Texas Oncology Receives Recognition For Care Management Strategies

Another oncology tidbit today, as Texas Oncology announced it’s been awarded a 2018 Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Excellence Award. The recognition has to do with Texas Oncology’s care management strategies, and with its success in raising adherence to oncology meds to 96 percent, whereas the national average sits around 70 percent. Oral chemotherapy, Texas Oncology says, is taking on a greater importance in cancer care with more and more drugs being introduced to the market. “A medically integrated care approach with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, and financial counselors working together improves patient experiences and compliance while reducing costs from less waste,… Full Story

Report: Patient Groups Are Taking Big Money from Drugmakers

Kaiser Health News has a new data-fueled story out called “Pre$cription for Power,” in which the team their finds that big pharma is filtering money to patient advocacy groups at rates that dwarf even their federal lobbying efforts. The database—searchable here—makes transparent the money that patient groups right here in Dallas-Fort Worth have taken from drugmakers. The Dallas-based American Heart Association, for instance, took $3.3 million from the tracked companies in 2015, seventh-most of any group. Many of the national patient groups in the analysis have North Texas branches. In all, KHN found that nearly half—594—of the 1,215 patient advocacy… Full Story

McKinney-based Soleo Health Expands, Adds Branches

Specialty infusion services company Soleo Health has added some locations in the last few months. The McKinney-based operation tacked on a branch in West Virginia most recently, and has expanded into Orlando, St. Louis, and Denver in recent months, among other locations. Soleo is a pharmacy company that serves patients requiring specialty  infusion therapies. They also have on-site ambulatory infusion sites. The company now has 19 locations across the country. “As one of the fastest growing specialty infusion companies in the industry, we have experienced double digit growth every year since our inception in 2014 and cared for thousands of… Full Story

North Texas Experts: Overdose Reversal Drugs, Prescription Monitoring Could Help in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Wider utilization of overdose reversal drugs could go a long way in reducing the impact of the opioid epidemic, North Texas experts say. So could responsible prescribing and more use of the state’s prescription monitoring program, which collects and monitors data related to Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. “Responsible prescribing is one of the cornerstones of addressing the issue,” said Glenn Hardesty, an emergency medicine physician with Texas Health Resources and opioid expert. He said that changes in the approach to prescribing opiates have already curbed access to the legally obtained drugs. He added that building the… Full Story

A Dallas Doctor Offers Pain Management Programs as an Alternative to Opioids

I missed this a couple weeks ago, but I found it to be a well-reasoned writing approach to a very important topic, so I wanted to pass it along. Dr. Carl Noe, medical director at the Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management at UT Southwestern Medical Center, takes on the topics of potential alternatives to prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Here’s Noe: But the convenience of offering a prescription for quick relief won over doctors, and our country’s pill culture appeals to patients. We in the medical community should have known better. There’s no scientific data to show that opioids… Full Story

Law Firms Are Bombarding Public Officials With Requests To Sue Opioid Makers

Law firms are reaching out to public officials across Texas in an effort to win the right to sue big pharmaceutical companies over opioids on their behalf, the Texas Tribune reported this week. The Trib’s report follows news of various other municipalities, including Dallas, filing suit against big pharma over the opioid crisis. More than 1,100 Texas died from opioids in 2016. The Trib‘s story starts with an anecdote from Collin County, where County Administrator Bill Bilyeu has resorted to tuning out the incessant requests, which he says aren’t tailored to Collin County’s needs.

Texas Tech Pharmacy Program to Move All Four Years to DFW

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy will move all four years of its program to Dallas-Fort Worth. The area has been home to years three and four since 1999, including partnering with 240 hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. But students have traditionally had to move to Amarillo, Abilene, or Lubbock for their first two years. About half of the program’s enrollment comes from DFW and surrounding areas, but TTUHSC President Tedd Mitchell said in a statement that qualified candidates have been left on the table due to their inability to relocate. “So bringing all four years of… Full Story

Sizable DFW Employer AmerisourceBergen Could be Bought by Walgreens, Report says

Walgreens executives have approached AmerisourceBergen Corp. about a buyout, according to a scoop from the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. The drug distributor Amerisource is building a 300,000-square-foot regional headquarters in Carrollton that could eventually house as many as 3,000 employees, so there’s potential for local impact here. Walgreens already owns about a quarter of the company. The Carrollton facility is set to reach completion this year, and a good portion of the first 1,200 move-ins will come from Amerisource’s current offices in Frisco as the company consolidates its North Texas presence. I’ve reached out to… Full Story