PHARMACY

Walgreens celebrates pharmacists during American Pharmacists Month

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Recognizing the important role its community pharmacy team plays in helping people get, stay and live well, Walgreens is celebrating its more than 27,000 pharmacists and their commitment to patient care in communities nationwide during American Pharmacists Month.

“Our pharmacists are playing a more prominent role in health care, and we continue to find new and innovative ways to meet the changing needs of patients and communities by advancing community pharmacy,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Each day, our pharmacists share valuable information, advice and support, and by spending more time with patients, we’re providing personalized care that helps our customers get, stay and live well.”

In 2009, Walgreens launched the largest flu prevention initiative in the company’s history, making immunizations available at all of its pharmacies in 50 states — an idea initially sparked by a pharmacist in Colorado.

Today, with more than 27,000 certified immunizing pharmacists companywide, Walgreens is the largest provider of flu shots in the United States outside of the federal government. Walgreens’ immunization program has also expanded to offer all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended vaccines in dozens of states, all of those in which pharmacists have privilege to administer. The program has helped demonstrate improvements in immunization rates through greater access to these and other services.

This year, Walgreens launched a number of community-focused initiatives targeting various health conditions. Through these programs, pharmacists play an active role in explaining the importance of early detection, adherence and prevention:

  • Well Experience Store Format: As part of this new format focused on transforming the traditional drugstore to a health and daily living destination, pharmacists are now in front of the pharmacy to answer questions, provide additional retail clinical services and encourage patients to seek consultation about their medications;
  • Find Your Pharmacist search tool: Gives people a new and innovative way to select a Walgreens pharmacist by matching their healthcare needs with the areas of expertise, specialties, languages and clinical backgrounds of Walgreens pharmacists;
  • HIV/AIDS Services: Two public-private initiatives with CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focused on reducing stigma around HIV testing and medication therapy management; and
  • Continued support surrounding diabetes awareness, blood pressure testing and smoking cessation. Pharmacy teams also offer assistance to Medicare beneficiaries during with the annual election period, providing free plan reviews daily.

National Pharmacy Technician Day Oct. 23

October is also a time to thank and recognize pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns for the value they bring to communities and to the profession on National Pharmacy Technician Day Oct. 23. Walgreens has more than 36,000 pharmacy technicians.

“As we continue to play a greater role in health care, we’re proud to say that, thanks to our pharmacy team members, we’re able to provide our patients and customers with better access to quality care in order to lower overall healthcare costs,” added Crawford.
 

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PHARMACY

Avella named distribution source for oral-liquid breast cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — A deal that would make a specialty pharmacy a distribution source for an oral-liquid drug may benefit breast cancer patients who have trouble swallowing pills.

Avella Specialty Pharmacy announced Monday a deal with Dara BioSciences that would make a distribution source for Soltamox (tamoxifen citrate) oral solution in the United States. The drug is the only available oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen, previously available in pill form only.

"Making access easier for patients helps them stay on their therapy, which leads to better health outcomes," Avella president Keith Cook said. "Since our inception, we’ve taken great pride in the fact that all of our team members do what it takes to regularly provide the highest level of fully integrated pharmacy services to our patients and their providers."

A woman has a 1-in-8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her life, and a woman is diagnosed with the disease every three minutes, according to the American Cancer Society.

"A significant number of breast cancer patients may have difficulty swallowing pills," Dara CEO David Drutz said. "This may lead some patients to miss doses or discontinue therapy altogether."


 

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Ontario Health Minister helps kick off Ontario’s flu shot campaign at Rexall Pharma Plus

BY Antoinette Alexander

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews on Monday received her flu shot from a Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacist, kicking off the annual Ontario flu vaccination campaign.

“Getting a flu shot for Ontarians will be as easy as visiting any Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacy,” stated Frank Scorpiniti, CEO of Rexall Pharma Plus. “With over 250 locations and 700 certified pharmacists in Ontario, Rexall Pharma Plus makes it easy to receive flu shots any time, any day, no appointment needed.”

As Ontarians gear up for another flu season, they are also ready to embrace this new offering. A recent survey commissioned by Rexall Pharma Plus found that 69% of Ontarians say that they would be equally or more likely to get a flu shot at a local pharmacy if they could.

“Today’s announcement highlights the value community pharmacy brings to improving convenient access to health care for Canadians,” Scorpiniti added. “The flu immunization program is an example of collaboration between community pharmacy and government, resulting in improved access, healthier communities and overall healthcare cost mitigation.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the flu affects 5% to 10% of Canadians each year. While the majority who become sick do recover, the flu results in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 to 8,000 deaths in Canada each year, the company stated.

Rexall Pharma Plus will offer flu shots in any store, any time, no appointment needed across Ontario when the flu vaccine becomes available from Public Health Ontario. Flu shots in pharmacies are available to all Ontarians over the age of 5 years old.

 

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