NACDS promotes pharmacy’s contribution as NCQA mulls health quality standards
ALEXANDRIA, Va. In another bid to boost the standing of pharmacists in a changing healthcare system, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores urged a leading healthcare think-tank and advocacy group to adopt health quality standards that include a broader role for retail pharmacy professionals.
NACDS submitted comments to the National Committee for Quality Assurance regarding the role of pharmacy in an accountable care organization. Emerging as part of ongoing and sweeping reforms in the nation’s battered health system, ACOs are provider groups that accept responsibility for the costs and quality of care delivered to a specific population of patients, and work to lower those costs while improving care standards.
Founded in 1990, NCQA is a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the quality of the U.S. health system through objective analysis and the development of quality-of-care standards. The group sponsors a task force that developed qualifying criteria as a set of core capabilities that an ACO should demonstrate in order to be recognized as an accountable entity, and sought comments on this draft qualifying criteria.
In a letter to the NCQA, NACDS recommended that pharmacists be included as members of the ACO patient team. “Pharmacists are experts in medication use and serve on interdisciplinary patient-care teams to ensure medications are used safely, effectively and in a cost-conscious manner,” the letter stated.
The chain pharmacy group also urged that NCQA recognize medication therapy management as a core element of an ACO, given its importance in managing care to help improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs.
“Pharmacist-provided MTM is consistent with the goals of ACOs — improving health, improving the patient experience and reducing costs — and should be recognized as such,” NACDS told the health standards-setting organization.
Dr. Reddy’s launches generic Accolate
HYDERABAD, India Indian generic drug maker Dr. Reddy’s Labs has launched a version of an asthma drug for the U.S. market, the company said.
Dr. Reddy’s announced the launch of zafirlukast tablets in the 10-mg and 20-mg strengths. The drug is a version of AstraZeneca’s Accolate, which had sales of $50 million during the 12-month period ended in August, according to IMS Health.
The launch follows a decision in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey determining that the Dr. Reddy’s launch of the drug does not infringe on AstraZeneca’s patents. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last Thursday.
Steven Miesowicz appointed to new role at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
FLINT, Mich. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has promoted Steven Miesowicz to VP human resources, planning and government relations, the company said Monday.
Miesowicz previously served as the company’s senior director for human resources and as a business management consultant. He had a large role in securing the Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit that the company received in connection with the relocation to its new Flint, Mich., headquarters.
In his new position, Miesowicz will be responsible for human resources, strategic planning, organizational development, leading acquisition teams and working with government agencies, the company said.
“Steven brings a broad range of skills and experience that complements our core abilities and positions us for the future,” Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman said.