New pharmacy group RxAlly forms to help control overall health costs
LEESBURG, Va. — RxAlly on Wednesday announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind alliance of more than 20,000 pharmacies nationwide, united to help patients achieve better health through personalized pharmacist care while reducing costs.
"There is a need for greater access to health care for patients throughout the U.S.," stated Bruce Roberts, CEO of RxAlly and past EVP and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association. "To address this challenge head on, RxAlly advances the role of community pharmacists to one that leverages their extensive clinical training, better equips them to interact with patients, improves patient health and lowers costs."
RxAlly offers a performance network, whose core mission is to generate measurable improvements in patient health outcomes and healthcare costs. RxAlly pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare system, delivering a range of patient-centric services necessary to assure cost-effective delivery and appropriate use of medicines, which can lead to better, more efficient healthcare nationwide. The RxAlly Performance Network will include pharmacies that demonstrate patient-centric delivery of service and an interest in optimizing health outcomes. At launch, this select network is comprised of thousands of independent pharmacies, numerous regional chains and Walgreens.
"A huge opportunity exists for community pharmacies to play a larger role in the healthcare system and make a difference in patient care. That’s why Walgreens is focused on advancing community pharmacy through closer integration with other healthcare providers and expanding the scope of services offered by pharmacists," stated Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. "We are proud to join RxAlly as part of a performance-based network of pharmacies that will differentiate itself through improvements in health outcomes and other services."
"The launch of RxAlly represents a unique combination of the strengths of community pharmacies with the corporate resources of Walgreens," added present NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. "Health problems, such as the proper use of medications and the worsening primary care shortage cry out for new solutions. As accessible, highly trained healthcare professionals, community pharmacists are ideally situated to help address these and other needs."
According to the alliance, RxAlly’s mission is to serve three constituencies:
Patients. Patients have an ally to help them feel better. Those who see several doctors and juggle multiple prescriptions gain more control over their care. Pharmacists in the RxAlly Performance Network will take a greater role in coaching and customizing care plans that meet the needs of individual patients: coordination of refills; reconciliation of medications – both prescription and over-the-counter; immunizations, such as flu shots and other adult and adolescent immunizations; blood pressure and other health tests; making sure patients understand the importance of taking their medicines correctly; prevention and wellness education; even customized programs for chronic disease management;
Pharmacists. Pharmacists are pivotal players in the health of their patients. For decades, pharmacists have been underutilized as healthcare providers. Patients typically see their pharmacists 12 to 14 times per year – more than any other practitioner. They are among the most accessible healthcare providers and are at a key intersection in health care to assist in coordination of care. This gives pharmacists the unique opportunity to assume a much more meaningful role in people’s health care. RxAlly will equip pharmacists to bring together the best of personalized care with innovative new technologies, products and services; and
Payers. With RxAlly, payers can realize better cost control and improved health outcomes for their member patients. Available to all government and commercial organizations, RxAlly plans to offer payers innovative options to design, manage and measure the clinical services that support their prescription health benefits. The RxAlly patient-centric approach, supported by clinical research, seeks to improve employee productivity and reduce healthcare costs.
Study: Insulin production found among those with long-term Type 1 diabetes
BOSTON — It seems insulin production and beta cell functioning may persist despite the onset of Type 1 diabetes, according to research conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.
Researchers evaluated blood samples of 182 individuals with Type 1 diabetes using an ultrasensitive assay for C-peptide, a marker of insulin secretion, to test for residual beta cell function. What they discovered was that although C-peptide levels were lower among those who had longer duration of diabetes; however, the decrease over time was gradual, compared with the predicted abrupt decline that typically is associated with Type 1 diabetes. For example, among patients with disease duration of 31 to 40 years, 10% still produced C-peptide. What’s more, beta cell functioning remained intact at very low C-peptide levels.
"Traditionally, it was thought that beta cell function completely ceased in patients with advanced Type 1 diabetes. However, data from this study and others suggest that the pancreas continues to function at some level even decades after the onset of Type 1 diabetes," said Denise Faustman, director of the MGH Immunobiology Laboratory, who led the study.
Novartis to pay $440 million for hepatitis C drug
WATERTOWN, Mass. — Novartis plans to pay up to $440 million for rights to a drug for treating hepatitis C made by Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Enanta said.
Enanta said it had made a licensing agreement with the Swiss drug maker for the worldwide development, manufacturing and commercialization of the drug EDP-239, which works by inhibiting NS5A, a protein that is key to the virus’ replication.
"Novartis is a recognized leader in the field of HCV, and access to its global expertise combined with our shared vision for commercializing HCV therapies will support the successful development and commercialization of products targeting NS5A," Enanta president and CEO Jay Luly said.
Under the agreement, Novartis will pay Enanta $34 million upfront plus up to $406 million in milestone payments based on successful clinical, regulatory and commercial outcomes.