Quality of care found at retail clinics shouldn’t be questioned
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail pharmacy operators continue to expand their presence in the burgeoning market for retail-based walk-in clinics, and the services those convenient-care centers provide. And there’s growing evidence that the nation’s overwrought, cash-crunched healthcare system desperately needs those services in a time of dwindling resources, overworked primary care physicians and unsustainable cost hikes.
(THE NEWS: Take Care Health Systems’ treatment of pharyngitis, upper respiratory infections exceeds national quality benchmarks. For the full story, click here)
Indeed, the more than 1,100 in-store clinics opened by the nation’s drug, supermarket and mass-merchant pharmacy retailers over the past decade are providing a critical service, much the way a steam pressure valve keeps a boiler from exploding. And the quality of care now is beyond dispute.
To the few remaining critics who still question the value of in-store retail clinics and the level of care provided by the nurse practitioners and other health professionals who staff them, Walgreens gave another answer on Monday. The answer came from its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary, which operates more than 700 in-store clinics and worksite health centers.
According to the company, the more than 350 Take Care Clinics within its drug stores exceeded national quality benchmarks for their treatment of pharyngitis and upper respiratory infections, as measured by the Jefferson School of Population Health.
The reasons are easy enough to fathom, and they go to the heart of the mission that community pharmacies and in-store clinics say they’re in business to provide: quality, patient-focused care. Take Care professionals, according to the Jefferson study, demonstrated a patient-centric focus both at the time of initial contact between patient and professional, and afterward, when all patients receive a follow-up call within 48 hours of the visit.
The announcement came fast on the heels of other news on the healthcare front for the nation’s largest drug chain. On Oct. 7, Walgreens revealed it is working with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases to educate the public and health professionals about flu prevention resources. The company also has joined with Families Fighting Flu, a nonprofit organization of families and healthcare practitioners, to heighten flu awareness and encourage vaccinations for children and families.
In all, Walgreens said it plans to administer no fewer than 15 million flu shots during the flu season of late 2010 and early 2011.
CNBC star, national radio host headlines exclusive retailer-supplier summit
NEW YORK The markets are turbulent. Banks and financial institutions are struggling. Consumers’ purse strings are tighter than ever, and that has retailers and suppliers worried. Larry Kudlow believes we have been through the worst of it, and America has the tools in place to fix it all — now.
Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” and a nationally syndicated columnist and radio host, will deliver the keynote presentation, “Never Sell America Short: Free-Market Capitalism and the American Economy,” at an exclusive retailer-supplier roundtable event hosted by The Drug Store News Group.
The highly outspoken and unapologetic Kudlow — who also hosts the national “The Larry Kudlow Show” on ABC radio and whose column regularly appears in The National Review — will dissect the political and economic climate to help attendees understand, among other things, how the markets and industry need to work together.
Kudlow’s remarks set the table for the 12th Annual Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit/Diabetes Roundtable event, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the historic New York Athletic Club. The annual, one-day must-attend conference brings together a highly diverse group of retailers and key supplier executives in a series of top-to-top panel discussions moderated by Drug Store News.
The event — which is timed to coincide with the annual “NACDS Week,” including the NACDS Foundation Dinner later that evening — is premised upon better aligning retailer and supplier objectives, with the end goal of growing the business unilaterally. For retailers, DSN Issues Summit is an ideal opportunity to reconnect with important business partners; for suppliers, it is a chance to network with leading retail executives.
Confirmed panelists include top executives from such retailers as H-E-B, Costco, Fred Meyer, Rite Aid, Wegmans, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, McKesson’s HealthMart, ACE Hardware, exciting new healthcare retailer Max-Wellness, Giant Eagle, Kerr Drug and many more.
Current sponsor companies include Pacific World, Kao Brands, Novartis Consumer Health, Takeda, Pharmavite, TABS, Catalina Marketing, Alberto-Culver and Nipro Diagnostics.
Professional Therapy MuscleCare gets ECRM best new product award
LAS VEGAS Professional Therapy MuscleCare last month was awarded “best new product” at the ECRM Health Management EPPS held here. The award, sponsored by Drug Store News, is presented to the manufacturer that collects the most “best new product” votes from retailers attending the event.
As part of its initial rollout, MuscleCare has penned a sponsorship deal with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic, a group of sports chiropractors from 30 countries that treat Olympic and nationally ranked athletes.
The company fields two topical pain-relief products — topical Professional Therapy MuscleCare extra-strength roll-on gel and Professional Therapy MuscleCare ointment — and presently has distribution through Duane Reade and CVS.com. The products contain camphor and menthol to relax tissue and increase the flow of healthy blood, and nutrients in order to reset the muscle to its normal resting length and promote healing.
"The topical pain-relief industry has long been lacking in safety and efficacy, and I have gone to great lengths and conducted a thorough clinical study to change that," stated Chris Oswald, CEO of Professional Therapy MuscleCare, when debuting the product earlier this year.
The retail price is $19.99 for the roll-on gel and $25.99 for the ointment.