PHARMACY

Report: Pharmacists to increasingly learn alongside other health professionals

BY DSN STAFF

HAGUE, Netherlands — Learning together with other health professionals might become more mainstream for pharmacists, according to a report published Friday by the International Pharmaceutical Federation Education Initiative.

Interprofessional curriculums could become more common in classrooms and clinical settings, according to the report “Interprofessional education in a pharmacy context: Global report 2015.”

“As the number and complexity of treatments grow, it’s no longer possible for any one health provider — no matter how knowledgeable — to be able provide top quality care working in isolation,” said report co-author Tina Brock.

The report presented examples of multidisciplinary education from around the world, including the development of an interprofessional curriculum at the University of Queensland in Australia, and oncology nurses training in a hospital pharmacy department in Uruguay.

Interprofessional education may be an area of pharmacy where developing countries are active, using new models that others can replicate, according to the report. “In under-resourced countries, there is typically a shortage of health professionals. This provides additional motivation for professionals in emerging systems to combine forces,” Brock said.

“In the United States and many western systems, we’re now spending significant resource in retraining people who were educated separately to work together in high performing teams,” Brock continued. “If under-resourced countries never build those professional ‘silos’, they will not have to expend precious resource to tear them down.”  

Pharmacists and educators will gather next week to discuss interprofessional education at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Click here to view the full International Pharmaceutical Federation Education Initiative report.

 

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Teva to acquire Gecko Health Innovations

BY DSN STAFF

JERUSALEM and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Teva Pharmaceutical on Friday announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gecko Health Innovations, which focuses on developing software and product solutions to aid in compliance and adherence improvement in the management of respiratory diseases.

"The acquisition of Gecko Health Innovations further enhances Teva's ability to develop and deliver truly patient-centered solutions by utilizing e-connected, data-driven technology to improve the management of respiratory diseases," said Rob Koremans, president and CEO of Teva Global Specialty Medicines.

Through the agreement, Teva will acquire CareTRx, a cloud-based solution developed by Gecko Health Innovations to simplify chronic respiratory disease management, connecting patients and caregivers through remote monitoring and real-time adherence tools. CareTRx is comprised of a hardware device that attaches to most metered-dose inhalers, as well as a software program which synchronizes and stores data through an app-based user interface.  

"During the last three years, we have designed and built a system to support respiratory disease management by intuitively connecting caregivers, patients and families," said Dr. Yechiel Engelhard, CEO and founder of Gecko Health Innovations. "In founding Gecko Health Innovations, our vision was to connect chronic medication management into one platform, leveraging this information to support and empower patients by partnering with leading players in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. We are very excited to realize this vision as it aligns to Teva's focus on innovative patient solutions."

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Survey: Prescription drug trends to increase by double-digits

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2016 will increase for most medical plan options and increase substantially for prescription drug coverage to double-digit rates, according to forecasts compiled in the 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal’s nineteenth annual survey of health plan cost trends. Trend is the forecast of annual gross per capita claims cost increases.

“Whether it is new high-tech surgical or diagnostic procedures replacing lower-cost options, or extremely high-cost specialty biotech drugs growing in popularity, plan sponsors still face significant challenges to manage medical plan cost trends to more sustainable long-term levels,” said Edward Kaplan, National Health Practice Leader at The Segal Group. “Plan sponsors have already put cost-management strategies, such as adding narrower provider networks and using specialty pharmacy management, into place.”

Other prescription drug coverage findings included:

  •     Trend rates for prescription drug coverage are expected to be significantly higher in 2016: 11.3% for carve-out coverage for actives and retirees under age 65 years and 10.9% for retirees ages 65 years and over. Both projections are roughly 3 percentage points greater than projections for 2015.
  •     The projected specialty drug/biotech drug cost trend rate is expected to remain high at 18.9%, but slightly lower than the projection for 2015.
  •     Price inflation for prescription drugs and hospital stays are the overwhelming driver of cost increases, especially for prescription drugs, where trend is approaching double digits (9.8%).

The Segal survey included data from managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and third-party administrators. For complete survey results, click here.

 

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