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Rite Aid dedicates $1.3 million to Folds of Honor

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — During the month of September, Rite Aid associates nationwide will honor 274 students who have been named recipients of Folds of Honor educational scholarships provided by the Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program. The $1.3 million donation to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization based in Owasso, Okla., dedicated to providing educational scholarships to children of fallen or disabled veterans, was first announced in May during the nonprofit’s annual Patriot Cup Invitational.
 
Rite Aid CEO of stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale, who also serves as president of the Rite Aid Foundation, and Folds of Honor CEO Major Dan Rooney, kicked off the month of recognition by presenting 18 students from the greater Virginia Beach area with scholarships totaling $90,000 on Wednesday.
 
“There’s no better place for us to begin our month-long recognition of the KidCents scholarships recipients than Virginia Beach, a community that holds the men and women who serve our country, and their families, in the highest regard,” Martindale said. “I know I speak for Rite Aid associates everywhere when I say that to have an opportunity to meet the young scholars and their families, and to hear their stories and listen to them talk about their educational aspirations, is truly an honor. The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to be able to support these students and we look forward to celebrating their continued successes through our partnership with Folds of Honor.”
 
“Today is a proud moment for the Folds of Honor organization and those we serve,” Rooney said. “Folds of Honor stands proudly with the Rite Aid Foundation in recognizing the KidCents scholars across Virginia Beach and the surrounding area as well as the more the 250 students nationwide receiving scholarships. We are honored to be collaborating with The Rite Aid Foundation and are so appreciative of their generous donation, which is helping to fulfill the educational dreams of our American military families.”
 
Folds of Honor was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has raised more than $70 million and awarded nearly 8,000 scholarships to the family members of fallen or disabled veterans.
 
KidCents was developed by The Rite Aid Foundation to provide Rite Aid customers an opportunity to do even more to help the kids in the communities Rite Aid serves. Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti program can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 360 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children.
 
In addition to the donation, Folds of Honor is also able to receive round-up donations from Rite Aid customers through the KidCents program. 
 
Since its inception in 2001, the Rite Aid Foundation has awarded nearly $21 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $75 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

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DSNTV: Highlights from the Elevation Summit – ‘9 Dangerous Growth Ideas’

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News and Mack Elevation Forum co-hosted the one-day Elevation Summit, “9 Dangerous Growth Ideas,” on Aug. 21 at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House in Denver.
 
“This event provides competitive advantage for every company attending and is a perfect place for sales and marketing leadership to gain insights to help think differently about their business,” DSN publisher Wayne Bennett said.
 
Modeled after the cutting-edge TedX conference series, the joint Mack Elevation/DSN summit brought together nine critical thought leaders from both inside and outside of the industry, to challenge attendees to think beyond their brands to achieve ten times the results. 
 
 “The world is changing, and we need to innovate or die. Disruption is everywhere, and we have to adapt. There’s a marked difference between companies that thrive through the times and those that don’t. The ones that survive react to changes”, said Ryan Olohan, national industry director, health care at Google. “The ones that succeed anticipate, embrace and respond to changes in technology and changes in consumer behavior.”
 
Watch the video above for highlights from the event. 

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Independents seek access to lucrative specialty Rx market

BY David Salazar

LAS VEGAS  — Specialty pharmacy is the fastest-growing area of the pharmaceutical industry, according to IMS Health. Driven largely by new brand growth, specialty pharmacy spending in the retail channel was up 32.7% to a moving annual total of $67.5 billion through June 2015, with 49.8 million prescriptions dispensed. According to IMS Health, specialty medications accounted for 33% of the drug spend in 2014, up from 23% in 2009, making specialty pharmacy more appealing to community pharmacy.

Whether its pharmacogenomics, orphan drug therapies or the recent launch of the first U.S. biosimilar, specialty pharmacy is where a lot of the action is happening in the pharmacy industry. And though community pharmacy has the potential to be a source for these complex and expensive medications, independents can face an access barrier created by manufacturers — one that AmerisourceBergen is looking to eliminate for Good Neighbor Pharmacy members.

“A number of manufacturers and a number of payers have looked at initiatives to limit and restrict access to [specialty] products to a limited number of providers, often mail-order pharmacies for example,” Peyton Howell, AmerisourceBergen’s Executive Vice President and President of Global Sourcing and Manufacturer Relations, told Drug Store News. “Our team is working directly with manufacturers to really be able to explain the value of keeping that patient where they get the rest of their care [and] get the rest of their prescriptions.”

The importance of community pharmacy’s ability to improve outcomes among patients requiring specialty drugs is not lost on AmerisourceBergen or Good Neighbor Pharmacy — especially when it comes to community pharmacy’s ability to improve adherence and, by extension, patient outcomes.

One of the largest drivers within specialty pharmacy is Hepatitis C treatments. Spending on specialty hepatitis C treatments contributed more than 3% of the spending growth seen in second quarter 2015 — primarily due to new medications like Harvoni and Sovaldi.

“The reality is that on the Hepatitis C products, which are available in the community pharmacy, patients are able to access care, be adherent to a regimen… and be able to get the rest of their prescriptions uninterrupted,” Howell said. “For Good Neighbor Pharmacy members in general, we think it's important that they have access to serve their entire patient population. … We want to make sure that care can be delivered in the community where the patients get the rest of their care.”

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