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Price Chopper launches customized floral arrangement site

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. A supermarket chain in the Northeast has created a Web site for sending customized floral arrangements.

Price Chopper announced this week the creation of www.myfloralplace.com, which allows users to customize floral arrangements from anywhere in the world.

“Price Chopper is thrilled to launch MyFloralPlace.com, which utilizes technology to create and cultivate a relationship between our shoppers and our expert floral associates at Central Market Florists,” said VP, floral and lifestyle merchandising Jon Strom in a statement. “MyFloralPlace.com is accessible, easy to use and personalizes the experience of ordering and sending the perfect arrangement.”

The Web site allows placement of orders all day for delivery the next business day to residents and businesses in the areas served by Central Market Florists, one of the largest florists in the Northeast.

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Survey finds doctors concerned with medication adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A survey of 700 doctors by healthcare information firm Epocrates finds that many Americans are failing to take their medications to save money.

Almost all of the doctors ­ 95% — expressed concern that patients were not taking their medications as prescribed and also failing to have prescriptions filled or sharing medications with others. 

“These are challenging times for many Americans, and some people make the mistake of deciding needed medication is less important,” Dr. Edison Tan said in a statement. “If patients have financial concerns they should speak with their physician about alternatives ­ there is a lot we can do to help.”

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NACDS pleads with House panel on tough DME bidding restrictions

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON A plan by Congress to force pharmacy retailers to bid competitively for the right to sell durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies to Medicare patients should be scrapped because it would limit patients’ access to those products and make it virtually impossible for many pharmacies to compete in that business, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores warned lawmakers today.

In written testimony to the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Trade, NACDS expressed concern about a proposed federal expansion of the competitive bidding program to include diabetic supplies, including glucose monitors and even testing strips. The group also urged the panel to overturn plans by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to include diabetic supplies in the national mail-order program for federally funded pharmaceuticals and health supplies.

Either move, NACDS warned, “could limit participation by pharmacies and reduce diabetic patients’ access to life-saving supplies and services. Second, as CMS moves forward with the first round of competitive bidding, it is critical that contract suppliers’ marketing practices be subject to strict oversight by CMS, and [that] any communication to diabetic patients contain information about the continued availability of diabetic supplies at retail pharmacies.”

In its testimony, NACDS reminded lawmakers that “many Medicare beneficiaries obtain their DMEPOS, particularly diabetic supplies, from their local pharmacy.

“In fact, a recent study conducted by HealthPolicy R&D found that nearly two-thirds of older diabetic patients obtain their diabetic test strips from retail-based community pharmacies,” the group noted.

NACDS also pleaded with members of the House subcommittee to “consider the competitive bidding program within the context of a broader set of difficulties pharmacies and patients face in the DMEPOS program.

“CMS’ recent initiatives, such as the requirement for pharmacies to obtain accreditation and a surety bond in the amount of $50,000 per location create significant administrative and financial burdens for pharmacies, resulting in the likelihood of beneficiary access difficulties,” added the pharmacy group.

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