Patients are sticking to Walgreens because it’s elementary
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Within the first week of 2012, Walgreens signed 125,000 patients to its Prescription Savings Club. By the second week, that number had blossomed to 200,000 patients and subsequently exploded to 500,000 new signees by the middle of week No. 4. You don’t need a math whiz with a degree in economics to chart the direction this is headed. Clearly, as more patients walk up to their pharmacy counter to fill their monthly medications, only to find out they have had a personal stake in the Walgreens/Express Scripts negotiations all along, they are exploring their own means through which they can remain a Walgreens pharmacy patient.
(THE NEWS: Walgreens signs 500,000 and counting to its Prescription Savings Club. For the full story, click here.)
You also don’t need a degree in physics to explain why this kind of consumer behavior is contrary to what’s supposed to happen. It’s Newton’s first law of motion: A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body not in motion tends to stay put. Now you have significantly more than a half a million patients who have been put into motion, and yet they’re staying put.
That only makes sense if what Walgreens is offering is of greater value than going practically next door (if you’re listening to what Express Scripts is saying) to a pharmacy that’s part of the Express Scripts network.
You can debate what ranks higher in a patient’s decision matrix — convenience or value — and whether or not a patient would spend more for perceived convenience or be inconvenienced for perceived value. But you would think that after being told, "Sorry, we don’t accept that plan," most consumers would respond: "That’s alright. See ya," and then turn around and walk right out of the pharmacy.
But 500,000 (and counting) instead said, "Well that’s no good. How do I stay at Walgreens?"
FDA approves Pfizer’s Inlyta for advanced kidney cancer
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Pfizer for treating advanced kidney cancer, the agency said Friday.
The FDA announced the approval of Inlyta (axitinib) for patients with advanced kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, who have not responded to another drug for the disease. The drug, a twice-daily pill, works by blocking certain proteins called kinases that are involved with tumor growth and disease progression.
"This is the seventh drug that has been approved for the treatment of metastatic or advanced kidney cell cancer since 2005," FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products director Richard Pazdur said. "Collectively, this unprecedented level of drug development within this time period has significantly altered the treatment paradigm of metastatic kidney cancer and offers patients multiple treatment options."
The other six drugs approved for advanced or metastatic kidney cancer since 2005 are Nexavar (sorafenib), made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib) and Torisel (temsirolimus); Novartis’ Afinitor (everolimus); Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab); and GlaxoSmithKline’s Votrient (pazopanib).
Armada Health Care inks software integration deal with Definitive Homecare
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Specialty pharmacy services company Armada Health Care and Definitive Homecare Solutions have signed a deal whereby Definitive Homecare’s CPR+ specialty pharmacy software will integrate with Armada’s service offerings, the two companies said.
The combination will give CPR+ customers access to Armada’s value-added services and the ability to integrate those services within their pharmacy workflow system. Armada members that don’t use CPR+ will have access to discount pricing for the software.
"CPR+ has long been the leader in the home infusion pharmacy industry, and that industry has high-touch patient care needs similar to those of specialty pharmacies," Armada CEO Larry Irene said. "Definitive Homecare has built on that background and tailored CPR+ for specialty pharmacy needs, providing tremendous value to pharmacies across the nation."