PHARMACY

PQA appointed to the National Priorities Partnership

BY Allison Cerra

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. An alliance representing members of the healthcare industry has been appointed to the National Priorities Partnership Committee, an initiative convened by the National Quality Forum.

The National Priorities Partnership is a collaborative effort that has been led by 28 major national organizations that collectively influence every part of the healthcare system.

“Pharmacists play an important role in achieving the national priorities and goals,” said Janet M. Corrigan, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, which convened the National Priorities Partnership in 2008. “They help ensure that patients receive safer, better coordinated care on a daily basis; drive the system to improve patient outcomes through effective medication management; and are on the front lines when it comes to truly engaging patients in and educating patients about their care.”

“As a relatively new organization in the growing performance measurement enterprise, we are pleased that the NQF Board has expanded the members of the National Priorities Partnership,” said Laura Cranston, PQA’s executive director. “Clearly, the NQF recognizes the important role that pharmacists have in advancing appropriate medication use and ensuring optimal patient outcomes through appropriate medication management services. We look forward to being a part of this very important collaborative initiative.”

PQA’s mission is to improve the quality of medication use across healthcare settings through a collaborative process in which key stakeholders agree on a strategy for measuring and reporting performance information related to medications.

For more information about PQA, please visit www.PQAalliance.org.

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Experts discuss medication adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Poor adherence to medication regimens could counteract the benefits of healthcare reform, a panel of experts concluded Wednesday.

The panel — which brings together experts from GlaxoSmithKline, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the National Consumer’s League and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — hopes to open a dialogue about medication adherence with between experts from the health, medical, insurance, business, employer, academic and government sectors.

“To date, medication adherence hasn’t been a prominent part of the debate,” conference moderator and founding editor of the journal Health Affairs John Iglehart said in a statement. “But no matter what shape health reform takes, it will ultimately be more successful if it supports the education and motivation of patients to properly follow their medication regimens.”

Participants in the panel will receive briefings on two new research efforts on medication adherence conducted by Avalere Health and the RAND Corp., respectively, using findings from the studies to guide the creation of policy and public education recommendations.

As many as 80% of patients may not be adhering to their medication regimens, according to research, resulting in adverse consequences and draining $100 billion to $300 billion from the healthcare system every year.

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MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals develops copay program for Moxatag

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTLAKE, Texas A company making a long-acting formulation of a common antibiotic has announced a program to minimize the drug’s cost to consumers.

MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday a $20 maximum copay program for Moxatag (amoxicillin) extended-release tablets in the 775 mg strength, designed to keep the drug’s cost to patients at $20 or less. The company said it will field 300 representatives and district managers to begin supplying physicians with voucher cards for the program.

“In this tough economy, we recognize the need to improve Moxatag’s affordability to the patient,” MiddleBrook president and CEO John Thievon said in a statement. “This $20 maximum copay program will replace our current $15 point-of-sale copay check program, which has been in place since Moxatag’s launch.”

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