PHARMACY

NCPA forms Innovation Center to drive healthcare evolution through independent pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday announced the establishment of a new Innovation Center that is intended to further assist and speed up the evolution of independent community pharmacies in a changing health care environment.

"The U.S. health care system is shifting toward a greater emphasis on value and quality of care," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "Many independent community pharmacists are already at the vanguard of this movement. This new Innovation Center will bring many of these community pharmacists together with leading community pharmacy partners under an organized and flexible structure," he said. "Working together with NCPA staff, the Innovation Center will help better position independent community pharmacies to be part of and benefit from broader health care changes. Its driving mission is to help independent community pharmacies continue to prosper in step with health care changes rather than being left behind them."

The NCPA Innovation Center board of directors is comprised of many leading community pharmacists and prominent partners of independent community pharmacies. Hoey will serve as chairman of the board and NCPA SVP , strategic initiatives Kurt Proctor, is its president.

"I am excited to be a part of this new initiative from NCPA to help independent community pharmacies thrive in a changing health care environment," commented NCPA Innovation Center board member Mike McBride, VP partner relations at Upsher-Smith Laboratories. "We believe that community pharmacists are uniquely suited to help improve outcomes at lower overall cost because of their strong relationships with patients, and that they will play a critical role in the delivery of tomorrow's health care."

The Innovation Center will develop and execute programs to inform and educate community pharmacists to realize the opportunities in an evolving health care market. In addition, it will demonstrate, research and support new and expanded roles for community pharmacists.

Specifically, this will be accomplished through peer-to-peer exchanges of best practices. The Innovation Center is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, which enables industry partners to make tax-deductible contributions to support the Innovation Center's work.

The current Innovation Center Board of Directors was appointed by the NCPA board of directors and is as follows:

  • Doug Hoey, NCPA CEO & Innovation Center Board chairman;
  • Brian Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug, Baxter Springs, Kan.;
  • Rex Catton, SVP McKesson;
  • Jeff Key, president, PioneerRx;
  • Steve Lawrence, SVP independent sales, Cardinal Health;
  • Tripp Logan, L & S Pharmacy, Charleston, Mo.;
  • Mike McBride, VP partner relations at Upsher-Smith Laboratories;
  • Rob Meriweather, corporate VP sales, H. D. Smith;
  • Joe Moose, operator Moose Pharmacy, Concord, N.C.;
  • DeAnn Mullins, owner of Mullins Pharmacy, Lynn Haven, Fla.;
  • Jimmy Neil, general manager of Pharmacy Lending, Live Oak Bank;
  • Brian Nightengale, presdient Good Neighbor Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen; and
  • Walt Slijepcevich, senior director, pharmacy development, Pfizer.

"We are honored to have a truly all-star cast of board members and NCPA staff to help lead the Innovation Center from its inception," said Proctor. "I want to acknowledge and appreciate their support for this new effort. I look forward to what this body will accomplish to help put independent community pharmacists in an optimal position for the changes occurring in health care today and that surely will follow tomorrow."
 

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Report: FastCare to open at Meijer

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FastCare is opening a retail health clinic inside the new Meijer in Sturgis, S.D., in September. (Sturgis Journal)

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NACDS joins 37 Congress leaders in supporting TRICARE cost-saving dispensing pilot

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday publicly thanked the 37 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have sent a letter to House and Senate negotiators, urging them to advance a TRICARE pilot program as part of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

U.S. Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, Buddy Carter, R-Ga., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., led the effort on this letter, which was sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees – those who are heading the effort to work out differences between the two chambers’ versions of the NDAA.

Contained in the House’s version of the bill, the “Pilot Program for Prescription Drug Acquisition Cost Parity in the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits Program” would provide military families and veterans with the choice of how they get their medications and also would lower program costs.

“NACDS appreciates the work of Congressman Dave Loebsack, Congressman Buddy Carter and Congressman Peter Welch to advance this important pilot program,” stated Steven Anderson, NACDS president and CEO. “This pilot has the potential to preserve the choice of military families and veterans, to reduce Defense Department costs and to boost patient health by maintaining access to the pharmacist-patient relationship.”

The pilot program in effect would allow the Department of Defense to access lower pricing for prescriptions dispensed at community pharmacies.

“TRICARE beneficiaries have seen a number of changes to their prescription drug plan over the last few years, including brand name maintenance medications being dispensed via mail order or at Military Treatment Facilities and increased prescription copayments. These changes have not only impacted beneficiary access and health, but have also resulted in shifting health care costs to the Medicare program,” the House members wrote.

“The pilot program … is a sensible approach to maintaining beneficiary choice and access while at the same time lowering [DoD] costs. Currently, the DoD is able to purchase medications that are dispensed through mail order and [MTFs] at a much lower costs than for drugs dispensed in the retail setting, in some cases as much as 32% lower. The pilot program would allow the DoD to purchase prescription drugs dispensed in the retail setting at the lowest rate available to the Department, thereby eliminating those cost differences," the letter continued. "The pilot would also produce savings by lowering the costs paid in administration fees by the DoD for prescription drugs. It is believed the DoD currently pays three times as much in per prescription administrative fees to dispense prescriptions through mail than the retail setting. Allowing patients to maintain treatment from their retail pharmacy, including small business pharmacies, will result in lower overall administrative fees, preserve beneficiary choice and allow access to valuable in-person consultations with their pharmacies.”

The House and Senate will need to pass an identical version of the NDAA before it can be sent to the President for consideration and for signing into law.
 
 
 
 

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