Retail News Breaks
Pharmacies unite in RxAlly network to bolster care
February 22nd, 2012
WASHINGTON – More than 20,000 pharmacies nationwide have formed RxAlly, an alliance aimed at helping patients improve their health through personalized pharmacist care while reining in medical costs.
RxAlly is led by Bruce Roberts, former chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association. At launch, the alliance's network encompasses thousands of independent pharmacies, Walgreen Co. and regional chains, including Chain Drug Consortium members Bartell Drugs, Discount Drug Mart, Kerr Drug, Kinney Drugs, Lewis Drug, Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Thrifty White Pharmacy and USA Drug.
"There is a need for greater access to health care for patients throughout the U.S.," Roberts said in a statement. "To address this challenge head on, RxAlly advances the role of community pharmacists to one that leverages their extensive clinical training, better equips them to interact with patients, improves patient health and lowers costs."
Going forward, RxAlly said, the network will include pharmacies demonstrating patient-centric delivery of service and exhibiting an interest in optimizing health outcomes.
Other initial members include the Academy of Independent Pharmacy of Georgia, American Associated Pharmacies, American Pharmacies, American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., Carolina Allied Pharmaceutical Services, EPIC Pharmacies, Independent Pharmacy Cooperative, PBA Health and Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma.
RxAlly came about in order to address the the need for broader access to care and more cost-effective health care spending, at a time when prescription drug misuse is associated with $290 billion in annual costs. The RxAlly Performance Network of pharmacies aims to improve patient health through enhanced pharmacist care that combines clinical research, evidence-based clinical services and an interoperable technology platform.
"A huge opportunity exists for community pharmacies to play a larger role in the health care system and make a difference in patient care. That's why Walgreens is focused on advancing community pharmacy through closer integration with other health care providers and expanding the scope of services offered by pharmacists," Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson stated. "We are proud to join RxAlly as part of a performance-based network of pharmacies that will differentiate itself through improvements in health outcomes and other services."
RxAlly is designed to serve patient, pharmacist and payer constituencies. For patients, pharmacists in the RxAlly Performance Network will take a greater role in coaching and customizing care plans, including coordination of refill, reconciliation of medications (prescription and over-the-counter), immunizations, blood pressure and other health tests, medication adherence, prevention and wellness education, and chronic disease management.
At the same time, the RxAlly network will help expand the role of pharmacists, which are among the most accessible and trusted health care providers. RxAlly noted that patients typically see their pharmacists 12 to 14 times per year, more than any other practitioner, providing an opportunity for the profession to take on more responsibilities in managing people's health care. RxAlly said it will equip pharmacists to bring together the best of personalized care with innovative technologies, products and services.
And payers will realize improved cost control and health outcomes for their member patients, according to RxAlly. Available to all government and commercial organizations, RxAlly plans to offer payers innovative options to design, manage and measure the clinical services that support their prescription health benefits.
The formation of RxAlly was welcomed by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
"The launch of RxAlly represents a unique combination of the strengths of community pharmacies with the corporate resources of Walgreens. Recognizing the value of the pharmacist in serving patients has long been a challenge of the profession and RxAlly believes it can help address this problem," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement Wednesday.
"NCPA commends the intentions of the pharmacy groups behind RxAlly," he added. "Pharmacist-delivered medication adherence and other patient care services are cost effective tools to improve patient care and lowering overall health care costs. RxAlly has the potential to be an important part of those efforts."
American Associated Pharmacies (AAP), a cooperative of about 2,000 independent pharmacies, said the RxAlly partnership will give its members the scale to have a measurable impact on improving patient health outcomes, especially in addressing the $290 billion per year in avoidable health care costs stemming from nonadherence to medication.
"We are actively investing our time, resources and talents in the development of RxAlly," AAP CEO Jon Copeland stated. "This is a collaborative effort to better serve our members' patients and improve the delivery of health care, the likes of which the United States has not seen to date."
*Editor's Note: Article updated with comment from NCPA and AAP.
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