PHARMACY

Walgreens promotes big savings via monitored oncology Rx therapy

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill. An intensive cancer patient management program by Walgreens’ specialty pharmacy professionals could save health plan payers $2,000 to $4,000 per patient each month, the company announced.

Basing its results on a two-year internal analysis of its oral oncology cycle management program, or CMP, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy reported Monday that the program showed potential savings of more than $3 million over an initial three-month trial period for a relatively large patient group. The savings came through “significant reductions in medication waste and greater medication persistence,” according to Walgreens.

That means that increased clinical management of cancer patients could bring big cost savings to payers, said Michael Nameth, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy EVP. Savings can be particularly acute for cancer patients, he noted, since oral oncology agents can cost thousands of dollars a month for patients and payers.

 

“Adherence to an oral oncology program can be challenging for any individual,” Nameth said. “Our team of healthcare providers can help patients manage their treatment program to try to achieve the best outcome at the lowest cost for them, their families and any involved payers.”

 

 

Behind that assertion: the intensively monitored application of CMP by Walgreens specialty pharmacists and oncology nurses to a group of 1,740 patients between June 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010. The CMP program is designed to provide clinical management and support to patients while mitigating costs associated with oral oncology agents, Walgreens said.

 

 

“Both indirect and direct CMP savings were achieved through increased clinical management … as well as a monitored dispensing program,” the company reported.

 

 

Such programs are needed, Walgreens added, because “Oral oncology medications can go to waste because patients may struggle to complete a full month of drug therapy due to side effects or disease progression.”

 

 

The answer, according to the company, is a cycle-management approach to medication therapy for cancer patients. “With monitored dispensing, medication is dispensed to patients in a partial month’s supply to ensure a mid-cycle assessment by a clinician,” Walgreens noted. “The mid-cycle assessment offers an opportunity for the gathering and relaying of actionable information to a patient’s physician, which can lead to medication therapy regime changes or discontinuation of therapy without medication waste.”

 

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CVS Caremark’s PBM customer care team earns recognition from Contact Center World

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. The customer care team of CVS Caremark’s pharmacy benefit management business earned a silver medal for its customer service by Contact Center World, CVS announced Friday.

CVS’ PBM was ranked second in the world for best customer service with an internal contact center. The award was issued at Contact Center World’s Global Top Ranking Performers Awards conference in Las Vegas, which recognizes the best in the contact center industry worldwide. The conference, attended by delegates and presenters from 30 nations, regional winners from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific regions presented and shared their best practices with their peers and were voted upon by the conference delegates.

Rosemarie Donzanti, SVP customer care for CVS Caremark, called the award "a great honor. This recognition is a validation of the high level of commitment our team members bring to their day-to-day work and underscores our focus on ensuring our members’ experience with CVS Caremark is the best it can be," she said.

Earlier this year, CVS Caremark was named best in customer service in the Americas group at the Top Ranking Performers Awards conference in Orlando, Fla.

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DLife offers travel tips to diabetics

BY Allison Cerra

WESTPORT, Conn. — A diabetes community network is offering tips to diabetics that are traveling this holiday season.

 

DLife emphasized that since diabetes doesn’t take a holiday, managing the condition shouldn’t either. On its website, DLife.com, the company is offering such tips to diabetics as:

  • Double the amount of diabetes medicine and supplies you might need and put it in your carry-on luggage;
  • Be prepared for a low — pack healthy snacks, extra glucose gel or tablets;
  • Check to see if a healthy meal is going to be available. If not, bring your own;
  • Always bring your medical insurance card and know an emergency number to call, just in case; and
  • Wear medical identification.

 

 

Additional self-management tips can be found at DLife.com/travel. 

 

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