PHARMACY

Medtronic develops Test B4U Drive program for teens

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES A leader of advanced diabetes management solutions is creating a free program that combines advanced driver skills training with diabetes management education.

Medtronic said its Test B4U Drive program — in partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes No Limits Foundation — will teach teens with diabetes that good diabetes management is a key to staying safe behind the wheel. Test B4U Drive will offer teens with diabetes real-world, hands-on training led by professional instructors that helps them identify and react to critical situations behind the wheel. Interactive classroom sessions will teach defensive driving techniques and share such useful tips as checking glucose levels before driving, pulling over to a safe place to check again when driving long distances, taking action when glucose is too low or high, and carrying the right supplies.

“Test B4U Drive was inspired by the most important part of a teen driver’s diabetes management plan – checking his or her glucose level before getting behind the wheel,” said Francine Kaufman, M.D., chief medical officer and VP global medical, clinical and health affairs for the diabetes business at Medtronic. “If a teen’s glucose level is low or high, it must be treated and reach a normal range before driving.”

Test B4U Drive is being offered to teens with diabetes at these locations in 2010:

  • July 19-21, The Forum, Los Angeles
  • July 26-28, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. (Denver area)
  • August 2-4, KCI Expo Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • August 9-11, Standard Bank Stadium, Crestwood, Ill. (Chicago area)

For more information, visit Medtronicdiabetes.com/testb4udrive.

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Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy names new VP operations

BY Alaric DeArment

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Privately owned Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has hired a new executive to oversee its day-to-day operations, Diplomat said Monday.

The company hired Robert Fleckenstein as VP operations, a position in which he will manage operations at Diplomat’s national distribution center, patient service operations, call center, oncology department and other services at its headquarters, reporting to SVP operations Jeff Rowe.

“It is a very exciting time for Diplomat Pharmacy, and I am very pleased to be part of the team,” Fleckenstein said. “As the individual responsible for operations at the new Great Lakes Biotech Center, I plan to develop the training modules and management tools that allow us to continue to grow efficiencly and effectively without losing sight of the patient-care model and the culture that has allowed us to reach this point.”

Fleckenstein previously served as VP pharmacy operations for Allion Healthcare and VP pharmacy operations at CVS ProCare Mail Service.

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NCPA: Other options exist for mail-order pharmacy customers

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Planned cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service, particularly cancellation of Saturday delivery, have had mail-order pharmacies and patients worried about how patients will get their medications in an efficient and affordable way, but the National Community Pharmacists Association is using the problem as an opportunity to promote independent pharmacies.

“The hand-wringing about what losing a day of mail services means for patients is overblown because common-sense remedies are available through independent community pharmacies,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Evidence suggests that Americans, whether they live in densely or sparsely populated areas, have access to independent community pharmacies that can fill the void, even providing home delivery services.”

The organization sent a letter Monday to U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway to promote independents as an alternative to mail-order medication delivery.

“NCPA believes that other options exist to ensure patient access to needed medications if changes are made to mail delivery,” read the letter, signed by NCPA SVP government affairs John Coster. “These include eliminating mandatory mail-order programs that deny patients the opportunity to receive medications from their local community pharmacist, as well as utilizing home-delivery programs where community pharmacists deliver medications to the patient’s doorstep.”

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