PHARMACY

GPhA’s Davis comments on Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — Last weeek, Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) president and CEO Chip Davis issued a statement regarding negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was finalized this morning and now heads to Congress for approval. According to Davis, it is important that the TPP encourage competition that can drive health care costs down, especially in the case of generic drugs and biosimilars.

“Competition in the biologics marketplace through the creation of a pathway that ensures access to safe, effective and affordable biosimilars will reduce health costs for patients, governments and the entire healthy system,” Davis said. “GPhA shares the health cost concerns of the current administration and strongly agrees in principle with proposed exclusivity reductions — extending monopolies on biologic medicines is simply not sustainable.”  

He added that the organization “urges [the United States Trade Representative] to adhere to the letter and spirit of the May 10th agreement’s provisions regarding exclusivity for biologic medicines. Embracing the precedent set by the May 10th agreement allows the United States to remain globally competitive while establishing balanced intellectual property provisions among trading partners. It is also critical that this agreement avoids locking the United States in a policy position that limits Congress from modifying U.S. pharmaceutical law in the future.”

Davis concluded by noting that “‘pharmacovigilance exclusivity,’ is not an appropriate justification for extending brand biologic exclusivity. Pharmacovigilance obligations are a mandate of regulatory authorities for biologics and biosimilars. Such regulatory requirements do not need to be addressed in trade negotiations, and should not be used as rationale for seeking any additional exclusivity.GPhA welcomes the opportunity to work with USTR and others to take steps that ensure the United States is well positioned to be competitive in the burgeoning biosimilars market.”

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The New York Times slams Valeant for major price hikes

BY DSN STAFF

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Q&A: Pharmacist and healthcare quality expert Jason Ausili joins NACDS

BY DSN STAFF

Jason Ausili joined NACDS this week as the director of pharmacy affairs. Ausili will drive NACDS' initiatives designed to optimize pharmacy care and will assist with emerging care models. Ausili will also lead the development of relationships with schools and colleges of pharmacy. Ausili, a pharmacist, most recently served as health quality leader at Target Corp., where he developed and executed healthcare quality strategies designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall costs. In a recent Q&A, Ausili discussed his vision for pharmacy's future, why he's optimistic about it and more.

Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Washington, Illinois.

Q: What made you want to become a pharmacist?
A: It was really about helping people. I grew up in a small town and the pharmacist in my town was seen as this big force in the community. I love the idea that anybody off the street could walk in and see their pharmacist. The whole community-feel of being in the pharmacy and being part of the neighborhood was really what drew me to the profession.

Q: Where did you go to pharmacy school?
A: Butler University in Indianapolis.

Q: Are you encouraged by the increased role pharmacists are playing in healthcare delivery?
A: Absolutely. One of my main goals is to promote top-of-license practice for pharmacists. It's why pharmacists go to school. They come out of pharmacy school wanting to do more to help people directly, so finding ways to enable them—and free them from the traditional dispensing process so they can actually spend time with their patients to improve their outcomes—is definitely where we need to go. As a pharmacist myself, I find it really exciting to have that direct impact on a patient and their well-being.

Q: Are you optimistic about the direction pharmacy is headed?
A: Definitely. We're seeing some very positive momentum, whether it's provider status or the actual services pharmacists provide. Immunizations are a great example. Ten years ago, who would have thought people could get a flu shot in their pharmacy? Now it's very common. That's just one example of how the tides are turning and pharmacists are becoming a much bigger player in healthcare. There are a lot of people who don't have access to care—conveniently and in a cost-effective manner—so pharmacists provide a more accessible, lower-cost alternative for those people.

Q: What do you look forward to accomplishing at NACDS?
A: My personal vision is to enable pharmacists and pharmacy technicians—the pharmacy team—to practice at the top of their license in order to deliver on the Triple Aim of healthcare: to improve patient outcomes; improve population health; and decrease the overall cost of care. There's no better job out there with that type of broad impact, because it really happens in the neighborhoods and the communities where our retail pharmacies are. By representing our members on that journey, we can really make a difference.

Q: What's one thing about you that would surprise most people?
A: I'm basically a foodie at heart. My wife and I go to a new restaurant every month, and we also experience restaurants with our friends. It's a great way to keep us out and about and enjoying good food.

Q: What's your guiding principle professionally?
A: I'm big on being transparent and accountable. At the end of the day, having a really good strategy is very important, but then you have to execute it. You course correct along the way, but you have to have a long-term vision.

Q: What do you bring to the table?
A: Experience. I've spent time behind the bench as a pharmacist and I've got a number of years in retail headquarters, where I was an operations manager, and also led the quality program at Target. In representing NACDS' members, I've been there. I've experienced many different aspects of what our members go through. That's what I bring to the table

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