PHARMACY

Teva Women’s Health discusses emergency contraceptive at symposium

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Nearly 1 million acts of unprotected sex take place in the United States every night. This statistic was a major talking point at a breakfast symposium for journalists on Thursday sponsored by Teva Women’s Health, manufacturer of the Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive pill.

Those unprotected sex acts help contribute to the more than 3 million unintended pregnancies that affect U.S. women every year.

“Overall, it has been estimated that the widespread use of emergency contraception in the United States could prevent 1.7 million unintended pregnancies each year,” Columbia University Medical Center professor Anne Davis said in a statement on behalf of Teva.

Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) is a single pill available from behind the counter for girls and women ages 17 years and older, designed to be taken 72 hours after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. But the four panelists at the symposium agreed that part of the challenge to increasing usage of the pill in the event of an “oops moment” is making people aware of it and combatting misinformation around it.

Visibility and convenience can go a long way to promoting usage, panelist and University of Southern California pharmacy professor Kathleen Besinque said, mentioning what she called “the condom look” — the anxious look on young men’s faces that is a telltale sign they’re looking for condoms. Similarly, customers looking for emergency contraception may be embarrassed to talk about it openly and thus afraid to ask where the pills are or worried the store doesn’t carry them.

“I talk to pharmacists all the time, and I try to encourage them to put the product where it can be seen,” Besinque told Drug Store News, adding that one way of ensuring visibility could include shelf tags near the shelf where condoms are kept.

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PHARMACY

Omicare splits business into long-term care, specialty care groups

BY Alaric DeArment

COVINGTON, Ky. A company that provides pharmaceutical care for the elderly is splitting its pharmacy services business into two divisions, hoping to make its services more effective and focused on customers.

 

Omnicare announced Wednesday the reorganization of its business into a long-term care group and a specialty care group. “This reorganization is part of our efforts to become a stronger operating company,” interim president and CEO James Shelton said. “We believe these structural changes will allow us to improve the customer experience and maximize growth opportunities through better coordination across the organization.”

 

 

The company’s specialty care group will comprise its specialty pharmacy and specialty pharmaceutical service businesses, hospice pharmacy, pharmaceutical case management and others. Nitin Sahney, who has headed Omnicare’s RxCrossroads business and previously managed a healthcare investment fund, will lead the group as president.

 

 

Omnicare SVP pharmacy operations Jeffrey Stamps will lead the long-term care business as EVP and president of long-term care operations.

 

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PHARMACY

Rite Aid positions itself to assist seniors with Part D open enrollment

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday announced its pharmacists have been prepared to assist seniors during the 2011 Medicare Part D open enrollment period. With the first of the baby boomers officially turning 65 years old in 2011, more seniors are expected to hit drug stores looking for information about Part D options and open enrollment.

 

Open enrollment begins on Nov. 15.

 

 

Patients who are new to the Medicare Part D benefit, as well as those currently enrolled in a plan who are reviewing their selection to make sure it’s the best plan for them, can receive counseling from any Rite Aid pharmacist. Patients also can receive a personalized printed report featuring the three lowest-cost plans based on their current prescriptions filled at Rite Aid locations.

 

 

Medicare enrollees have until Dec. 31 to review their current plan or enroll in a new plan. Those eligible for the Medicare Part D benefit include people older than 65 years and those with disabilities.

 

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