PHARMACY

Safeway pharmacists bridge another gap in care

BY Jim Frederick

All over the United States and Canada, retail pharmacy innovators keep stepping up to fill in more of the gaps that separate people from quality, proactive resources for health, wellness and preventive care.

One of the latest examples is Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway. In a new and groundbreaking alliance with the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy, the 1,641-store supermarket and pharmacy megachain has kicked off a long-term campaign to help its customers quit smoking. As reported by Drug Store News’ Alaric DeArment, Safeway pharmacists will deliver the program, which was developed by UCSF pharmacy school faculty, after being schooled in smoking-cessation counseling techniques.

The pharmacy school’s interim dean, B. Joseph Guglielmo, said the project will give Safeway’s millions of customers “the full patient-care skill set of pharmacists, with a goal of helping customers prevent and manage their chronic medical conditions.”

Pharmacists participating in the venture will include questions about smoking as part of their standard intake screening process for new patients. If those patients do admit to the nicotine habit, they’ll get quit-smoking advice from the pharmacist and a referral to the California Smokers’ Helpline.

The upshot, of course, could be a change in direction to a healthier lifestyle for some Safeway customers, fewer smoking-related diseases and lower long-term health costs. As a side benefit, the program will help cement the professional standing of pharmacists as caregivers and the bonds between patient and practitioner.

Safeway pharmacy leaders want to pilot the program in 20 California stores then begin rolling it out to hundreds of the chain’s pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada.

If you’re a practicing retail pharmacist, please share your own experiences with smoking cessation efforts and other wellness and preventive-health programs you’re participating in. As always, your feedback is appreciated.

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Dan Salemi to be named president of pharmacy at new Albertsons

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Upon the closing of Supervalu’s sale of five pharmacy banners to Albertsons LLC, Dan Salemi will assume the role of president of pharmacy at the new Albertsons LLC, DSN has learned.

Salemi will succeed Supervalu president pharmacy operations Chris Dimos. Dimos will remain in his current role until the transaction closes. Supervalu has not named a pharmacy head for the 191 retail operations that will remain with Supervalu.

According to an internal memo to Supervalu employees, Salemi wrote, "With more than 32 years of experience in retail pharmacy, I’ve seen plenty of changes, but one thing has remained constant: Our patients are looking for great pharmacy service and a professional pharmacy team." Supervalu already has both, Salemi noted. "So I feel that we are well positioned to continue growing our pharmacy business and generating profitable sales."

Salemi most recently was VP pharmacy services for Supervalu, where he had responsibility for pharmacy procurement, pharmacy systems, managed care operations, pharmacy analytics and pharmacy compliance. 

Salemi began his career behind the bench in Elgin, Ill. for Jewel Osco. Since he’s assumed roles of greater responsibility for American Stores, RxAmerica, Albertsons and Supervalu and is an alumnus of Illinois College of Pharmacy. 

 

 

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Office of the National Coordinator recognizes Michigan e-prescribing effort

BY Alaric DeArment

LANSING, Mich. — The federal government has recognized the state of Michigan as a national leader in electronic prescribing, a group of health organizations in the state said.

The Michigan Health Information Network said that the Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology had commended it, recognizing that 94% of pharmacies in the state are equipped for e-prescribing.

"What makes this accomplishment significant is when you look at its impact on patient safety," Michigan Department of Community Health director James Haveman said. "Broad adoption of electronic prescribing is a critical element of improving patient safety. This is one of many ways Michigan is demonstrating national leadership using health information technology and the health information exchange."

According to a September 2012 study that included a sampling of 27 million e-prescriptions, a severe or moderate drug-to-drug alert was sent to physicians for more than 7.3 million prescriptions, resulting in 28% of them being changed or canceled by the prescribing doctor, while physicians received nearly 1.2 million medication allergy alerts, resulting in 27% of them being changed or canceled.

The state’s transition toward e-prescribing started in 2005, when several companies formed the Southeast Michigan ePrescribing Initiative. That group included CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, Catamaran, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group.

 

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