HEALTH

Walgreens’ ‘Power’ initiative expands, centralizing workload in Florida, Arizona

BY Jim Frederick

TEMPE, Ariz. Walgreens continues to expand its “Power” pharmacy workload initiative in Florida and Arizona in a campaign that eventually could extend throughout most or all of its operating regions across the United States.

Power is aimed at offloading and centralizing some prescription dispensing duties in Walgreens pharmacies. The goal: to ease up pharmacists’ workloads, reduce staffing costs and give its pharmacy professionals more time to consult with patients.

As of today, the project has shifted script dispensing functions for more than half the company’s nearly 800 stores in Florida and some 100 of its 238 stores in Arizona.

In Florida, such time-consuming duties as script and patient enrollment verification and insurance adjudication for hundreds of Walgreens pharmacies have been transferred to a central-fill processing center in the Orlando area. That “hub” processing center also fills some prescriptions for overnight delivery to “spoke” Walgreens stores that are already on the Power network in the state.

In Arizona, Walgreens is utilizing its existing mail-order pharmacy facility to centralize dispensing functions for stores already on the Power network.

“By the end of the calendar year, we’ll have full Power rollout in Arizona and Florida,” Walgreens spokesperson Tiffani Washington told Drug Store News. “We believe it could work in most markets.”

The project involves relocating some pharmacists from stores to the central processing centers, and Washington and other company officials acknowledge that Power involves some “change management,” and will lead to a modest reduction in the number of pharmacists actually working in the retail pharmacies as some dispensing duties shift to the central-fill facilities.

“Some pharmacists have chosen not to relocate to Orlando,” she said.

However, Walgreens managers say the effort will lead to a more cost-efficient dispensing operation and improve face-to-face counseling and clinical services for patients, by giving pharmacists in the stores more time for those activities.

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Alaven Consumer Healthcare launches dietary supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

MARIETTA, Ga. Alaven Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday announced the availability of Travelan, a dietary supplement containing bovine colostrum, exclusively on its Web site.

“Whether you’re an adventure traveler, you’re taking the family on that long-awaited vacation or honeymooning, you want to spend your time seeing the sights and enjoying time off, not being sick,” stated David Swenson, general manager and head of Alaven Consumer Healthcare. “Travelan helps you make the most of your travels by preventing E.coli infection, not just treating it after it occurs.”

According to Alaven, the active ingredient is a clinically tested product that contains antibodies against Enterotoxigenic E. coli bacteria attacks. Bovine colustrum is the first lacteal secretion produced by the mammary gland of a female cow shortly after giving birth.

Infection with E. coli is the leading cause of travelers’ diarrhea — often referred to as “Montezuma’s Revenge,” “Delhi Belly,” “Bali Belly” or “Traveler’s Trots” — and is the most common illness affecting travelers, Alaven stated, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Each year an estimated 10 million people develop diarrhea while traveling.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Sanofi Pasteur: H1N1 vaccine production starts now

BY Michael Johnsen

SWIFTWATER, Pa. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, on Wednesday announced it has received the new influenza seed virus, which means production against a possible H1N1 vaccine begins immediately.

“As a company committed to protecting human health, Sanofi Pasteur looks forward to quickly understanding how this virus performs in a vaccine manufacturing environment and developing a working seed that will enable large-scale production,” stated Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. “This is an important step for engaging Sanofi Pasteur’s resources and expertise to support public health authorities and the directives they provide us.”

Receipt of the seed virus means that Sanofi Pasteur will begin the development process, called “passaging,” that will yield a “working seed.” Passaging is the process for acclimating virus to grow in a production environment at optimum yield. The passaging process is expected to take approximately two weeks. Following quality controls, Sanofi Pasteur will be prepared to begin industrial production as soon as directed by public health agencies.

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