PHARMACY

Community pharmacy leaders recognized by NACDS Foundation benefactors

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores received contributions from several benefactors as they presented awards to community pharmacy leaders at the NACDS 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference this week.

The awards included:

  • Fougera Pharmacy Scholarship Award: David Klaum of Fougera presented this award to Larry Merlo, CVS Caremark president and COO and NACDS chairman. In Merlo’s honor, Fougera made a contribution of $25,000 to the NACDS Foundation Pharmacy Student Scholarship program to support the development of future leaders in patient care and to recognize pharmacy students who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in community pharmacy;
  • IMS Health Pharmacy Partnership Award: James J. Hunter of IMS Health presented the Pharmacy Partnership Award to this year’s recipient, Costco Wholesale dba Costco Pharmacies VP pharmacy Vic Curtis. A contribution of $10,000 was presented in Curtis’ honor to the NACDS Foundation. This award honors an individual or group that values the importance of data in fact-based communications and corporate planning;
  • Novartis Pharmaceutical Alliance Award: David Gulick of Novartis presented the Novartis Pharmaceutical Alliance Award to Hy-Vee VP pharmacy and 2010 NACDS Pharmacy and Technology Conference chairman Robert Egeland. This award is presented in recognition of leadership, commitment and service to the pharmacy industry. Egeland currently serves on the NACDS Policy Council and Regional Chain Committee. He also serves on the State of Iowa Pseudophedrine Advisory Council and on the advisory boards of numerous pharmacy schools. Accompanying the award, a $10,000 contribution was donated by Novartis Pharmaceuticals to the NACDS Foundation in Egeland’s name;
  • UCB Leadership in Pharmacy Award: Mike Howe of UCB presented the award to three recipients — Association of State and Territorial Health Officials executive director Paul Jarris; Kerr Drug VP pharmacy and government relations and NACDS policy council chairman Mark Gregory, on behalf of community pharmacy; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention senior adviser Lisa Koonin. The award recognizes leadership and actions that have had a significant impact on the profession of pharmacy. A contribution in the amount of $10,000 is presented to the NACDS Foundation for each award recipient;

  • Community Pharmacy Faculty Award: NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato presented the Community Pharmacy Faculty Award to Kristen Finley Sobota, Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy. This award was established to recognize a community pharmacy faculty member who has made significant contributions to the practice of community pharmacy through innovations in patient care. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 stipend to the recipient’s academic institution; and

  • Community Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year Award: Sam Boulton of Apotex presented this award to Chasity Mease, clinical coordinator of the Walgreens Patient Care Center and shared faculty with Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. This award recognizes a pharmacy preceptor who has made significant contributions to patient care through the education of pharmacy students at Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations in a community pharmacy practice setting. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 stipend for the recipient’s academic institution.

“The NACDS Foundation joins our benefactors in honoring these distinguished community pharmacy leaders and educators for their outstanding contributions,” said Edith Rosato, NACDS Foundation president. “We are pleased to recognize their achievements in advancing pharmacy care on behalf of patients.”

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NCPA to DEA: ‘Institutional facilitators’ can help LTC facilities

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration that featured a solution to provide prescription medications to patients in long-term care facilities in a timely manner, NCPA said.

NCPA stated in its letter that recent changes in interpretation and enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act have delayed access of prescription drugs to long-term care patients; many of the medications are designed to alleviate severe pain. The CSA has upended the process in which nurses relay information between the physicians and pharmacists — when a direct physician-pharmacist communication was impractical — to ensure the timely administration of critical medications used to treat residents’ pain. DEA’s current enforcement approach allows such “nurse as agent” exchanges in a hospital setting, but not in long-term care facilities, NCPA said.

To mitigate this, NCPA has suggested that the DEA develop a subcategory of its registrant called an “institutional facilitator,” which would allow nurses to resume communicating valid prescriptions to the pharmacist so that the appropriate medicine is administered to the patient on a timely basis.

“The current system related to the lawful and prompt dispensing of controlled substances in long-term care facilities is broken,” NCPA said. “This solution provides for the common goal of ensuring timely medication access to patients in pain while recognizing the DEA’s mission to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.”

Approximately 31% of all independent community pharmacies service a long-term care facility, with the majority located in areas with a population of less than 20,000, NCPA noted.

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Affordable Care Act pays off for Medicare beneficiaries, Sebelius says

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have received prescription drug cost relief through the Affordable Care Act, Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Eligible beneficiaries automatically receive rebate checks in the mail — which are designed to help beneficiaries save money on their prescription drugs — when they reach the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” and they don’t have to sign up to be eligible for the rebates. Next year, those who fall into the doughnut hole will receive a 50% discount on covered brand-name medications while in the coverage gap. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries save on prescription drug costs, the Affordable Care Act also seeks to prevent fraud against seniors, Sebelius said.

“Many seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare face extraordinary prescription drug costs, and too often stop following the drug regimens that their doctors have recommended as a result,” Sebelius said. “These checks will make a difference in helping seniors continue to get the medications they need, and are one of many ways that the Affordable Care Act is helping seniors.”

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