Pharmacy operators form Health Information Trust Alliance
This week another force emerged from the private sector to take the lead on health information technology, a coalition of more than 50 pharmacy operators, healthcare companies and technology vendors known as the Health Information Trust Alliance.
Who is HiTrust, as the group calls itself? It’s such companies as CVS Caremark, McKesson, Humana and Johnson & Johnson. Why HiTrust? To ensure that in a world of digitized health records, that the security of that information is appropriately safeguarded without unfounded patient privacy paranoia derailing all of the positives that HIT could deliver this country.
“Our focus is to increase trust in how health information is managed,” explained Dan Nukis, HiTrust CEO. “We want to lower costs, reduce risks, increase efficiency and decrease complexity.”
In the case of HiTrust, “trust” is a key word. As our government wrestles with the challenge of how to fix health care, lawmakers need to trust the private sector to lead us in the right direction. Because when you take a really close look at it all, you realize that so far, the private sector has led the way on much of what seems to constitute “health reform” in this country.
Vermont woman gains another victory against Wyeth
WASHINGTON A Vermont musician whose arm had to be amputated after she received an injection of a Wyeth anti-nausea drug, and received a nearly $7 million injury award, won in the Supreme Court Wednesday.
The court upheld the Vermont jury’s verdict, which awarded $6.7 million to guitarist and pianist Diana Levine after she received an IV push of the drug Phenergan (promethazine) that missed and hit her artery and caused her to develop gangrene. Wyeth appealed the decision, arguing that it could not be sued because Phenergan already had approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The Supreme Court’s decision marks Wyeth’s second major defeat in recent months. In November, the First District Court of Appeals of California ruled that Wyeth could be held liable for injuries resulting from generic versions of its drugs in the case of Conte v. Wyeth, in which a woman taking generic versions of the gastro-esophageal disease drug Reglan (metoclopramide) developed the neurological disorder tardive dyskinesia.
Rite Aid same-store sales drop
CAMP HILL, Pa. Same store sales for Rite Aid decreased by 0.9%, the company announced Thursday.
Rite Aid said that February sales were negatively impacted by a weak cough, cold and flu season, Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday versus a Thursday last year, and as a slowing economy.
Total drug store sales for the five-week period decreased 2.4% to $2.55 billion compared with $2.61 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.9% of drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96.5% of pharmacy sales.