Compliant Pharmacy Alliance, NCPA team up to advance independent pharmacy interests
STOUGHTON, Wis. Propelled by the maxim that in numbers there is strength, the nation’s top independent pharmacy organization and a 600-strong group of pharmacies unveiled a new collaboration to boost advocacy efforts and patient care.
The new partnership was announced Monday by the Compliant Pharmacy Alliance Cooperative and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The goal, both groups said, is “to better advocate for community pharmacists and their patients.”
The NCPA is the leading advocacy organization for more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises and chains. The CPA is comprised of six individual purchasing organizations that collectively provide additional buying clout to more than 700 family-owned and privately held pharmacies.
Under their newly expanded partnership, CPA and NCPA hope to generate new NCPA members and continue the CPA’s substantial support for such programs as NCPA’s Legislative Defense Fund, both groups asserted. “This, in turn, would allow NCPA to implement more effective advocacy programs to better support community pharmacies,” they noted in a joint statement.
One example of the new alliance: CPA members who are NCPA members and already contributing to NCPA’s defense fund also will be urged to contribute to its political action committee. “NCPA’s strong voice is a critical component enabling independent pharmacists to continue to be recognized and valued for their contributions to our healthcare system,” said Ed Heckman, CPA’s CEO and general manager. “Every CPA member takes pride in managing patients and medications; a strong national voice assures the sanctity of those relationships.”
NCPA president Joseph Harmison praised CPA for its “significant support of NCPA’s activities on behalf of community pharmacy. Local pharmacists face unprecedented challenges, such as declining reimbursement, pharmacy benefit manager abuses, mandatory mail-order policies and restricted patient choice,” Harmison added. “Working together, our combined efforts will give independent pharmacists and their patients a stronger voice to address these and other issues and achieve a more level pharmacy playing field.”
Survey: Adolescent vaccination on the rise
ATLANTA A recent survey out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adolescent vaccination at the national, state and selected local area levels are all on the rise.
Continued increases — as much as 15% — were made in nationwide coverage for vaccines specifically recommended for pre-teens, according to 2009 National Immunization Survey-Teen estimates released Thursday by the CDC.
The survey of more than 20,000 teens ages 13 to 17 years found that in 2009 there were increases in the percentage of teens in this age group who had received vaccines routinely recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds. Specifically:
• For one dose of the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine, coverage went up about 15 points to about 56%; • For one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, coverage went up about 12 points to about 54%; • For girls who received at least one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, coverage increased 7 points to about 44%. However, for girls who received the recommended three doses of HPV vaccine, coverage was only about 27% (a 9% increase);
"This year’s data are mixed," stated Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We can see that more parents of adolescents are electing to protect their children from serious diseases such as pertussis, meningitis and cervical cancer, but there is clear room for improvement in our system’s ability to reach this age group."
"Pertussis outbreaks in several states and an increase in pertussis-related infant deaths in California highlight how important it is for pre-teens to receive the Tdap booster," Schuchat added. "It is important for teens and adults to get a one-time dose of Tdap to protect themselves and those around them from whooping cough. Young infants are most vulnerable to serious complications from pertussis and can be infected by older siblings, parents or other caretakers."
RediClinic announces availability of FluMist
HOUSTON RediClinic, which operates more than 20 clinics in H-E-B grocery stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, has announced the availability of FluMist at its clinics for the 2010-2011 flu season.
The clinic also soon will offer the flu shot Fluvirin, which is given with a needle and approved for use in people 4 years of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, the clinic operator stated.
FluMist, which currently is available in a limited supply, is a needle-free, nasal-spray flu vaccine. FluMist is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.