CVS Caremark to open Customer Care Center
NEW YORK Here’s a look at how the future of pharmacy is going to work …
The fact that CVS Caremark is preparing to open its first Pharmacy Customer Care Center is important because it appears as though the two biggest players in pharmacy — the other being Walgreens — are setting their sights on extracting much of the busy work out of the stores in an effort to free up the in-store pharmacy teams to perform more of the medication therapy management, disease management and other more high-touch services that will come to define pharmacy care in the future.
As explained by Larry Merlo, president of CVS/pharmacy, the Woonsocket, R.I.-based pharmacy retailer is opening the new facility and launching the new pharmacy service program to “enhance the service provided to individuals who call our pharmacies, as well as to provide more time for our pharmacy teams to spend serving customers in our stores.”
The move is in a similar vein to that of Walgreens’ “POWER” initiative. As previously reported by Drug Store News, POWER is aimed at offloading and centralizing some prescription dispensing duties in Walgreens’ pharmacies. The goal: to ease up pharmacists and workloads, reduce staffing costs and give its pharmacy professionals more time to consult with patients. The workload-balancing project offloads dispensing duties from individual Walgreens pharmacists to centralized processing centers. Company leaders predicted the project will free pharmacists and even pharmacy technicians from some of the mundane dispensing tasks so they can migrate to a broader role in patient oversight, clinical care and integrated health care alongside physicians, PBMs and corporate health plan sponsors.
As of late May, Walgreens’ POWER project had 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.
It is likely that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the industry will see more of these types of programs and initiatives as retail pharmacy further digs its heels into the U.S. healthcare system and continues its evolution into a broad-reaching healthcare provider.
CDC: School children may need four immunizations this fall
NEW YORK School children may need as many as four immunizations against both seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 virus this year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials told clinicians Wednesday, according to published reports.
That regimen includes an initial shot and booster of both vaccines for children. Most everyone else will only need to get their regular seasonal shot and two shots for the novel H1N1 vaccine, when one is available.
Five manufacturers are currently producing vaccines against the pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus — CSL Biotherapies, GlaxoSmithKline, Medimmune, Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur.
The five manufacturers are expected to deliver between 40 million and 160 million doses of vaccine by October. The regular seasonal flu vaccine supply will be ready much earlier than usual, possibly as soon as late August.
According to CDC officials, pandemic flu shots will be allocated among states based on their population.
Nature & Health announces voluntary, nationwide recall of five supplement products
BREA, Calif. Nature & Health on Wednesday conducted a voluntary nationwide recall of the company’s five supplement products sold under the following names — LibieXtreme, Y-4ever, Libimax X Liquid, Powermania Liquid and Capsule and Herbal Disiac — after being informed by the Food and Drug Administration that lab analyses of these five products found they contained either tadalafil, an active ingredient of an FDA-approved drug for erectile dysfunction; its analog aminotadalafil; or the analog of sidenafil, another active ingredient of an FDA-approved ED drug.
None of the active drug ingredients are listed on the product labels.
The undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in such prescription drugs as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.
Additionally, the product may cause such side effects as headaches and flushing.
The recalled products were distributed in retail stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Ohio.