PHARMACY

Poll: Medicare Part D beneficiaries unaware of measures to close ‘doughnut hole’

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Most beneficiaries of the Medicare Part D program are unaware of new measures to close the so-called “doughnut hole” coverage gap, according to a recent poll.

The survey of 1,243 beneficiaries, commissioned by the Medicare Today coalition and conducted by KRC Research, found that 1-in-5 seniors know that eligible beneficiaries who have drug spending that places them in the doughnut hole — a point when beneficiaries’ drug costs pass a limit and leave them responsible for the entire cost — will receive a 50% discount on branded drugs starting next year.

Medicare Today co-chairwoman Mary Grealy said the survey research showed a need for continued outreach to beneficiaries by the public and private sectors.

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Kroger aids underinsured, uninsured customers with free flu shot vouchers

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — In an effort to assure that its customers stay healthy this holiday season, Kroger is offering free flu shot vouchers to the Salvation Army and Feeding America, a leading domestic hunger-relief organization.

Underinsured or uninsured shoppers in areas with a Kroger or a Kroger banner pharmacy — including City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s — are eligible. The flu shot vouchers also can be redeemed at The Little Clinic, Kroger’s retail health clinic chain that operates in 77 stores under the Kroger, Fry’s and King Soopers banners.

The vouchers are available at the Salvation Army and local Feeding America food banks.

"We’re proud of the role our pharmacists and nurse practitioners play in keeping our customers healthy," said Lincoln Lutz, Kroger VP pharmacy. "Kroger has long partnerships with Feeding America and the Salvation Army and we’re pleased we can work together again during the flu season to promote health and wellness through these free flu shot vouchers."

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Mylan gets FDA nod for generic Adalat CC

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for hypertension made by Mylan.

Mylan announced Friday the approval of nifedipine extended-release tablets in the 30-mg, 60-mg and 90-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Bayer’s Adalat CC.

Nifedipine tablets had sales of around $82 million during the 12-month period ended in June, according to IMS Health.

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