PHARMACY

Publix Pharmacy celebrates major milestone

BY Ryan Chavis

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix announced that its pharmacies leaped past a major milestone this month, filling more than 50 million free prescriptions for its customers in the past eight years. 
 
The Publix Pharmacy started its free antibiotic program in 2007, and continues to make improvements based on research and need, Publix stated. The company’s prescription program addresses such health issues as diabetes and high blood pressure, providing medications to customers at no cost. According to Publix, the medications include:
 
  • Amlodipine, used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina);
  • Metformin, used to treat diabetes; and
  • Lisinopril, used to prevent, treat, or improve symptoms of high blood pressure, certain heart conditions, diabetes, and certain chronic kidney conditions.
The program also provides the following antibiotics: Amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR), penicillin VK, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim.
 
“We’re thrilled to have helped so many customers with free antibiotic prescriptions, diabetes management and medication adherence as well as overcoming the financial barrier to taking their medications as prescribed,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “We’ve continued to enhance our free prescription program to allow our customers to focus on family health and achieving their wellness goals.”
 
In order for customers to take advantage of the program, they need to provide a Publix pharmacist with their prescription for one of the free medications or have their prescription transferred and it will be filled at no cost. Publix doesn’t place a limit on the number of free prescriptions that customers need filled. Publix also said it encourages customers to utilize Sync Your Refills, a program that assists with synchronizations of medications to be refilled on the same day of the month. 
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More than 100 members of Congress support H.R. 592

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which aims to improve patient access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services, has gained 104 co-sponsors since its introduction at the end of January, the American Pharmacists Association has announced.

With 56 Republican and 46 Democratic co-sponsors, H.R. 592 has maintained a bipartisan consensus since it was first introduced by U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Members, Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and House Ways and Means Committee Members, Todd Young, R-Ind., and Ron Kind, D-Wisc. H.R. 592 enables patient access to, and coverage of, Medicare Part B services provided by pharmacists in medically underserved communities.

“At a time when prescription drug use and primary care physician shortages are both on the rise, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act is a critical legislative fix that would allow millions of Americans who lack adequate access to health care to gain access to the quality services of pharmacists,” stated Thomas Menighan, APhA EVP and CEO. “We are pleased by the momentum behind this legislation, which acknowledges the role of pharmacists on the health care team and will help improve the health care outcomes for those patients who need it the most.”

If passed, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would enable Medicare patients living in Medically Underserved communities to access services that pharmacists can provide, including medication management, chronic disease management and preventative screenings. Companion legislation in the Senate — S. 314 introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Robert Casey, D-Pa.; and Mark Kirk, R-Ill. — now has 10 co-sponsors.
 

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New look, new leadership

BY Michael Johnsen

Ritzman Pharmacies is getting a new look in 2015 after the recent appointment of pharmaceutical industry veteran George Glatcz as COO.

(Click here to view the full report.)

“We are very excited to launch a new brand and look,” Christina Cyrus, Ritzman spokeswoman, told Drug Store News. “At the same time, we are working very hard to remove operational burdens from our associates so that they can spend as much time as possible serving our patients and communities. We are excited to launch more services and programs that will help our communities with their overall wellness, active living and simplify the prescription services we currently offer.”

Last year, Ritzman introduced immunizations and medication therapy management into its pharmacy service portfolio. The chain also rolled out is med-sync program across its pharmacy base and added automation to its compliance packaging. Ritzman also operates a compliance packaging pharmacy, a home infusion pharmacy and a specialty care service.

“As Ritzman continues to grow and look for new avenues to provide pharmacy services to our customers, George’s … leadership will bring Ritzman to the forefront of community pharmacy,” said Eric Graf, CEO of Ritzman, when Glatcz joined the company this past fall.

Glatcz began his career as a practicing nuclear pharmacist and has experience working in pharmaceutical product development and marketing. Glatcz also has consulted with healthcare marketing services on brand strategy development and product commercialization.

In addition to delivering on that small-town pharmacy promise of personalized service, Ritzman specializes in its own Ritzman brand line of supplements.

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