PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation awards scholarships to four pharmacy students

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va.  — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation announced on Friday the recipients of the Pharmacy Student Scholarship Awards.  

The NACDS Foundation awarded $5,000 each to four pharmacy students. The recipients were chosen for their work that shares the NACDS Foundation’s commitment to benefit patients, improve outcomes and advance public health.

“We are pleased to recognize the work of these high-caliber pharmacy students by awarding each of them the NACDS Foundation Pharmacy Student Scholarship Award,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “Each exemplifies one of the key missions of the NACDS Foundation in supporting pharmacy education programs that focus on patient-centered care in the community pharmacy setting, and we applaud them for their academic accomplishments.”

The recipients are:

  • Jessica Carver, Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Through active participation and leadership in her school pharmacy organizations, Carver has demonstrated an interest in advocating for issues that advance patient care in the community pharmacy setting.
  • Katherine Fischer, University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy. Understanding change is needed in the delivery of patient care services, Fischer’s vision of pharmacy includes an expansion of clinical services and health testing in community practice, as well as increased engagement in community outreach.
  • Erin Schaffer, University of Toledo College of Pharmacy. Schaffer has demonstrated a commitment to public health, and has a positive vision for the expansion of the role of medication management in meeting patients’ healthcare needs and improving pharmaceutical care and outcomes.
  • Kyle Townswick, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Townswick, a Pharm.D./MBA student, has demonstrated an interest in care coordination and is dedicated to improving the patient’s experience.

 

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Armada announces Myrtle Potter will join Summit lineup, adds pre-conference session

BY Michael Johnsen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Armada Health Care on Thursday added featured speaker Myrtle Potter to its card at the 2014 Specialty Pharmacy Summit and Expo to be held in Las Vegas May 5 to 9. The specialty pharmacy group also announced the addition of a pre-conference seminar/workshop to take place on May 5 and 6. 

Potter will join a speaker faculty of more than 50 other industry experts at this conference with a presentation titled, "Healthcare Leaders: How Will You Successfully Navigate the Healthcare Storm?". 

Potter has dedicated three decades to serving the needs of patients through her leadership of some of America’s most successful global healthcare companies. She is an active board member on the boards of Rite Aid, Liberty Mutual Holding Company, Everyday Health and Proteus Digital Health. Potter founded Myrtle Potter & Co. and has served as president and COO commercial operations for Genentech and president of the U.S. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Business for Bristol-Myers Squibb. She has also served on the boards of Express Scripts, Medco Health Solutions and Amazon. 

Her experience with large consumer, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies has earned her a reputation as the "Trusted Voice in Healthcare," Armada reported. 

Armada also announced an additional pre-conference seminar/workshop to take place on May 5 and 6. This seminar will provide its audience with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics that drive the specialty pharmacy industry, including an historical and future market analysis, the channel structure and the unique specialty pharmacy service model. It will conclude with an interactive Q&A session with an expert specialty pharmacy executive panel, highlighting opportunities in this marketplace.

"For more than 10 years, Armada has been leading the industry by pioneering contracts and solutions for the specialty pharmacy market," said Armada president Robert Irene. "This newly added seminar will offer a unique and in-depth understanding of the specialty pharmacy model, which will provide valuable insight into this trade class and drive continued collaboration."

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NCPA: Ohio pharmacists seek legislative relief from PBM practices

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Legislative relief that would result in a more balanced business relationship between Ohio community pharmacists and PBMs is critical, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

“Across the Buckeye State 549 independent community pharmacies serve patients, employ 5,435 people and contribute greatly to local and state tax revenue,” stated NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “The viability of these small businesses is being undermined by the practices of billion-dollar companies known as pharmacy benefit managers, hired by most health plans to administer prescription drug benefits. For Ohioans, their communities and the future of these pharmacies, we encourage lawmakers to swiftly enact common-sense reforms to achieve a more balanced business relationship between PBMs and community pharmacies.”

Hoey singled out three trends that are particularly in need of legislation and further oversight:

  • First, in order to care for Ohio patients covered by a given health plan, community pharmacists must sign take-it-or-leave-it contracts from Fortune 500 PBMs. PBMs use the authority imposed by these contracts to determine how they will reimburse pharmacies, especially for generic drugs, which account for nearly 80% of drugs dispensed. Thus, these small business providers are “flying blind” in terms of taking into account the operating costs of their prescription drug inventory, NCPA stated;
  • Second, a pharmacy’s acquisition cost for scores of generic drugs are rising by as much as 600%, 1,000% or more, but the PBMs continue to reimburse community pharmacies at an outdated, lower price, NCPA stated. Pharmacists report repeatedly being faced with loses of $40, $60, $100 or more per prescription as the PBM waits several months before updating its reimbursement rates — and never retroactively; and
  • Third, by reimbursing pharmacies at low rates and charging health plans at much higher rates — a practice known as “spread pricing” — the PBMs generate enormous profits while increasing insurance costs for employers, government agencies and consumers. The largest PBM generates approximately $100 billion in annual revenue and its CEO received more than $100 million in compensation over five years, Forbes.com calculated. Legislation increasing transparency in pharmacy benefit management could reduce the cost of PBM spread pricing and keep more health care dollars within Ohio.

NCPA noted that a recent Fortune magazine article documented inflated costs and other problems arising from the lack of transparency into drug benefit managers.

“NCPA is proud to support the work of the Ohio Pharmacists Association and all Ohio pharmacists in this effort,” Hoey added. 

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