PHARMACY

Walgreens, NewYork-Presbyterian partner on Duane Reade telehealth kiosks, online access

BY David Salazar

Walgreens is making a push to bring telemedicine services to stores through a new partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian. The partnership will bring access to telehealth services from New York’s top hospital via NYP OnDemand kiosks for shoppers at the Deerfield, Ill.-based retailer’s Duane Reade banner, as well as through its digital properties.

“We are delighted to work with Walgreens to bring NewYork-Presbyterian’s world-class care right to your neighborhood drugstore with this exciting new platform,” NewYork-Presbyterian president and CEO Steven Corwin said. “Patients can expect to receive focused, one-on-one care from leading physicians, where and when they need it. We believe telemedicine has a critical role to play in expanding access to high-quality care, and we are proud to be at the forefront of digital health care delivery.”

The first NYP OnDemand kiosk has been installed at Duane Reade’s 40 Wall St. location in Manhattan, with additional kiosks set to follow in 2018. The kiosks are located in private, secure rooms at the stores, where patients can receive an instant exam, diagnosis and treatment through NewYork-Presbyterian’s NYP OnDemand Urgent Care. Any prescriptions written can be electronically sent to a patient’s preferred pharmacy, the companies said.

Walgreens noted that pediatric emergency physicians also will be available, but with more limited hours. Currently, patients will reach emergency medicine physicians from Weill Cornell Medicine, with physicians from ColumbiaDoctors expected to join in early 2018, Walgreens said

“These kiosks provide real-time care for our patients, enabling them to consult Weill Cornell Medicine physicians privately through the convenience of their local drugstores,” said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “We are proud to work with NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens to extend the reach of our doctors beyond their offices, making healthcare accessible to patients across the city.”

Beyond the kiosks, New York-area patients will be able to access NYP OnDemand Urgent Care telehealth services through the Walgreens website.

“We’ve had much success over the years working with NewYork-Presbyterian at our on-site Walgreens pharmacy,” Walgreens Healthcare Clinics chief medical officer Pat Carroll said. “We value this innovative collaboration and look forward to finding new and different ways to work together to enhance patient care.”

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PHARMACY

Teva launches generic Viagra

BY David Salazar

The first generic of Pfizer’s blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug has hit the market. Teva on Monday announced the launch of its Viagra (sildenafil citrate) generic, opening the Jerusalem-based company up to the roughly $1.4 billion market size that IQVIA data shows the drug had for the 12 months ended August 2017.

“The launch of Teva’s sildenafil tablets brings an affordable generic treatment option to the estimated 18 million men in the United States who are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction,” Teva executive vice president of North American commercial Brendan O’Grady said. “Our team has made it a priority to ensure that patients are able to access this medicine—through both traditional and more innovative channels.”

The company was allowed to launch its generic on Dec. 11, as part of a patent infringement settlement it reached with Pfizer in 2013. As part of the settlement, Teva will pay Pfizer a royalty for license to produce the generic.

Teva’s said that it would be offering a savings card that will allow eligible patients to pay as little as $0 out of pocket for the drug, with a maximum benefit of $100 per fill for up to six fills.

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Flu season begins tracking across the South

BY Michael Johnsen

Nationwide, influenza-like activity is beginning to rise for the second week, barely eclipsing the national baseline the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established as an indicator that the current flu season is active.

For the week ended Dec. 2, 2.3% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network were due to influenza-like illness. Last year the flu season didn't officially start until closer to Christmas, or three weeks after the official start of the flu season this year. That season crested midway through February at a peak of 5.2% in ILI-related illness rates.

Currently three states are reporting high influenza activity, including Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. Puerto Rico, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas have reported moderate influenza activity.
   

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