PHARMACY

McKesson sees rise in patient adherence via loyalty program, adoption by pharma

BY Jim Frederick

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Trumpeting a positive trend in medication adherence rates for patients, health and drug distribution giant McKesson said its medication adherence programs reached more than 6 million patients in 2009.

“More importantly, an increasing number of patients are enrolling into the company’s LoyaltyScript program and adhering more closely to prescribed therapies,” McKesson reported Thursday.

The compliance programs are offered through the company’s McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions [MPRS] division, and they point up the success the division has had in keeping patients on track with their drug therapy. “Due to higher response rates from patients and the addition of new LoyaltyScript adherence programs by manufacturers, patient adoption and utilization has increased by more than 65% over the past 12 months, and more than 300% compounded annually over the past three years. As a result, more than 28,000 patients a day are benefitting from the LoyaltyScript program,” McKesson noted.

MPRS was set up by the San Francisco-based wholesale and health services titan to improve health outcomes “by increasing patient adherence to prescribed medication regimens and awareness of pharmaceutical therapy options,” the company said. The unit’s adherence tools include a patient outreach network, integrated patient loyalty cards, call center support, automated outbound communications, in-pharmacy patient outreach programs and other services.

“McKesson’s adherence programs provide manufacturers with customized solutions to strengthen patient relationships and help patients overcome adherence challenges leading to better patient outcomes.” said Peggy Yelinek, VP/general manager, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions. The growth of MPRS’ LoyaltyScript program, she asserted, “demonstrates that with the right services and solutions, pharmaceutical manufacturers can effectively drive brand performance and patient loyalty though improvement of patient health outcomes.”

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MinuteClinic offering physicals at special rate

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. With camp season, team practices and summer sports leagues right around the corner, administrators soon will be asking for completed physical exam forms before a child or teen is able to participate, so MinuteClinic is offering exams at a special rate through Sept. 19.

Through Sept. 19, exams will be priced at $35. Additional charges may apply for more thorough exam requirements, such as urinalysis. Insurance is not accepted for physical exams. Requirements for physicals vary by state, and services are not available in Massachusetts.

For the campers, athletes and college-bound students seeking physicals, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at MinuteClinic will measure height and weight, review health and immunization history, perform a simple exam to determine if the youth is fit to participate in an activity, help with any required paperwork and provide safety and education tips.

Practitioners will stamp any school or camp forms and reference the results provided on the official MinuteClinic patient summary. Copies of the summary can be faxed or mailed to primary care providers, usually within 24 hours, with patient permission.

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CVS Caremark, Generation Health to offer GBM service

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark and Generation Health have announced that they will offer an integrated genetic benefit management service — using the industry’s first Best Test Genetics Network for coordination of testing — directed at tailoring prescriptions to members based on their DNA.

CVS Caremark acquired a majority interest in Generation Health in December 2009; however, Generation Health operates as an independent business from CVS Caremark, offering a range of GBM services to employers, health plans and provider networks.

The initial product offering is available to CVS Caremark PBM services clients and focuses on 13 drug therapies. For medications generally dispensed through PBM services, the target medications include Imuran, Nolvadex, Plavix, Tabloid, Tegretol and Ziagen. The partnership also will initially focus on seven medications dispensed through CVS Caremark’s specialty pharmacy business, including Pegasys and Copegus, for the treatment of hepatitis C, as well as oncological drugs Gleevec, Tasigna, Sprycel, Tarceva and Tykerb.

For each drug therapy, testing will be coordinated through the industry’s first Best Test Genetics Network, a preferred provider organization of diagnostic service providers that offer evidence-based genetic and molecular testing.

The GBM service offering will be launched for a select group of CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the months ahead, with the product becoming available to all clients starting January 2011. In addition, the CVS Caremark and Generation Health collaboration will be expanding its GBM service offerings as is warranted by research and medical advances.

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