1% last year – behind autoimmune disorder and multiple sclerosis drugs – with an overall contribution to drug spending of 5% during the first half of this year.

“Targeted cancer therapies have dramatically reshaped oncology and greatly benefited cancer patients,” Medco chief medical officer Robert Epstein said in a statement. “The newer cancer drugs improve survival rates since they target what fuels the cancer’s growth.”

Cancer drugs also represent a robust pipeline, with more than 800 under investigation. Many of the drugs that the Food and Drug Administration has approved in the last four years – often biotech drugs – have cost $20,000 for 12-week courses of therapy, while some have cost $10,000 a month, though the report said a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars could help reduce the costs of biotech drug treatments.

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Kinney Drugs to purchase Vermont retail pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. A regional retail pharmacy chain in northern New York state will purchase a locally owned store in Vermont.

Kinney Drugs announced Wednesday that it would purchase Vincent’s Drug & Variety, in Waterbury, Vt. The purchase is expected to take place in early January 2010.

“Everyone at Kinney Drugs is excited at the prospect of welcoming Vincent’s Drug employees and customers into our family,” Kinney Drugs president and COO Bridget-ann Hart said in a statement. “It is important to us that this transition be as smooth as possible for both Vincent’s Drug customers and its employees.”

Vincent’s Drug & Variety has been in Waterbury for 98 years.

“The values, health programs and services and community involvement of our two companies are very much aligned,” owner and pharmacist John Vincent said in a statement. “I wholeheartedly trust the people of Kinney Drugs to provide the same level of caring that Washington County has become accustomed to from Vincent’s Drug & Variety.”

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