/publications/issue/2010/December2010/NewsCaps-1210

Insights and Trends

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Together on Diabetes Project to Fund Pharmacist Care
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has launched a new project that draws pharmacists deeper into the practice of diabetes management. The largest corporate initiative of its kind, Together on Diabetes will focus on the potential of community-based, nonmedical support to improve outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes.

As part of the 5-year, $100 million program, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation was awarded a multiyear grant to expand its diabetes care model to 25 communities. APhA will use the grant to fund Project IMPACT: Diabetes, an initiative that builds on the success of the Asheville Project and the Diabetes Ten City Challenge.

“Working with the Together for Diabetes Initiative and our national partners, we look forward to creating a meaningful framework for getting more evidence-based diabetes care to the people who need it the most,” said Benjamin M. Bluml, BPharm, the APhA Foundation’s vice president for research.

APhA will team up with public and private organizations—such as Giant Food Stores, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health, the National Diabetes Education Program, and Walgreens—to implement the project nationwide. These diverse alliances are central to the mission of Together on Diabetes, according to Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“Together on Diabetes will draw on the strengths of communities and support public- and private-sector partners coming together to identify and implement disease management approaches that work,” Andreotti said.

Philadelphia Pharmacy School Takes Root in Georgia
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) School of Pharmacy opened the doors of its Georgia campus to an inaugural class of 79 students, the academy announced in November.

The school’s admissions counselors expect great things from the PharmD students, who were chosen from a pool of more than 900 applicants and reflect the growing diversity and intellectual rigor of the pharmacy profession. Many of the students came equipped with prior experience as pharmacy technicians.

“The admissions team worked diligently to recruit and admit students who are talented, who have expressed passion for the profession, and who we expect to excel, both academically and professionally,” said Mark Okamoto, PharmD, PCOM School of Pharmacy’s dean.

Ultimately, the school’s founders hope to improve the quality of life for residents of Georgia by increasing access to trained health care professionals.

To that end, the curriculum will have a strong regional focus on the state’s unique social, economic, and health care needs. Of the 79 students, approximately 60% are from Georgia.

The faculty assembled to teach at the Georgia campus is composed of leading practitioners in the fields of pharmacy education, pharmaceutical and clinical research, clinical practice, and administrative management. “Our students will be the beneficiaries of all our faculty have to offer,” Dr. Okamoto said.

Live Oak Bank to Finance Pharmacy Owners
Pharmacy ownership is a pie in the sky for many community pharmacists, but a partnership hatched this fall may help make the dream a reality.

An agreement reached by Live Oak Bank and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) will make it easier for prospective owners to apply for and secure the financing they need to purchase independent pharmacies. According to an NCPA statement, the deal will “level the playing field” by equipping individuals with the borrowing power of large pharmacy chains.

“That’s why this partnership between NCPA and Live Oak Bank is a gamechanger,” said Douglas Hoey, RPh, NCPA’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “This partnership can help alter the trend of many independent community pharmacies being sold to publicly traded pharmacies.”

Ed Webman, NCPA member and a third-generation pharmacist, will work with the team of Live Oak Bank as a loan officer to guide prospective owners on the path to purchase. Live Oak Bank’s chief executive officer James Mahan hopes the collaboration will enable buyers and sellers to preserve the legacy of independent pharmacies’ service to the community.

“We fully expect to facilitate over $100,000,000 in transactions in 2011,” he said. PT