McKesson concludes its annual pharmacy strategies tradeshow; highlights new working relationships with independent pharmacies

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2010

McKesson flows manufacturer- and payor-sponsored reimbursements into pharmacies for adherence and medication therapy management (MTM) programs

As it has in past years, McKesson’s annual Pharmacy Strategies Conference (Las Vegas, June 28) brings several thousand of its independent-pharmacy customers together to hear about new services, receive continuing education and visit exhibitors of both front-end and pharmacy retail products. Two notable programs were expanded and updated: the McKesson Patient Intervention Program (PIP) and an MTM program organized in conjunction with the Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative, a multi-organizational initiative led by the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

With PIP, McKesson’s Patient Relationship Solutions unit provides reimbursements to pharmacists for coaching patients on adhering to their drug regimen; McKesson says that adherence for participating patients has increased more than 44% through the ninth refill. McKesson PRS also sponsors the LoyaltyScript program, which provides manufacturer-sponsored incentives to refill prescriptions. (Coincidentally, the LoyaltyScript program was part of an award McKesson won earlier this spring from the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation, a global competition.) At the conference, Pfizer announced that it was renewing and expanding its participation in PIP.

The Wisconsin Quality Collaborative effort attracts support from payors, with UnitedHealthcare being the most recent participant, bringing 500,000 covered lives into the program. McKesson says that, based on payor incentives and patient participation, Wisconsin community pharmacies have been able to bring an additional $800 per month into their reimbursements, while WQC says that payors can see savings of $700 per participating patient. The MTM services include medication device teaching, adherence interventions, facilitation of medication additions or substitutions and medication reviews. With the McKesson support, WQC won an award from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute, the 2010 RxBenefit Innovation Award.

As part of its service offerings to pharmacies, McKesson unveiled Promise Time Workflow, a new feature of its EnterpriseRx IT system for pharmacy management; the module enables pharmacies to schedule prescription fills based on expected pickup times rather than first-in/first-out scheduling. And it announced the McKesson StudyLink service, which enables community pharmacists to screen patients for participation in clinical trials, a service that could cut the time needed to assemble a clinical trail population, and speed new medications into the market.

Finally—to round out the “cradle to grave” services for pharmacies that McKesson espouses—the company announced that it is continuing to support its RxOwnership program, launched three years ago, to provide resources, financing and consulting to assist in buying or transferring ownership of independent pharmacies. Since its inception, RxOwnership has supported more than 220 such transfers.

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