PHARMACY

VoicePort introduces SynchroScript medication synchronization tool

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — VoicePort on Monday announced that they have launched their Medication Synchronization Program, SynchroScript, along with two of their other adherence services with Tops Friendly Markets Pharmacy, of Williamsville, N.Y. 

Medication Synchronization is an industry solution that has proven to improve prescription adherence through a multiple-tier touchpoint with patients. "Allowing pharmacy patients the opportunity to pick up multiple prescription medications once a month has shown to significantly improve a patient’s Proportion Days Covered on their medications," stated Alphonse Sasso, VP business development. "When consumers stay adherent to their maintenance medications, it translates to improved patient health outcomes while also increasing pharmacy efficiencies — a true win-win solution."

VoicePort’s systems leverage their proprietary front-end portal as an analysis tool to help pharmacists and staff identify patients to participate in the program. The portal then offers anchor medication recommendations that the pharmacy team can align to get all meds on a once-a-month schedule and calculates the required short fills necessary to help pharmacists complete the task for the patient.  

Each pharmacy also is supported with an automated calling system from VoicePort to enroll patients in the synchronization program, to schedule the pharmacist-patient counseling sessions and to alert patients when their medications are ready for pick-up. VoicePort also provides back-end analytical tools to help measure pharmacy progress on keeping patients on schedule with their medications — a complete turn-key solution to help deliver greater patient health and wellness.

"Capitalizing on VoicePort’s technology and automation helps our pharmacies to focus on our patients to offer added care and instruction," said Brian Huckle, director of Tops Friendly Markets Pharmacy. "VoicePort’s solutions are automated to complement our pharmacy’s workflow to deliver added efficiencies and improved Medication Adherence for our pharmacy patients."

Top Friendly Markets Pharmacies also have launched a patient education and written translation service to assist patients in more clearly understanding their prescription instructions and to assist those who don’t speak English in understanding the correct instructions on how to properly take their medications. The solution, Meducation, offers simplified written instructions on a fifth and sixth grade reading level available in 18 different languages. Meducation offers universal medication schedulers, pictograms and device video demos to help patient either at the pharmacy or at home review their medication instructions to ensure proper adherence.     

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Amneal Pharmaceuticals launches authorized generic esomeprazole strontium delayed-release capsules

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals has launched an authorized generic version of a recently launched drug for gastroesophageal reflux disease, the company said Monday.

Amneal announced the launch of esomeprazole strontium delayed-release capsules in the 49.3-mg strength. The drug’s active ingredient is of the same active moiety as the one in AstraZeneca’s Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium), but in a different salt form. Amneals product is a version of the recently launched branded esomeprazole strontium, for which it is partnering with South Korea-based Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. The branded product was launched last month, and the companies received a favorable ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed against them by AstraZeneca. Authorized generics are branded drugs launched at a discounted price, usually under partnerships between the original branded drug makers and third-party companies.

"Introducing generic esomeprazole strontium offers a new, cost-effective treatment option for adult GERD sufferers," Amneal chairman and CEO Chirag Patel said. "It’s another example of how Amneal’s innovative growth strategy has helped to bring economical generic medications to market and benefit all stakeholders in the healthcare equation – patients, prescribers, pharmacists and payers."

 

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Retail pharmacy provides viable solution to health exchange insurance conundrum

BY Michael Johnsen

According to reports, as many as 2.1 million Americans signed up for new insurance coverage that went into effect Jan. 1. However, even though these newly insured people had coverage, what they perhaps didn’t have was the identification card to process claims, such as prescriptions, for example. But don’t worry, retail pharmacy was fast to the rescue, offering those 2.1 million patients who had obtained insurance through a health exchange the benefit of the doubt and a 30-day supply of their prescriptions at no upfront cost once their coverage was verified. 

Ever notice when there’s a crisis in health care, retail pharmacy comes out with a viable solution? Because without this solution, many newly covered patients may have been faced with the full cost of their prescriptions until those ID cards came in the mail. 

However, instead of taking a risk that many of these newly covered patients may be nonadherent until they received their card, the retail pharmacy industry stepped up in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is supposed to be all about improving adherence to begin with. 

There were a number of pharmacy chains and independents who announced their support of the new patients: 

  • Maintaining adherence is exactly why CVS/pharmacy began offering new exchange customers a transitional or "bridge" supply of medication to support their continuity of care with the New Year;
  • Regional operator Kinney Drugs, which operates 99 stores in central and northern New York and adjacent areas of Vermont, similarly promised to provide 30-day supplies of medicines to health exchange patients without an ID card;
  • Kroger assists patients in navigating through new plan transitions every January. This January in particular, Kroger joined many other pharmacy operations in offering certain prescriptions at no upfront cost;
  • Helping patients is par for the course, especially across independent pharmacy operators, noted the National Community Pharmacists Association. “Helping patients sort through new or revised health insurance coverage is business-as-usual for independent community pharmacies year-round, and especially each January," said Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO;
  • "Every pharmacist knows how important it is for people to take their medications as prescribed, without any interruption," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said in announcing that Rite Aid would also provide certain 30-day prescriptions at no charge to eligible patients;
  • Walgreens was actively reaching out to insurance companies’ operations groups for nightly eligibility file updates on health insurance marketplace plan enrollees to help ensure Walgreens pharmacy teams have the most up-to-date coverage information; and
  • Walmart first acknowledge its pharmacies would offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to patients who enroll in the public health insurance marketplace on New Year’s Eve. 

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