PHARMACY

New media initiative shines light on pharmacists in seniors’ care

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, a group of more than 25 organizations representing patients, pharmacists, pharmacies and other stakeholders, announced the launch of an expanded media initiative promoting the role that pharmacists can play in addressing challenges seniors face with inadequate access to healthcare services in medically underserved communities throughout the nation.

“Patients value and trust the role pharmacists play as members of their healthcare team. As our nation looks for opportunities to provide care for medically underserved Medicare beneficiaries, pharmacists stand ready to help fill the gap in care by providing patients access to healthcare services such as health tests, immunizations, and the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease,” stated Vince Ventimiglia, president of Leavitt Partners Collaborative Advocates and advisor to PAPCC.

The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would provide Medicare beneficiaries access to pharmacist-provided patient care services as authorized by state laws and regulations in medically underserved communities.

“While the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 314/H.R. 592) enjoys strong and growing bipartisan and bicameral support, we are expanding our efforts to promote the role that pharmacists can play in providing healthcare services to seniors,” Ventimiglia stated. “Members of Congress and their staff know the benefit of having pharmacists as part of the healthcare team. Through this initiative, we intend to raise awareness about how pharmacists can help seniors in areas of the country where access to care can be challenging.”

As part of the initiative, PAPCC will run print and digital advertising in beltway media outlets over the course of the Congressional calendar. The “Pharmacists Care, in more ways than you may know” ad, the first in a series, begins to educate readers about the role that pharmacists can play in filling the gap some patients face in accessing care.

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Fred’s Super Dollar acquires specialty pharmacy operation

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred's Super Dollar on Wednesday announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Reeves-Sain Drug Store, a private specialty and retail pharmacy company based in the greater Nashville, Tenn., area. The acquisition includes both EntrustRx, a specialty pharmacy operation that has a strong regional presence in the Southeast serviced from facilities in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Columbus, Miss., as well as the single Reeves-Sain retail pharmacy in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
 
"We are excited to announce the acquisition of EntrustRx, which will further expand our presence in the specialty pharmacy arena — the largest growth area of the pharmacy industry," stated Fred's CEO Jerry Shore. "It offers a strong strategic fit to our current specialty pharmacy operations. We welcome the skilled and valued EntrustRx and Reeves-Sain Drug Store employees to the Fred's team and know that they will make great contributions to the future our pharmacy operations."
 
Shore noted that the EntrustRx acquisition will offer additional advantages to Fred's, including accreditation and access to expanded specialty networks, expertise in different disease states, access to limited-distribution medications, and a model for a scalable retail experience providing clinical services, immunizations, compounding and hospice medications.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Fred's will acquire EntrustRx and the Reeves-Sain retail pharmacy for approximately $66 million, comprising $53 million in cash and a $13 million note payable. Fred's expects to utilize available cash and borrowings under its revolving loan and credit agreement to fund the transaction, which is expected to close in April 2015 subject to customary closing conditions. Fred's anticipates that the deal will be accretive to earnings per share in the first full year following closing.
 
EntrustRx, which is licensed in all 50 states, dispenses specialty pharmaceuticals to treat complex conditions and diseases that typically require ongoing support for extensive periods of time. Its main therapy lines include hepatitis C, oncology, growth hormones, multiple sclerosis and rheumatology.
 
Fred's was represented in the transaction by Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, with pharmacy regulatory counsel provided by Bass, Berry & Sims. Reeves-Sain Drug Store was represented in the transaction by Adams and Reese.
 
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Rx Impact: DSN special report examines role of community pharmacy as face of health care in America

BY Rob Eder

EDITOR’S NOTE: As the editor Drug Store News, I am frequently reminded that the stories we report on extend far beyond the industry we cover. I often feel like if you could see sit where I sit and see what I see, you’d find that the community pharmacist is a greatly underutilized component of our nation’s healthcare system; that we could do a lot more to close the gap on provider access, lower the cost of care and ultimately improve health outcomes for millions of Americans, just by enabling the pharmacist on the corner to practice at the top of their license.

That’s why we put together RxImpact as a special edition of Drug Store News for federal and state legislators, policymakers, news media and other critical stakeholders outside of retail pharmacy industry, to help bring greater awareness of the full impact community pharmacy can have as our nation tries to improve an overburdened health care system.

The stories that follow provide a myriad of examples of what community pharmacy can do — and is doing everyday — to help improve health care. I am sure when you’re done reading these articles, you’ll see what I see.

—Rob Eder

Editor in Chief, Drug Store News

 

Putting pharmacy’s ‘Access Agenda’ to work for America

For pharmacy patient care, reports reflect real life

As ‘face of neighborhood health care,’ America’s pharmacies offer new solutions

By the numbers: How community pharmacists measure up 

Pharmacies fill public health need as vaccination centers 

Pharmacy-based adherence efforts: The value of face-to-face interventions 

Electronic prescribing yields a trove of benefits 

Pharmacy education — toward a more clinical care model 

Shelter from the storm: Reliable first responders, pharmacies provide critical disaster relief 

Mobilized health care: Putting pharmacy services on wheels

Provider status legislation for pharmacists: Momentum accelerates with public support

Local store tours provide first-hand look at value of community pharmacy 

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