Take Care: Patients that use workplace primary care, pharmacy services have higher adherence rates
NEW YORK The findings of the Take Care Health Systems’ survey are important as they undoubtedly underscore the importance of worksite clinics, which are growing increasingly common as U.S. employers look for ways to curb skyrocketing healthcare costs and bolster employee health and productivity.
The study highlights what clinic operators — like Take Care Health Systems with its 300-plus worksite clinics — have known for some time: investing in integrated workplace health and pharmacy programs can, in fact, help employers realize healthcare savings, while improving patient outcomes.
What is the cost savings? As reported in late 2008 by Drug Store News, an August 2008 report by human resources consulting and outsourcing services provider Hewitt Associates, dubbed “Trends in HR and Employee Benefits: Employers Implement On-Site Health Clinics to Manage Costs,” states that some studies suggest that worksite clinics lead to $2 in savings for every $1 invested, and some may even reach $3 to $6 in savings for every $1 invested. Citing data provided by On-Site Health Care, the Hewitt Associates report also states, “For prescription drugs, employers may see 11.9% in brand savings and 56.3% in generic savings.” Then, of course, there’s the issue of medication adherence, which the Take Care Health Systems’ survey clearly addresses. With an estimated price tag of $100 billion, non-adherence is a major drain on the U.S. healthcare system.
Given the results of this study and the trends that are already taking place throughout the convenient care industry, employer-based clinics are something the industry is bound to see on the upswing. In fact, industry sources have suggested that the market could bear as many as 5,000 worksite clinics as the ideal client is an employer with 1,000 or more employees at a site.
Epocrates launches OTC drug module
SAN MATEO, Calif. Epocrates on Thursday announced a new over-the-counter drug module enabling physicians and pharmacists to be more prepared for patient questions around use of OTCs.
“There are so many OTC options on the market now to treat ailments like allergies, colds and constipation, it is impossible to keep track of them all,” stated Jeanie Kim, pediatrician. “Especially my practice, I need to know both the active and inactive ingredients, and which flavor is most palatable for a child. Epocrates’ new OTC reference will be a huge help for me and my patients.”
“When customers come in with the flu, sending them down the medication aisle to see 50-plus remedies is not enough,” added pharmacist Fred Hirning. “Epocrates will help me find the right option for them that will not only help relieve their symptoms quickly, but will not cause any adverse reactions or interact with their other medications.”
The module is accessible by most smart phones, including iPhone.
H.D. Smith appoints two new executives
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. A wholesaler that supplies OTC and prescription drugs to retail and other pharmacies has appointed two new executives.
H.D. Smith announced Thursday the appointment of Jeff Greer as VP sales and Robert Dynek Jr. as VP purchasing and trade relations, saying the appointments part of an effort to bolster its growth potential.
As VP sales, Greer will lead the company’s efforts to expand into new service areas, while Dynek will have primary responsibility for purchasing and managing inventory service levels across business segments.
“Moving Jeff and Bob into corporate headquarters will take full advantage of growth potential for the company,” chairman and CEO Dale Smith said. “Together, they bring more than 50 years of expertise in pharmacy distribution and will be influential in helping us realize our goal of becoming the preferred pharmaceutical wholesaler nationwide.”