Publix, BayCare Health System launch telehealth center
Publix and BayCare Health System have joined forces in creating Walk-In Care by BayCare. This telehealth service will contain a private room where patients can receive non-urgent medical care from physicians through teleconferencing and diagnostic equipment.
The interactive kiosk allows patients to enter their symptoms and work with medical tools, such as thermometers, otoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high definition cameras to make an accurate diagnosis. Publix Pharmacy staff also will be on hand to provide patients with additional assistance if needed.
“We are excited to bring access to high-quality, compassionate care through this convenient and innovative technology,” Glenn Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer at BayCare Health System, said. “Our goal is to improve the health of our community by helping individuals access the right level of care in the right place. Our collaboration with Publix helps us do just that.”
The first center opened in December 2017 at Publix Shoppes of Lithia in Florida, and 26 additional locations are to be added by the end of the year. Walk-In Care Provided by BayCare is part of a three-part collaboration between both companies to improve the overall health and wellness of the Tampa community.
“Pharmacists are a part of many patients’ wellness plans, and our Publix Pharmacists have been serving our communities through a variety of services like vaccinations, health screenings, free and discounted medications, and more,” Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations, said. “This Walk-In Care clinic takes our partnership with physicians to a new level. Together, we’ll help keep our community feeling well.”
CVS Health expands medication disposal efforts
CVS Health is continuing its push to make safe medication disposal available to patients, expanding efforts in South Carolina and launching them in Massachusetts. The company has added 22 new in-store medication disposal units in South Carolina to supplement those donated to law enforcement, and unveiled its inaugural Bay State disposal unit in Medford, Mass.
The first disposal unit of a planned 42 that will be in CVS Pharmacy locations through Massachusetts was unveiled by CVS health executive vice president, chief policy and external affairs officer and general counsel Tom Moriarty, who got an assist from state officials. Gov. Charlie Baker, state health and human services secretary Marylou Sudders and Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey joined Moriarty to highlight the role that safe medication disposal can play in curbing the opioid crisis.
“Addiction can often start at home in our own medicine cabinets, and today we are pleased to partner with CVS Health and build on efforts to address this public health crisis across the Commonwealth,” Baker said. “The units give our residents more safe and reliable ways to discard unwanted medications and using them will prevent unnecessary exposure to addictive opioids for anyone in your home.”
Alongside the introduction of the Massachusetts disposal unit, the CVS Health Foundation announced $150,000 in grants for organizations that support addiction intervention, treatment and recovery efforts. The beneficiaries of the grant are programs at Boston Medical Center, Mattapan Community Health Center and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, the company said.
In South Carolina, the in-store disposal units supplement the roughly 24 that the company had donated to police and sheriff departments in the state.
“With a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country, we see firsthand the impact of the alarming and rapidly growing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse,” Moriarty said. “Expanding our safe medication disposal efforts here in South Carolina is an extension of the initiatives in place across our company to fight the opioid abuse epidemic and fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
Moriarty was joined at a CVS Pharmacy location in Lexington, S.C. by the state’s attorney general Alan Wilson, state Rep. Chip Huggins and Lexington police chief Terrence Green.
“We know that opioids and other dangerous drugs often end up in the wrong hands after being taken out of parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets,” said Attorney General Wilson. “We appreciate CVS’s efforts to help fight the opioid epidemic by giving people a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted medications.”
The company has now expanded medication disposal to 750 CVS Pharmacy locations as part of its enterprise efforts to combat opioid abuse and misuse.
FDA approves 2 Perrigo topical generics
The Food and Drug Administration has approved two topical generics from Perrigo, with one of them launching immediately. The agency approved the company’s generic of Estrace Cream (estradiol vaginal cream, 0.01%) and Epiduo Gel (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide gel, 0.1/2.5%).
The Epiduo Gel generic — a topical treatment for acne vulgaris in patients 9-years-old and older — will launch immediately, the company said. The product had U.S. sales of roughly $164 million for the past 12 months, according to IQVIA data.
The Estrace Cream generic is indicated to treat severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause, and the company said that its partner Impax Labs would be marketing the generic. Perrigo said the product would launch in the second quarter of 2018. The drug had U.S. sales of roughly $457 million for the past 12 months, based on IQVIA data.