Friday, August 11, 2017

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In the News

Advocacy Update

Special Session enters the final week and Human Services holds hearing on Rider 219 from the Regular Session and directs HHSC on how to proceed with the Rider.

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Association News

August Quarterly Meeting of the Texas Pharmacy Congress
On August 9, the Texas Pharmacy Congress (TPC) held its quarterly meeting in San Antonio and was hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy. TPA representatives included President Mary Klein, President-Elect Mark Comfort, CEO Debbie Garza, Division Director, Professional Affairs Kim Roberson and Christine Hong.

Key issues discussed included a briefing on legislation that passed during the 85th Regular Legislative Session, the planned launching of the Texas Pharmacy Association Services Inc. network and the introduction of Paul Davis as the Interim-Executive Director of the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

TPC is a coordinating body designed to serve as a forum on pharmacy matters of common interest to its members. Its mission is to facilitate discussion on professional, technological, legislative and regulatory issues through exchange of views, interpretation and analysis of matters of common interest to Texas pharmacists, Texas pharmacy organizations and their constituencies. Membership consists of the nine Texas Colleges of Pharmacy along with representatives from the Texas pharmacy Association, the Texas Federation of Drug Stores, the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

The next meeting will be held in November 2017.

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State and National News

Trump says he will declare opioid crisis a ‘national emergency’
President Donald Trump said Thursday he's taking steps to declare the opioid crisis a "national emergency," following the recent recommendation of the White House's opioid commission, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Appearing with Vice President Mike Pence in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said he is drafting up paperwork to officially declare the epidemic a national emergency. {More}

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The Washington Post: At Least 17 States Are Enacting Strict Limits On The Length Of Painkiller Prescriptions As Drug Overdoses Soar

States are enacting strict limits on the number of powerful prescription painkillers doctors can prescribe, a move that many believe will help fight the opioid crisis but has raised alarms among some physicians. At least 17 states have enacted rules to curb the number of painkillers doctors can prescribe. Some, including Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, have passed laws limiting the duration of initial opioid prescriptions to five or seven days. Others are passing dosage limits. In Kentucky, a law went into effect last month capping opioid prescriptions for acute pain to three days. {More}

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Price of opioid overdose drug naloxone rises with demand
Prices for the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone have risen over the last year along with demand, with a recent analysis showing that a vial of Amphastar's generic naloxone costs $16, up from about $4 in 2009. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has written to four manufacturers asking for details about their discount programs, and she has expressed particular concerned about Kaleo Pharmaceuticals' Evzio naloxone auto-injector, asking the firm in a separate letter sent in February to justify its price of more than $2,000, up from $288 per dose in 2014. National Public Radio

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The Wall Street Journal: CVS Moves Deeper Into Doctors’ Turf
CVS Health Corp. hit by slower store sales and the defection of some big insurance providers, is moving ever more onto doctors’ turf in a bid to win back business. The company said Tuesday that it intends to expand a program in which it marshals pharmacists, hundreds of on-site medical clinics and its vast data network to help people manage chronic diseases including asthma and high blood pressure. {More}

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Nearly one-fourth of US adults get influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings
JAPhA study suggests demographic differences in where adults are immunized
Almost a quarter of adults in the U.S. get their annual influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings, according to a paper published online in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
In the study, researchers accessed vaccination data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a database of information collected by CDC via telephone surveys of adults throughout the nation. Their sample included 28,954 respondents in 8 states and Puerto Rico who had reported getting an influenza vaccination in the prior 12 months. The researchers categorized vaccination settings as “doctor’s office,” “store” (pharmacy-based setting), and “other settings” (hospital, health department, clinic, health center, workplace, or school). They noted that pharmacists may have been immunizers at sites categorized as “other settings.”
The researchers found that 23.3% of survey respondents had received influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings, second to doctor’s offices, where 37.5% had received influenza vaccinations. Among adults age 65 or older, 37.8% were vaccinated in pharmacy-based settings. The researchers note that one reason for this may be that Medicare no longer requires a physician’s order for its beneficiaries to get influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations from participating facilities. In contrast, young adults were more likely to get influenza vaccinations at work or in clinics or community centers.
Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to get influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings compared to black, Hispanic, and multiracial respondents. The authors reported no significant gender difference regarding where respondents were vaccinated. Terri D’Arrigo, reporter {More}

Monthly Free Member CE:

Stress Management Skills for Pharmacy Practice

This activity will introduce pharmacists to evidence-based approaches for managing stress. Attendees will practice mind-body skills known to short-circuit the “fright, fight, or flight” response to stressful situations. Attendees also will learn cognitive practices for changing their thinking about potentially stressful situations. Attendees will leave with a personal toolkit of strategies for controlling the amount of stress they experience both in and out of the workplace. More

TPA Educational Opportunities
TPA offers other education programs on a wide range of topics. For information on all of TPA’s upcoming educational events, visit the TPA Event Calendar & Online CE Calendar

Wildfire Defense Systems
If a fire threatens an insured property, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company may dispatch an engine and crew to the property for pre-fire and post-fire mitigation services. Learn more about this special service at

Texas Pharmacy Association
Debbie Garza, CEO, TPA • 512.615.9170