CVS Health expands Ohio medication disposal
Twenty-eight CVS Pharmacy locations in the Buckeye State will be home to medication disposal units as part of CVS Health’s efforts to facilitate easy disposal of unused medication, CVS health announced Thursday. The 28 units are being rolled out alongside an $85,000 commitment from the CVS Health Foundation to Cleveland’s Neighborhood Family Practice — a network of community health centers supporting opioid addiction recovery.
‘CVS Health is dedicated to addressing and preventing opioid abuse and misuse in the communities we serve,” said Thomas Davis CVS Health vice president of professional services. “We are expanding our safe medication disposal efforts to provide more locations where people can safely dispose of unwanted medications, getting them out of medicine cabinets where they could be abused. Our safe medication disposal initiative, and our funding for community organizations supporting addiction recovery in Ohio, are an extension of CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
The new units supplement the 33 units CVS Health has previously donated to police departments statewide. Its donated units to police departments, which now number more than 850, have collected 140 tons of unwanted medication. The company also has rolled out medication disposal kiosks to 750 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide as part of the company’s opioid abuse prevention strategy announced in September.
The grant for Neighborhood Family Practice will support enhanced screening for substance use disorders, as well as a partnership with a substance use disorder treatment center that will allow the organization to refer patients who require treatment after screening.
“The funding we’ve received from the CVS Health Foundation is allowing us to provide essential integrated substance use prevention and treatment services to individuals with low income and lack of access to care,” said Jean Polster, Neighborhood Family Practice president and CEO. “Through this support, we are better able address the opioid epidemic in Ohio, which is critical to delivering a healthier community.”
The disposal units and grant also supplement CVS Health’s Pharmacists Teach program, which has reached nearly 14,000 Ohio teens with its curriculum about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the company said.
FDA OKs Glenmark’s generic Protopic Ointment
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ generic Protopic Ointment (tacrolimus ointment, 0.1% has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The drug is indicated to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults who haven’t responded adequately to other topical treatments.
The product — including branded and generic Protopic Ointment — had a U.S. market size of roughly $109 million for the 12 months ended February 2018, according to IQVIA data.
Q&A: How CityMD enables access
CityMD offers retail pharmacies a resource
CityMD was founded was founded in 2010 by a group of emergency medicine physicians with the goal of offering high-quality care and convenient access. Since then, the company has grown to operate more than 85 locations in the greater New York City area and Seattle, and has treated more than 5 million patients. Drug Store News caught up with CityMD executive vice president David Shih, a physician by training, to talk about the company’s growth and how it partners with the retail pharmacy community to provide patients with the care they need.
Drug Store News: How is CityMD helping retail pharmacies serve their patients?
David Shih: CityMD is committed to collaborating with all of our valued partners, including primary care physicians, health systems, insurance companies and retailers, to deliver an optimized continuum of care for our patients.
For our retail pharmacy partners, CityMD’s Aftercare, a centralized clinical call center, helps pharmacists by providing important information and answering any questions about a patient’s prescription, even when the treating physician is not available. We also institute automatic primary care physician notification, so every patient’s visit summary and medication journal can be reviewed by their PCPs to ensure accurate dosage and compliance, which saves time and avoids redundancy for the pharmacists. CityMD offers a special provider access line, which is available for pharmacy providers to receive triage advice, to seamlessly send patients to CityMD, or to ensure that clinical concerns are properly communicated.
DSN: How does the retail pharmacy benefit from working with CityMD?
DS: A retail pharmacist may be the first person to see someone with undiagnosed symptoms and conditions ranging from colds, flu and allergies to severe headaches and skin rashes. When approached by patients about over-the-counter medications for their symptoms or when too frequently refilling prescriptions, these pharmacists can refer patients to a trusted provider for the next level of care that is outside the typical scope of retail practice. This includes higher-acuity diagnoses, treatments and procedures (i.e. IV hydration, migraines, asthma management, laceration repair, X-rays, EKGs and a multitude of onsite lab testing) by board certified physicians. Because these services are offered at every site, wait times are less than 10 minutes on average, and patients are in and out very quickly.
Additionally, CityMD’s connections to many top laboratory and advanced imaging partners in the neighborhood enable patients, who require additional testing as part of their evaluation — Lyme disease testing for tick bites, suspected Zika testing, CT scans for abdominal pain or head injury, etc. — to be treated at CityMD.
Retail pharmacists and other providers working at a retail pharmacy who are partnered with CityMD can send their patients to us as an alternative to the emergency room, knowing the high-quality care, resources and referrals available to them. Prevention of unnecessary ER visits leads to significant cost savings to the healthcare system, while tremendously improving the patient experience. When patients are guided on their healthcare journeys to the right providers and have great experiences, we all benefit.
DSN: Tell us about the future — what new CityMD products or capabilities can help the retail pharmacy?
DS: To ensure accurate medical history and medication summary documentation for all our patients and partners, CityMD plans to integrate with local and national Health Information Exchanges. These shared electronic records can be reviewed by all the patient’s providers, which will help avoid any medication dosage confusion. By having an urgent care provider who believes in care coordination, loop closure, primary care notification and transparency, retailers have a trusted medical partner.
CityMD’s plans also include growing our presence in underserved communities within the New York metro area. The increased locations and expanded hours near retail pharmacies will be even more convenient for our shared patients. Our vision to build healthier, kinder communities can only be achieved by working closely with retail pharmacies and all our partners in the healthcare ecosystem.