We take a look at the week in pharmacy news around the world
US: Following controversy over the skyrocketing price in the US of Mylan’s EpiPen, the company has stated that it will launch a generic version at half the price – but a leading pharmacist has told CNBC that this generic could actually cost patients more.
“Most generic companies don’t allow co-pay cards,” Scott Knoer, chief pharmacy officer at the Cleveland Clinic, told the station’s “Closing Bell” segment.
He said that when a co-pay card is unavailable for a generic drug, a patient’s risk of being out of pocket increases.
He told CBNC that the offer of a generic is a way for Mylan to “command both brand and potentially the generic market,” and that Mylan’s statement that pharmacies are to blame for the price increases is, “almost as egregious as the pricing increases that they’ve done”.
Nova Scotia, Canada: A pharmacist who diverted and consumed narcotics on the job – including returned and outdated stock – has had his license to practise as a pharmacist revoked.
Roopnarine was found to have “crushed and dissolved beads from narcotic capsules into an aqueous solution for self-injection using the mortar and pestle… while practising as a pharmacist,” the hearing noted. He “used narcotics orally, by IM, and IV injection while practising as a pharmacist”.
“Based on the balance of probabilities the Hearing Committee is not satisfied that morphine was included but believe that based on a balance of probabilities that the following is true: From October 1, 2013 to June 25, 2015 the Registrant unlawfully accessed patient returned narcotics and outdated stock narcotics including hydromorphine, and tapentadol that were awaiting destruction to obtain both whole tablets/capsules as well [as] the beads inside of capsules for personal misuse,” the hearing noted.
Roopnarine will not be able to reapply for his license to practice for five years.
US: Americans’ customer satisfaction with pharmacies – across bricks-and-mortar and mail order pharmacies – is high and reflects an increased focus on customers and the growing trend of clinics being added to pharmacies, a new study has found.
The J.D. Power 2016 US Pharmacy Study showed that while customers enjoy the convenience and cost-effectiveness of mail order pharmacies, they are also appreciative of the increased services they are finding in stores.
“Increasingly, customers are turning two errands into one when, for example, they need to pick up a prescription and get a flu shot,” said Rick Johnson, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power.
“Pharmacies that are cognizant of their customers’ needs—and their time—will likely continue to achieve high satisfaction.”
Overall satisfaction with pharmacies where wellness services have been used is nearly 20 points higher than when those services have not been used.
Though mail order and in-person experiences are very different, the highest-scoring pharmacies share two traits.
“Great staff and an easy, efficient ordering process are common traits of both types of pharmacy experiences,” Johnson says.
UK: The UK’s pharmacist union, Pharmacists’ Defence Association, may develop an ongoing relationship with the new One Voice Pharmacy lobby group, Chemist + Druggist reports.
PDA assistant secretary general Mark Pitt told C+D that the two groups had met in a “constructive” meeting to discuss “areas of mutual concern”.
These are likely to have included the boycott of Tesco organised by One Voice Pharmacy in a protest against the supermarket giant’s decision to slash locum pay.
Hadera, Israel: Cat videos may be some of the most watched content on the Internet, but for the staff at one pharmacy they may have lost their allure.
Nine.com.au’s Pickle and Israel’s BE106 reported this week on a mischievous moggy who entered a Super-Pharm store in Israel and made a mess of the beauty section, climbing on shelves and knocking over bottle after bottle.
Pickle reports that the cat was unharmed and spoiled by staff and customers after it was coaxed down.