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Ross Valley Pharmacy develops medication management, diabetes counseling initiatives

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK There are a couple of items of note with Ross’ announcement. First is the value of the pharmacist. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last week found that almost half of Americans are putting off healthcare costs, with 33% of Americans reporting that they’re replacing a possible doctor’s office visit with a trip to the pharmacy to purchase an over-the-counter solution. A higher incidence of OTC use combined with a lower incidence of consultation with a family practitioner could result in some pretty serious adverse events without the intervention of a MTM-minded pharmacist. To be sure, OTC medicines are proving to be very valuable to consumers during these recessionary times, but the fact is that nonprescription medicines are still medicines, and it’s not only important to use as directed, but also to speak with a pharmacist around a patient’s entire drug/supplement regimen.

 

Second, it further substantiates several trends — a trend toward utilizing Internet technology to help manage healthcare conditions; a marriage of sorts between that Internet interoperability and smart phones; and the desire to have a privacy-protected online home around those healthcare conditions.

 

TheCarrot.com site provides tools for tracking a variety of topics including health, nutrition, fitness, and medicines all within a layman-friendly calendar format. Through the free, anonymous service, consumers can achieve a more comprehensive view of their health conditions. TheCarrot.com also allows users to employ a cell phone or iPhone to upload healthcare datapoints.

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Duane Reade VP merchandising leaves company

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Drug Store News has learned that Mike Cirilli, VP merchandising at Duane Reade, has left the company after 16 years of service.

A company spokesperson has not yet been available for comment, and it is not immediately clear what the next chapter holds for the industry veteran.

While the Bronx, N.Y. native has held several titles throughout his career at the Manhattan-based retailer — including divisional merchandise manager — there’s no doubt that the bulk of Cirilli’s responsibilities have largely centered around the HBA/OTC categories. He has also been involved in the growth of the chain’s private label business.

Cirilli’s departure is one of several personnel changes that have taken place at Duane Reade in the recent months. Since taking the helm in March 2008, John Lederer has been retooling the management team by hiring several tenured executives to the merchandising, pharmacy and supply chain roles.

Joining the company is Paul Tiberio, senior director of category management, who will assume the leadership of all categories, effective immediately.

Tiberio joins Duane Reade from Shaw’s Supermarkets, where he was VP center store merchandising responsible for grocery, dairy, frozen, tobacco, general merchandise and corporate brands. Prior to Shaw’s, he was VP grocery merchandising at Winn-Dixie Stores, handling grocery, frozen, dairy, tobacco, seasonal and corporate brands.

In addition, Lee Colarco will assume the newly created position of VP merchandising, where she will be responsible for effective retail selling in the organization.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, in the second half of 2008, the company hired Joseph Magnacca, who had led marketing and merchandising initiatives at Shoppers Drug Mart since 2002, as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer. Magnacca filled a post that had been vacant due to the departure of David D’Arezzo.

Joining the company as SVP supply chain was Mark Scharbo. Scharbo had been the COO of Case-Mate, a provider of leather accessories for cell phones and other digital devices that he co-founded in 2005.

Duane Reade also tapped former Longs Drug Store executive Frank Scorpiniti to serve as SVP pharmacy operations, succeeding Jerry Ray, who resigned.

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Report: National telehealth network proposed

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Health insurer UnitedHealth Group and information-networking vendor Cisco Systems are developing a national telehealth network to connect patients in underserved areas with physicians via telemedicine technology, according to reports.

The initiative, known as Connected Care, features small clinics in retail outlets, pharmacies, such retail clinics as RediMed and Minute Clinic, and workplaces. A trained medical attendant would operate the telemedicine equipment, present a patient to a remote physician, and operate such diagnostic equipment as a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, or an otoscope to look in the ear. The project also will use mobile clinics, with two vehicles now available and an undetermined number of others to be deployed, according to Health Data Management.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco brings to Connected Care the networking technology to enable the exchange of video, audio and data. Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group brings a commitment of “tens of millions” of dollars in funding and a network of 590,000 physicians and 4,900 hospitals from which to recruit participants.

Cisco recently piloted the program with San Jose employees over seven months. UnitedHealth Group will pilot, starting this fall, with its employees and local delivery system Park Nicollet Health Services.

Cisco and UnitedHealth Group also have partnered with Project HOPE to use a mobile clinic in New Mexico to provide remote consultations. Project HOPE will be one of the first implementations of Connected Care, with a goal of starting in the first quarter 2010.

The telemedicine technology is under Food and Drug Administration review to determine its medical device classification. The classification will determine whether the technology needs FDA pre-market approval, HDM said in its report.

More information is available at ConnectedCareAmerica.com.

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