HEALTH

In push for MTM, Kerr hosts senator

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. Extending pharmacy’s grassroots outreach to powerful federal lawmakers, Kerr Drug hosted Sen. Kay Hagan for a pharmacy and health center tour that drew praise from the North Carolina democrat.

Hagan toured the patient care area of a Kerr drug store in the company’s home market, and used the opportunity to talk with patients and pharmacists about the value of pharmacy-based clinical care, and to praise the skills of pharmacists in improving patient care and controlling health costs. During her visit, Hagan also promoted the expansion of medication therapy management services to Medicare Part D recipients.

Hagan is a co-sponsor of S.3543, The Medication Therapy Management Expanded Benefits Act of 2010. The bill — a similar version of which has been introduced in the House of Representatives — would expand MTM coverage to any senior suffering from any chronic condition that accounts for high spending in the healthcare system. Hagan also worked to include an MTM provision in the new healthcare-reform bill, creating a grant program to promote MTM services.

“The most effective and cost-efficient way to ensure seniors take their medication properly is through the counseling of a pharmacist,” said the lawmaker during her tour. “The evidence shows pharmacists can improve patient health and save healthcare dollars because pharmacists are often the most accessible healthcare provider for patients.”

Added Kerr chairman and CEO Tony Civello, “We know that for every $1 invested in MTM, overall healthcare costs are reduced by $8 or more. Sen. Hagan understands that value. Pharmacy is evolving to a more patient-centered focus as patients and providers realize the value of pharmacy in improving health care.”

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Walgreens to acquire assets of 18 ApothecaryRx pharmacies

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has reached a definitive agreement with Graymark Healthcare to acquire the company’s assets of 18 retail pharmacies across five states.

Graymark Healthcare’s subsidiary, ApothecaryRx, is an independent retail pharmacy business. Affected ApothecaryRx patients in Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois will be notified upon the transaction’s closing. The deal is expected to close in fourth quarter 2010, Walgreens said.

“We have a long history of providing high quality pharmacy services in these markets,” said Walgreens operations VP Bill Miller. “Our staff is dedicated to making the transition as seamless as possible for our new customers. We look forward to introducing them to the unique offerings that have made Walgreens one of the country’s most trusted providers of pharmacy, health and wellness services and daily living needs.”

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H.D. Smith SVP named recipient of NACDS’ Harold W. Pratt Award

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO Joe Conda, SVP strategic planning at H.D. Smith, was the recipient of the Harold W. Pratt Award at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference, which drew to a close Tuesday evening.

The annual award that is named for Pratt — a former Walgreens executive that organized and chaired NACDS’ first pharmacy conference — recognizes pharmacy executives whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy within the chain drug industry. Conda, a 40-year pharmacy veteran, is responsible for managing H.D. Smith’s strategic development process, translating opportunities into measurable objectives and assisting senior executive leadership with long-term planning.

“We are pleased to honor Joe’s 40 years of dedicated service to the pharmacy industry by bestowing upon him the Harold W. Pratt Award,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Joe has spent his time building relationships and building strategy. He has forged relationships among many groups that benefited not only his company, but also the industry. He has helped shape pharmacy into what it has become today, and helped to create the momentum that will continue to enhance pharmacy’s role in healthcare delivery.”

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