PHARMACY

NCPA recognizes two industry pioneers in adherence

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — In recognition of their commitment to improving medication adherence, John Sykora and Jan Kavookjian were honored with the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award, sponsored by Mirixa, and the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award, respectively, at the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2015 Annual Convention a
 
The NCPA Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award recognizes an independent community pharmacist who demonstrates a continuous commitment to patient adherence services. This year’s winner Sykora is the owner of Abrams & Clark Pharmacy in Long Beach, Calif.. who developed the foundation for the appointment-based, medication synchronization business model back in 1996, long before independent and chain pharmacies began offering the service to patients throughout the country. 
 
“John Sykora is an outstanding and very worthy recipient of the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Practitioner Award, because he is a trailblazer in bringing medication synchronization to retail pharmacies,” said NCPA president John Sherrer. “John understands that if the United States is going to reduce the estimated $290 billion a year that is wasted on non-adherence then pharmacists must utilize proven strategies for ensuring drug regimens are being maximized. Medication synchronization programs are a shining example of that philosophy being applied to the real world.”  
 
Sykora believes that aligning medication refills to one day a month is a “win-win” scenario for pharmacists and patients. Pharmacists benefit by having a more streamlined workflow that reduces phone calls and faxes to prescribers, which allows for more time to be spent on patient care. Patients benefit from improved medication adherence, better chronic care management and increased convenience. 
 
The NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award recognizes a pharmacy educator who has made a significant contribution to the education of pharmacy students in the area of medication adherence. The award also recognizes educators whose contributions to medication adherence education are made through developing innovative course content and toolkits, as well as developing unique teaching strategies and active learning techniques. 
 
This year’s winner, Kavookjian, is a professor at Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy.
 
Kavookjian teaches Health Behavior Change at HSOP, where students are provided the opportunity to role play in order to more fully understand why patients struggle with medication adherence. In addition to her course teachings, Kavookjian has been the faculty advisor for the school of pharmacy’s Script Your Future Adherence Challenge team; a competition that emphasizes inter-professional collaboration for patient medication adherence. Kavookjian also launched a school-wide study on patient medication adherence, as part of the pharmacy practice experience program, incorporating validated measures of adherence, and developing a toolkit for students to have for patient communications. 
   
“We are pleased to recognize Dr. Jan Kavookjian as the winner of the 2015 NCPA Outstanding Adherence Educator Award,” said Sherrer. “Dr. Kavookjian is a tireless, dedicated leader in empowering her pharmacy students to become practicing pharmacists who are at the forefront of efforts to drive greater medication adherence. Her approach is embodied in a quote from Benjamin Franklin, who once said ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’”
 
Both awards are part of NCPA’s Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence initiative and are funded with support from Cardinal Health Foundation, Merck and Pfizer. 
 

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NCPA announces 2015 Prescription Drug Safety Award winner

BY David Salazar

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has announced the winner of its 2015 Prescription Drug Safety Award, which is sponsored by Smart-Fill. Brian Beach of Seattle’s Kelley-Ross Pharmacy Group was given the award Sunday during the first General Session at the NCPA’s annual convention. 

For the last four years, Beach has fought opioid overdoses by working to reduce the stigma surrounding opioid overdoses and expand access of opioid overdose antidote naloxone. Beach and his team have also worked with other pharmacy partners and patients to ensure that those who need naloxone have access to it.

“Brian Beach is a very worthy recipient of the NCPA 2015 Prescription Drug Safety Award,” NCPA President John T. Sherrer said. “Regardless of whether opioid overdose results from illegal drug use or legal medication consumption, Brian believes that saving lives is the most important consideration, and that naloxone is the best available solution. His efforts to make the drug more accessible in emergency situations in Seattle are working.”

As part of his effort to fight prescription drug abuse, Beach’s pharmacy partnership, alongside Public Health-Seattle & King County and the university of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute provide naloxone to those who need it, particularly high-risk patients.

“On behalf of Smart-Fill and its more than 1,000 member pharmacies and affiliates across the country, we are proud to sponsor the 2015 NCPA Prescription Safety Award,” Smart-Fill Group VP Tim J. Gallagher said. “Brian and Kelley-Ross Pharmacies have made great strides in preventing deaths to due opioid overdoses in the Seattle King County area and are a shining example of the value of independent community pharmacies. We congratulate Brian and all his staff on this great achievement.”

Beach joined Kelley-Ross in 2004 after working at two different independent community pharmacies. In addition to serving on various national advisory boards, he has been the Washington State Pharmacy Association’s Long-Term Care Academy chair and president of WSPA. 

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APhA: More than half of House supports provider status bill

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association announced Friday that its fight toward provider status for pharmacists had reached a big milestone. According to an email from APhA EVP and CEO Tom Menighan, 219 of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives had signed on as a sponsor or co-sponsored H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act.

The act would designate pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B, a move that could have a big impact on areas that are medically underserved, especially given a growing shortage of physicians and other health care professionals.

The email from Menighan urged pharmacists to visit its Pharmacists Provider Care site to contact their representative or senator, as there is a version of the bill making its way through the U.S. Senate as well. 

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