PHARMACY

Pfizer expands eligibility for RxPathways patient assistance programs

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Pfizer is looking to help more patients afford medication, announcing Thursday that it would be expanding eligibility for its RxPathways program, which offers services to help patients access medication. The change makes patients who earn up to four times the federal poverty level based on family size (up to $97,000 for a family of four) eligible for some of the 40 medicines offered for free by the program. 
 
“We have listened to patients and acted quickly to significantly expand the eligibility of our patient assistance programs. While patient assistance is not a permanent solution, it is a necessary step for helping to solve some of the high co-pay issues that some patients face,” Pfizer’s EVP corporate affairs Sally Susman said. “The real solution is to have a system that provides patients with access to innovative new treatments their doctors’ prescribe and insurance plans with good coverage.”
 
Programs provided through Pfizer RxPathways include 35%-50% discounts on retail price of the company’s medicine for uninsured patients, medicine access counseling to help choose assistance programs, insurance counseling to understand coverage, co-pay cards and information on other co-pay assistance programs and referrals to other resources. Between 2010 and 2015, the company has assisted 2.5 million patients with the program.
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PHARMACY

Humana opens on-site retail pharmacy in Jacksonville, Fla. facility

BY David Salazar

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Humana, in a move that is turning into something of a trend, announced Wednesday that it had opened a fully integrated retail pharmacy inside the MCCI Medical Center. This is the first of six planned onsite pharmacies the company plans to open, with four more to follow in Texas and four more in Fla. The news also comes shortly after Meijer opened a retail pharmacy in a Grand Rapids, Mich. hospital.
 
“Humana is committed to improving the well-being of its members and, often, that means meeting the patients where they are and taking proactive steps to assist patients on their health journey,” Humana North Florida’s senior products medical director Dr. Albert Tzeel said. “This integrated pharmacy will provide greater convenience and access to care in effort to reduce barriers and help Humana’s Medicare Advantage members in Northeast Florida take charge of their health.”
 
The space, an extension of Humana’s mail order service will provide patients at the center with clinical support and a full-service pharmacy in an effort aimed at promoting physician-patient communication and streamlining treatment. It will also offer proactive refill calls to patients alongside care coordination efforts, the company said. 
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Genoa acquires telepsychiatry company 1DocWay

BY David Salazar

TUKWILA, Wash. — QoL Healthcare company Genoa, a behavioral health specialty pharmacy, on Wednesday announced that it had acquired IDocWay, an outpatient telepsychiatry company whose platform connects providers to patients. Genoa said that the acquisition was part of its strategy to improve patient care at the community mental health centers it partners with amid a shortage of psychiatry providers. The acquisition marks the launch of Genoa Telepsychiatry. 
 
“When our partners suggested that we help them find novel remedies to their shortage of psychiatrists, we set out to find ways to assist,” Genoa’s EVP strategy and corporate development said. “We believe telepsychiatry can be a key answer as its early adopters have touted its acceptance and efficacy in delivering accessible and quality mental health care. The shortage of psychiatrists is a major issue in the behavioral health industry, and the addition of 1DocWay’s team and tools will help us provide a solution to this challenge.”
 
For Genoa, the acquisition will help it serve communities that lack a large number of healthcare professionals. 
 
“We chose 1DocWay because they are experts in the field of telepsychiatry, having built the nation’s largest outpatient telepsychiatry network, and they are innovators in technology,” Genoa CEO John Figueroa said. We are confident this integration will allow both us and our center partners to better serve the behavioral health community.”
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