PHARMACY

Protect Your Care to defend government healthcare programs in TV ads

BY Alaric DeArment

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a bête noire among much of the Republican party since President Obama signed it into law. But as GOP presidential candidates prepared for the first official debate in Manchester, N.H., one group launched a series of ads defending it and other programs to address the nation’s health coverage gap.

Protect Your Care will launch its first TV ad to defend Medicare, Medicaid, Romneycare — the healthcare-reform law that presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed while governor of Massachusetts — and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Other efforts will include online ads, visibility efforts around Manchester, rapid response and fact checking.

Republicans have called for deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in recent months amid the national debate over deficit spending. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposed to replace Medicare with a voucher system that many critics derided as “vouchercare” and a poor substitute for the current system.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, spending on Medicare is expected to reach 8% of the country’s GDP by 2035, and 15% by 2080, while Medicaid spending is expected to reach 5% by 2035, and 7% by 2080.

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PHARMACY

WAG’s PBM officially belongs to Catalyst Health Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Health Solutions on Monday announced it has completed its acquisition of Walgreens’ pharmacy benefit management subsidiary, Walgreens Health Initiatives.

“We have been pleased with the integration planning and are highly confident that the company will rapidly realize the many strategic and financial benefits of this transaction,” stated David Blair, Catalyst CEO.

Catalyst will issue a separate press release and conduct a special investor conference call on July 7 to further discuss the WHI acquisition and provide updated 2011 financial guidance, the company stated. The financial guidance will incorporate estimated revenue and earnings contributions from WHI, as well as the expected timing and scope of upfront integration and transactional expenses.

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NCPA seeks nominations for independent pharmacy, Rx drug safety awards

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced that nominations currently are being accepted for its Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award and the NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award.

The awards will be presented in Nashville, Tenn., at the NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, from Oct. 8 to 12. The NCPA Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award recognizes an independent pharmacist for exceptional leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy and the community. The award bears the name of Willard B. Simmons of Chicago, a long-time NCPA Foundation board member and retired NCPA executive secretary who exemplified outstanding leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy.

The NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award recognizes a pharmacist who has served as an outreach resource to his or her community in the provision of education about the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards of their improper use.

Candidates for these awards must be an owner, manager or staff pharmacist of an independent pharmacy and a current NCPA member. Self-nominations are acceptable. Nominations must be received at NCPA headquarters no later than July 15 and should be made on an official nomination form. Descriptions of the awards, nomination forms and instructions are available at NCPAnet.org/index.php/events/2011-convention.

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