PHARMACY

Report: Florida Board of Pharmacy holds public hearing on patient access to pain meds

BY Antoinette Alexander

TAMPA, Fla. — Patient access to medically necessary pain medications and prescription drug abuse is a complex issue that has many pharmacists caught in the middle. In an effort to find a resolution, patients impacted by the debacle convened for a public hearing Tuesday to share their stories before the Florida Board of Pharmacy, according to a local news report.

The hearing marked the first time that patients got the chance to share their stories of frustration and humiliation when trying to fill legitimate prescriptions.

Doctors and pharmacists also addressed the Florida Board of Pharmacy Committee, according to WFTS-TV. Also in attendance was Kevin Nicholson, VP, public policy and regulatory affairs of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, who spoke briefly at the hearing.

After hearing public comment, the committee began brainstorming for resolutions. According to the report, they include better communication between the pharmacists and physicians and a reevaluation of the red flag system.

Click here to view the full report on the "pharmacy crawl."

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Wegmans rolls out telehealth pilot program

BY David Salazar

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As Walgreens expands its partnership with MDLive to three new states and RiteAid tests out a pilot program, Wegmans is forging into telehealth territory with a new virtual doctor program in four of its stores’ pharmacies.
 
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, customers in DeWitt, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; Fairfax, Virginia; and Allentown, Pennsylvania can now stop into their Wegmans pharmacy for a virtual doctor’s visit through Doctor on Demand, which allows users to see doctors and psychologists online with their computer, smartphone or tablet. The Wegmans pharmacies in the program also have a kiosk for users without a computer. 
 
The first Doctors on Demand visit is free, and will put users in touch with board-certified doctors who are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Though Wegmans employees in DeWitt say that the Doctor on Demand services aren’t meant for emergencies, they can be helpful for things like sinus infections or cold and flu cases. 
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FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card saved users $175 million last year

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — FamilyWize, a community service partnership focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, announced Wednesday that it saved 2.2 million consumers more than $175 million on prescription costs in 2014 through the use of its free Prescription Savings Card.
 
In 2014, FamilyWize helped these same consumers save an average of 42% off retail prescription costs through the FamilyWize card, for an average savings of $29.14 per prescription. Consumers saved on prescriptions for chronic, as well as acute conditions. With the FamilyWize card, the average savings per major therapy class in 2014 was as high as 53%. 
 
“Whether people are insured or uninsured, they have the power to be smart shoppers with their medications,” said Dan Barnes, CEO FamilyWize. “Our report demonstrates the positive impact that we have had on families and communities that use our card. Over the past almost 10 years, over 40 million prescriptions have been filled with real savings. FamilyWize has a tangible impact on improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.”
 
The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, which is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, covers all prescription medications. The card is free to all consumers — both insured and uninsured — and provides an average savings of 42% on medication costs. The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card functions like a reusable prescription discount coupon, does not require any personal information from the user and has no eligibility criteria. 
 
FamilyWize also has a Drug Price Lookup Tool, an online resource to compare prescription medication prices and find local pharmacies with the lowest price.  
 
 
 
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