Superior front-end experience, improved patient outcomes will define Rite Aid’s success
"We're tracking right on target and we are going to start opening them in several months. So you are going to see them aggressively rolling out and we are very excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of us here," Martindale told analysts during that second-quarter conference call. That additional foot traffic not only gives Rite Aid the opportunity to showcase their superior front-end offering, but also generates incremental prescription business.
New Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada created to serve as strong voice for industry
TORONTO — Looking to serve a strong voice and advocate for Canada’s neighborhood pharmacy as they play an increasingly important role in healthcare is the new Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada.
The association represents the operators of Canada’s approximately 6,500 chain, banner and franchise neighborhood pharmacies, as well as grocery chains and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.
“Neighbourhood pharmacy is an essential and increasingly important healthcare service provider, that is enhancing patient outcomes, reducing overall healthcare costs and improving access to care by delivering services closer to where Canadians live, work and play,” stated Neighbourhood Pharmacy’s board chair Frank Scorpiniti, CEO of Rexall.
The organization draws strength from Canadians’ strong and increasingly positive view of neighborhood pharmacies. According to a recent national survey, overall favorability has increased to 76.1%, from 68.9% in 2013. Canadians also see pharmacies as being friendly (90.5% agree or somewhat agree) and providing advice that is accessible (89.5%) and affordable (84.2%) — and more Canadians attribute all three of these characteristics to pharmacies in 2014 than in 2013.
Furthermore, neighborhood pharmacy helps save the Canadian healthcare system more than $12.5 billion annually, according to the association, preventing adverse drug reactions, operating an efficient supply chain and by providing innovative drug therapies and lower-cost generic drugs.
“Neighbourhood Pharmacy exists to help connect our members with governments and others in healthcare to identify, research and develop proposals that deliver tangible health and economic benefits for Canadians,” stated Denise Carpenter, president and CEO of the association. “Our healthcare delivery system faces significant challenges from rising costs and an aging population. Access to healthcare, closer to home, plays a significant role in driving better patient outcomes and reducing overall healthcare costs.”
Neighborhood pharmacies employ approximately 500,000 Canadians in settings ranging from independent retailers to larger chain pharmacies. In 2013, the broader pharmacy industry unveiled “9000 Points of Care,” a policy platform to improve access to affordable healthcare.
“Our public policy platform, “9000 Points of Care,” identifies strategies to make better use of the broader pharmacy community’s capabilities. We are poised to work with governments and others in the healthcare community to demonstrate the efficacy of these strategies so that they can be implemented around the country,” added Carpenter.
In addition to Scorpiniti and Carpenter, Vivek Sood, GM of Sobeys Pharmacy Group, serves as board vice chair. Additional board members include Dorian Lo, EVP pharmacy and healthcare at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix; Genevieve Fortier, SVP human resources, government affairs, corporate communications at McKesson Canada; Charles Milliard, EVP of Uniprix; Eric Muir, SVP, health and wellness at Walmart Canada; John Tse, VP, pharmacy and cosmetics at London Drugs; and Rita Winn, GM and COO at Lovell Drugs.
NACDS endorses Senate bill to curb Rx abuse
ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has offered its support for new legislation — S. 2862, the Regulatory Transparency, Patient Access, and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014 — which calls for a collaborative, coordinated approach to curbing prescription drug abuse and safeguarding patients.
Introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., the bill would establish a congressionally mandated report from the Department of Health and Human Services, facilitated in consultation with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The report would identify obstacles to legitimate patient access to controlled substances, issues of diversion of these products, and opportunities to better coordinate federal, state and stakeholder activities that can reduce prescription drug abuse without compromising access to medications for patients who legitimately need them. Stakeholders, including pharmacy, will also have an opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations as part of the report process.
“We applaud Senators Hatch and Whitehouse for their leadership in moving forward with this legislation to address one of the most complex public health problems we face,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Problems like drug abuse and meeting patients’ needs merit the highest form of collaboration among experts in government and in the private sector, but the best of intentions do not always provide that.”
This Senate bill largely mirrors the House bill, H.R. 4709, Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014, which was introduced earlier this year by U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee vice chair Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa. Also backed by NACDS, the House bill passed the House in August.
“NACDS and chain pharmacy are committed to working together with federal and state agencies, law enforcement personnel, policymakers, and other stakeholders to work on viable strategies to simultaneously advance patient health and prevent prescription drug abuse,” stated Anderson.