Weekly Roundup: Horizon, Prime Therapeutics partner with Amazon’s PillPack


Pharmacy option aims to improve members' experience

To make it easier for members to fill and manage multiple prescriptions, Horizon Healthcare Services and its pharmacy benefit manager, Prime Therapeutics, now offer members an integrated pharmacy experience with PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy. Under the partnership, Horizon will provide its members simplified PillPack sign-up, choice of multi-dose packages or traditional medicine bottles, and estimated out-of-pocket cost information to help members make informed Rx choices.

The integrated process, companies said, will ensure a member's necessary information is safely and securely transferred to PillPack.. This saves time and effort as members avoid reentering (or potentially mistyping) their insurance details, demographic information, or medicine lists.

According to Prime Therapeutics and Horizon, more than 33 million Americans take five or more medications daily, making it crucial to avoid missed doses due to drug cost uncertainty, unclear directions, or inability to go to the pharmacy.

Horizon members, through this arrangement, can choose PillPack as their pharmacy from their health plan's web portal. They can decide how and when medicines arrive. PillPack's pre-sorted packets—that can include both Rx and over-the-counter medicines—can be delivered monthly, directly to their door, or Horizon members can opt to receive  90-day supplies of their prescriptions.

J.D. Power releases 2020 U.S. Pharmacy Study

Those pharmacist consultation kiosks, exam rooms, and walk-in vaccination sites popping up in neighborhood pharmacies across the country are not a coincidence. They are part of a concerted effort by the nation’s major pharmacy chains to become the center of gravity for consumer healthcare. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Pharmacy Study, released on Wednesday, the strategy is working, with pharmacy expansion into primary care driving significant increases in both satisfaction and consumer spending.

The study reports nearly half (48%) of retail pharmacy customers have used at least one health and wellness-oriented service provided by their pharmacy this year, up 5% points from 2019. Overall customer satisfaction with the retail pharmacy is 26 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) among customers who use health and wellness services vs. those who have not.

Also included in the study were yearly rankings of pharmaceutical providers by customer satisfaction. Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranked highest among brick-and-mortar chain drug store pharmacies for a fourth consecutive year. Sam’s Club topped the list  among brick-and-mortar mass merchandiser pharmacies for a fifth straight year. And Wegmans ranked highest among brick-and-mortar supermarket pharmacies for a third year in a row. Humana Pharmacy scored the highest in the mail order segment for a third straight year as well.

The 2020 study is based on responses from 13,378 pharmacy customers who filled a Rx during the three months prior to the survey period of September 2019 to May 2020.

Marken launches new cell and gene control center

Marken has opened a dedicated cell and gene control center in North Carolina, built on the same property as its corporate headquarters. The facility offers full visibility of all complex cell and gene shipments anywhere in the world. Marken's center will closely monitor every shipment for these highly complex therapies, monitoring weather, flight delays, and other potential risks to inform critical-path decisions. The space also includes a gallery for customer tours and training purposes.

The new control center is Marken's latest investment in this segment. The company has six designated Centers of Excellence for cell and gene logistics across the US, Europe, and Asia, adding to its global network of liquid nitrogen storage facilities.

Rx-360 expands pharmaceutical-based audit program

 Rx-360, an international pharmaceutical consortium dedicated to supply chain integrity and patient safety, announced the expansion of its audit program this week, including adding new audit partners, an expanded audit checklist menu, and the integration of remote auditing into the program.

Regarding the latter, COVID-19 has changed the global environment, and auditing needs have evolved. Rx-360 is now offering remote audits to assist the pharma industry in meeting and maintaining quality standards.

This year, Rx-360 added audit checklists for supply chain security and single-use systems. For the last several years, the company has focused efforts on the Joint Audit Model. This program allows for industry manufacturers to confidentially join and sponsor an audit. In return, they minimize their audit costs through co-sponsorships as well as participating in the member-only credit program. In 2020, Rx-360 added the ability for pharmaceutical suppliers to not just sponsor audits, but also promote sole sponsorships.

Rx-360 is partnering with ASC Associates Ltd, blue inspection body GmbH, BSI, and SQA Services to help support its Rx-360 Audit Program.

Report: Compounding pharmacies market to reach $14 billion by 2026

A new research report by Global Market Insights estimates that the valuation for the compounding pharmacies market will cross $14 billion by 2026. The rising demand for compounding pharmacies due to drug shortages and preference for personalized medicines will accelerate the overall business progression, the report predicts.

Customized medicines can offer better health outcomes to patients, particularly infants, senior citizens, and individuals allergic to certain ingredients in commercial medicine. Moreover, compounding allows the provider to request for drugs to be prepared according to patient' specific needs for effective care. Compounding pharmacies can combine drugs into a single pill, reducing the dosage frequency.

- News assembled from published wire reports

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