PHARMACY

PQA taps industry, pharmacy leaders to fill out 16-member board of directors

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. One of the most influential groups promoting a broader and more clinical role for the nation’s community pharmacists has named three new members to its board of directors.

Drawing from the ranks of retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturing and managed care, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance elected three industry veterans to four-year terms on its board. Those named to the 16-member board are:

  • Thomas Menighan, EVP and CEO-designate of the American Pharmacists Association, who is joining PQA’s activities for the first time. APhA, along with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and other pharmacy and industry groups, is actively involved with the organization.
  • William Fleming, PharmD, who is VP of pharmacy and clinical integration for Humana and a longtime supporter of PQA. Fleming has been involved with the group since its inception and served as co-chair of its Data Aggregation and Reporting Workgroup during the group’s initial two years. Additionally, he serves on a number of ad hoc committees for PQA, including strategic planning.
  • Eleanor Perfetto, PhD, who is senior director of reimbursement and regulatory affairs at Pfizer Inc. Perfetto is co-chair of PQA’s Research Coordinating Council, a post she has held since the council was established over two years ago. She has led efforts in launching the five current PQA demonstration projects in phase 1, and is assisting PQA in its research plans for broader demonstration projects to be launched later this year.

“Stepping into the role of board member during the discussions of healthcare reform gives all of us on the board a tremendous challenge,” noted PQA chairman Bruce Roberts, who is EVP and CEO of NCPA. That challenge, he added, is “to assist in building a high quality, affordable healthcare system, using the core building blocks of performance measurement, quality improvement and public reporting.

“In the medication use space, the performance measurement enterprise shows tremendous growth potential, and PQA, as a consensus-based alliance with the broadest group of stakeholders, is taking the appropriate steps to make appropriate medication use an integral part of the healthcare infrastructure,” Roberts added.

In line with the election of Menighan, Perfetto and Fleming, two PQA board members are rotating out: John Gans, veteran head of APhA and a founding member of PQA; and Jack Fish, VP channel management and pharmacy solutions with GlaxoSmithKline and a two-year veteran of the board. Both Gans and Fish are retiring from their respective positions within APhA and GSK this year.

PQA executive director Laura Cranston acknowledged the contributions made by Gans and Fish.

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NAMI releases PSA initiative regarding psychological disorders

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. A nonprofit organization hopes that a new series of public service announcements it has released will encourage people to connect with each other to help themselves, their families and friends who live with psychological disorders.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness announced this week that it had released a PSA initiative called “Puzzle Pieces” that includes four 60-second and three 30-second radio PSAs featuring testimonials from individuals and families that describe their experiences with mental illnesses and the role NAMI played in their recovery.

“We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives,” NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick said. “NAMI members connect to educate each other and encourage their loved ones during their personal journeys to wellness.”

The organization said that an estimated 1-in-5 American families is affected by mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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KV Pharmaceutical, Gedeon Richter announce licensing agreement

BY Alaric DeArment

BUDAPEST, Hungary An American drug maker has signed a licensing agreement with a Hungarian pharmaceutical company.

KV Pharmaceutical Co. announced that it had entered into an agreement with Budapest, Hungary-based Gedeon Richter and its American subsidiary for licensing rights to KV technologies and products in the women’s health category.

Under the agreement, Gedeon Richter will have the right to manufacture and distribute certain proprietary technologies and products from KV in the European Union and other areas where it does business, while KV will receive undisclosed milestones and royalties for products that the two companies develop. KV will retain U.S. rights.

“KV Pharmaceutical and Gedeon Richter have for many years enjoyed an excellent relationship and business collaboration, and we are very pleased to extend it in this fashion,” KV Pharmaceutical Co. interim CEO David Van Vliet stated. “We believe this agreement allows both Richter and KV to offer additional enhanced products to more completely serve physicians and their patients.”

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