Retail News Breaks
Giant Eagle buys specialty pharmacy
December 9th, 2013
PITTSBURGH – Giant Eagle Inc. has acquired Rx21 Specialty Pharmacy, which the food and drug retailer said will allow it to provide enhanced services to hepatitis C and organ transplant patients and their providers.
Terms of the agreement, announced Monday, weren't disclosed. Giant Eagle said that along with access to Rx21's expertise and clinical support, Giant Eagle Specialty Pharmacy customers with hepatitis C and transplant conditions now have 24/7 access to pharmacists that can advise them on medication management.
Services available to all Giant Eagle Specialty Pharmacy customers include full support of prior authorizations; coordination of financial assistance, including co-payments, for eligible prescriptions; a team of care advocates supporting patients regularly throughout their treatment; routine communication and updates with doctors' offices; drug administration counseling, including injection training, when patients begin therapy; and regular refill reminder calls.
"We're always looking for ways to expand services and convenience for our customers. We are excited to be able to improve our ability to help patients manage hepatitis C and transplant conditions with enhanced clinical, operational and mail capabilities," Brett Merrell, senior vice president of health and wellness at Giant Eagle, said in a statement. "We greatly value the expertise gained with the new acquisition of Rx21, particularly at a time when two significant new hepatitis C treatments are becoming available."
Giant Eagle noted that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.2 million people in the United States have hepatitis C, and nearly 17,000 Americans are infected annually. In addition, over 19,000 Americans received transplants from January to August of this year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved Olysio (simeprevir) for use as treatment for people with hepatitis C and is soon expected to approve a similar new drug, sofosbuvir, Giant Eagle reported, adding that those medications could provide a more effective approach to treating and eliminating hepatitis C.
"Giant Eagle's commitment to delivering specialty medications with value-added services such as patient education, financial counseling and prior authorization assistance for the doctors makes for a perfect partnership with Rx21," stated Rx21 owner David Hollis. "This collaboration will also give Rx21 patients the option to pick up medications at Giant Eagle Pharmacy locations, creating an unmatched patient experience."
Giant Eagle has 218 supermarkets, all with pharmacies, as well as fuel and convenience stores for 420 locations overall throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.
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