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PQA announces promotions and appointment of second Executive Fellow

BY Michael Johnsen

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance on Friday announced several changes to the PQA staff team, effective July 7. 
 
Jackie Green, PQA's current VP operations and business development is being promoted to serve as PQA COO, and Samuel Stolpe is being promoted to director of Quality Strategies from his role as the associate director of Quality Initiatives.

Samuel Stolpe
 
Additionally, PQA appointed its second executive fellow, Maria Scarlatos. 
 
"I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with a talented and committed group of professionals," said Laura Cranston, executive director of the PQA. "PQA's dedicated team often wears multiple hats and takes pride in their ability to be highly responsive to our members and nimble in our decision-making processes. We look forward to the continued contributions of Sam and Jackie, and to providing a high-quality fellowship experience for the organization's second fellow, Maria Scarlatos."
 
Green has been with PQA for more than five years and manages a very diverse set of responsibilities, including finance and operations, member relations, meetings and human resource functions, the Alliance stated. Green works closely with all new member organizations to ensure a full integration into the workgroup infrastructure within PQA at the earliest stages, helping members gain the most from their PQA membership, the association added.
 
Stolpe has worked for PQA for the previous two years. His new responsibilities include leading PQA's efforts in capturing the voice of the patient in PQA's measure development process through the newly launched PQA's Patient Advisory Panel. He also has taken the lead in another strategic initiative for PQA, the launch of PQA's Adult Immunization Task Force. Stolpe is responsible for directing PQA's research projects and strategic initiatives. His most recent work has been focused on the adherence impact of medication synchronization, and the use of motivational interviewing techniques by pharmacists at the point of dispensing. Stolpe's work on PQA educational initiatives includes oversight of the Academic Affairs Committee, the PQA Ambassador Program and the newly revised Educating Pharmacists in Quality CE training program designed for front-line pharmacists, managed care executives and future leaders within medication use quality. 
 
Stolpe is a frequent lecturer on medication use safety and effectiveness, and serves as an adjunct faculty member where he teaches health policy. Stolpe has represented PQA in several international efforts this past year, including presentations in Japan and Hungary. And he continues to practice pharmacy by working in a local community pharmacy. 
 
Scarlatos, who joined as PQA's second Executive Fellow, is a recent graduate of the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University's Bouvé College of Health Sciences. She brings professional work experiences from Tufts Medical Center and MedVentive, where she collaborated with two pioneer ACOs: Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization and Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association. 
 
During her pharmacy practice experiences, Scarlatos also worked with organizations consulting for long-term care facilities and managed Medicaid in Massachusetts. 
 
 
 
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Beauty veteran Elana Drell Szyfer named Laura Geller Beauty CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Laura Geller Beauty has hired beauty industry executive Elana Drell Szyfer to serve as CEO, effective immediately.

Drell Szyfer's background will fuel her new role at the 21-year-old brand, where she will continue to scale the company and lead the development of the brand. A primary charge will include driving Laura Geller Beauty's current image revamp and expansion into additional brick-and-mortar locations, both domestically and globally, as well as focus on new product and technology innovations, while continuing to grow the QVC business globally, the company stated.

She brings more than two decades of experience in the beauty industry, working at major category players, such as Estée Lauder, L'Oréal and Avon. At Estée Lauder, she held the role of SVP global marketing for the Estée Lauder brand, and prior to that, VP global marketing for Prescriptives. She then spent three years at AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories, where she was CEO, globally. Most recently, she was EVP global brand strategy at Kenneth Cole Productions.

In addition to her new post at Laura Geller Beauty, Drell Szyfer will hold an operating adviser role at Tengram Capital Partners, an investor in Laura Geller Beauty. In that capacity she will advise on Tengram's current beauty portfolio, assume board positions and consult on potential new investments. The Tengram beauty portfolio currently includes Nest Fragrances and Deva Curl, in addition to Laura Geller Beauty.
 

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West Virginia retailers are seeking to oust meth makers statewide

BY Michael Johnsen

CVS/pharmacy replaced single-ingredient pseudoephedrine products with the tamper-resistant PSE product, Zephrex-D, in all of its West Virginia stores, as well as stores in nearby states that are located within 15 miles of West Virginia's border, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 
 
With the move, West Virginia has become a de facto test market for the diversion-defiant PSE formulation, because along with CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid and Fruth and soon Walgreens will all be selling similar formulations. The move sends a stern message to West Virginian methamphetamine makers to the tune of Tom Petty's "Don't come around here no more." 
 
But West Virginia has been gearing up to put meth labs out of business for good all year long. Earlier this year, West Virginia legislators debated making pseudoephedrine-containing products prescription-only excepting formulations like Zephrex-D. And while that bill died in March, according to reports, it's clear that West Virginia is looking to uproot and eliminate clandestine methamphetamine production labs. 
 
According to the West Virginia Gazette, West Virginia authorities seized 533 meth labs last year, a record number. Police found the clandestine labs in 45 of the state's 55 counties. 
 
West Virginia is a NPLEx state, which is another tool the state has been using successfully to curb its methamphetamine problem. That tool has proven effective as well. According to data obtained by the Kanawha County Substance Abuse Task Force (where meth crime is traditionally the highest in the state), implementing NPLEx resulted in a 68.5% reduction in pseudoephedrine sales across the county. According to a May 22 article in the Charleston Gazette, meth lab busts statewide are down 27% January through mid-April, compared with the same period last year. 
 
From a business perspective, the move will not preclude customers legitimately looking for congestion relief from seeking their PSE remedy. Nationwide, sales of the three top-selling pseudeophedrine products were down slightly to $322 million for the 52 weeks ended May 18, according to IRI across total U.S. multi-outlet channels. The fact is, there aren't very many heavy buyers of PSE products across the state. According to the West Virginia Gazette, only about 4% of West Virginians last year purchased more than 24 grams of PSE, the equivalent of about 10 boxes, citing the state Board of Pharmacy. 
 
The biggest factor impacting PSE sales will remain the volatility of the cough/cold season — the more cold-stricken people there are the better these formulations (now just Zephrex-D in West Virginia) will sell. 
 
 
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