PHARMACY

GPhA pays homage to retiring Rep. Henry Waxman

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — Following the announcement that Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., intended to retire, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Thursday bid adieu to a legislator who had a tremendous positive impact on the generic industry. 

“The contributions of this extraordinary leader, master legislator and passionate advocate for patient access to affordable medicines have positively impacted the lives of millions of American consumers," noted Ralph Neas, GPhA president and CEO. "As the co-sponsor of the 1984 Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, commonly referred to as Waxman-Hatch, Rep. Waxman led the creation of the modern generic drug industry, which continues to flourish today. The extraordinary success of this law, which balances competition and innovation, makes it possible for millions of patients and consumers to have access to more affordable generic medicines," he said. "In the last decade alone, this landmark legislation enabled $1.2 trillion in patient and health system savings."

Waxman was also instrumental in the passage of the Drug Quality and Security Act, which established a predictable, reliable national standard for electronic prescription medicine tracking, Neas added. 

 

 

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Journal sheds light on NACDS Foundation’s research … and vision

BY Steve Anderson

 

An article in the February 2014 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy provides advice to researchers who are studying pharmacist-provided medication management in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and medical homes. In actuality, the article says as much about the NACDS Foundation as it says about the research itself.  

The objective of the article is to share insights gleaned from the early stages of three projects funded by the NACDS Foundation – the grants for which were announced almost exactly one year ago. The article certainly succeeds in that regard. It provides to researchers important findings about leveraging partnerships, alignment of services, data sharing, provider engagement and patient engagement. 

I cannot help but think of this article in the same light as another NACDS Foundation initiative: the Faculty Scholars Program, which educates assistant professors from U.S. schools and colleges of pharmacy about designing, implementing and publishing community pharmacy-based patient care research. Currently, eight faculty members are engaged in this important educational program.

When the three projects that currently are studying the patient impact of pharmacist-provided medication management in emerging healthcare delivery models are concluded, they hopefully will generate important findings that will benefit public health. It is great that these findings – as well as the article in this month’s Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy and other programs like the Faculty Scholars Program – stand to help advance research methodology as well.

The work of organizations that are truly focused on an ambitious vision tend to produce synergies like these. The signs are strong that the NACDS Foundation is hitting on all cylinders in its work to improve patient health through partnership in research, education and medication management.

Who would have thought that one published article could say all of that?

For more information about the vision and projects of the NACDS Foundation, please watch the brief video “Inspired.”


Steve Anderson is the president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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United Drugs to implement PQS’ ‘EQuIPP’ platform

BY Antoinette Alexander

PHOENIX — United Drugs, a member-owned pharmacy services administration organization, has announced that it is implementing Pharmacy Quality Solutions’ EQuIPP information-management platform to help its network of 1,300 independent pharmacies better understand performance metrics and to improve patient care and clinical outcomes.

“With the shift to value-based purchasing, the U.S. healthcare system faces significant transformation. Payers are navigating the complexities of a new reimbursement environment, and independent pharmacists must be able to show value by driving quality metrics and positive outcomes,” stated Robert McMahan, president of United Drugs.

In the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement environment, transaction volume was critical. But, today, payments also hinge upon quality, added Jon Copeland, CEO of United Drugs’ parent organization American Associated Pharmacies. “Our network pharmacies face exacting metrics in the dynamic and competitive world of accountable care, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service Star ratings, medication adherence and bundled payments. Therefore, innovation and the delivery of measurable patient-care improvements are among our top priorities.”

The ability to dashboard and track quality performance is a key component of United Drugs’ 2014 quality-network strategy.

“Our goal is to leverage the EQuIPP platform — and a variety of other tools to be announced soon — to increase Star ratings measurements for our pharmacies in a way that will provide greater network access going forward,” McMahan added.

Pharmacy Quality Solutions’ president David Nau stated, “Measuring performance is powerful in transforming the quality of the medication-use system, but only if pharmacies have access to standard dashboards that objectively reflect how they compare against meaningful quality measures. Our goal is to accelerate this transformation by making EQuIPP services broadly available so we can rapidly move from measurement to improvement. EQuIPP use by the United Drugs’ nationwide membership is a major win for quality expansion.”

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