PHARMACY

Office of the National Coordinator recognizes Michigan e-prescribing effort

BY Alaric DeArment

LANSING, Mich. — The federal government has recognized the state of Michigan as a national leader in electronic prescribing, a group of health organizations in the state said.

The Michigan Health Information Network said that the Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology had commended it, recognizing that 94% of pharmacies in the state are equipped for e-prescribing.

"What makes this accomplishment significant is when you look at its impact on patient safety," Michigan Department of Community Health director James Haveman said. "Broad adoption of electronic prescribing is a critical element of improving patient safety. This is one of many ways Michigan is demonstrating national leadership using health information technology and the health information exchange."

According to a September 2012 study that included a sampling of 27 million e-prescriptions, a severe or moderate drug-to-drug alert was sent to physicians for more than 7.3 million prescriptions, resulting in 28% of them being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor, while physicians received nearly 1.2 million medication allergy alerts, resulting in 27% of them being changed or canceled.

The state’s transition toward e-prescribing started in 2005, when several companies formed the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative. That group included CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, Catamaran, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group.

 

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PHARMACY

Greenstone launches authorized generic cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — Greenstone has launched an authorized generic version of a drug used to treat cholesterol.

Greenstone, the generics arm of Pfizer, announced the launch of authorized generic atorvastatin calcium tablets in the 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg strengths, in bottle sizes ranging from 90 to 1,000. The drug is a version of the parent company’s cholesterol drug Lipitor.

An authorized generic is a brand marketed under its generic name at a reduced price.


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APhA survey finds growing demand for MTM services

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association has released the latest edition of a publication for pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services, the professional group said Monday.

The group released the APhA Medication Therapy Management Digest — Pharmacists Emerging as Interdisciplinary Health Care Team Members as the latest survey suggests 70% of MTM providers had patients receiving services. That figure, from 2010-2012, included 49% of providers reporting a moderate or significant increase in provision of services, while 34% of providers expect an additional increase in the number of contract opportunities this year.

The survey found that demand for MTM is growing, and providers and payers alike reported enhancing practices and organizations to accommodate it. Twenty-four percent of respondents reported pharmacist schedules being adjusted to facilitate service delivery, while 23% reported adding full-time pharmacist employees, and 10% reported remodeling facilities. Payers’ modifications included enhancing MTM program offerings to beneficiaries for 2012 increasing in-house and contracted provider staff and contracting with an MTM network service provider to administer programs.

One feature of the 2012 survey is that, for the first time, it asked providers about the provision of MTM services within integrated care delivery models such as accountable care organizations and medical homes. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they were providing services in an integrated care delivery mode, while 15% said they were providing them in a medical home model, and 10% said they were providing them in a transition of care model. Thirty-three percent were providing MTM, while 32% were providing patient education, and 27% were providing drug information services.

 

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