Friday, September 8, 2017

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In the State:
Hurricane Harvey: Pharmacy Assistance Update
Houston grapples with shortage of vital medical supplies in Harvey's wake
Surviving Harvey: Lone pharmacist serves Cleveland during hurricane
Retail pharmacy focuses support on Gulf Coast region
Association News:
Human Services Committee Chair Richard Raymond Calls for Meeting on Rider 219
Dallas Area Pharmacy Association (DAPA) New Officers and Board Members for 2017-2018
Texas Pharmacy Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

National News:
CDC awards $28.6 million in additional state funding to fight opioid epidemic
Trending News:
Hospitals use pre-discharge prescriptions to cut readmissions
Decline in pharmacy customer satisfaction driven by prescription drug costs, J.D. Power finds
New Oregon law lets pharmacists prescribe formulary drugs, devices
Health Care Pricing Shouldn’t Be Like Nuclear Codes
Report: Obesity rates remain stable in most US states


In the State

Houston grapples with shortage of vital medical supplies in Harvey's wake
A shortage of vital medical supplies is effecting health care in Houston as it emerges from Harvey’s devastating floods. Resident demands for medication and lifesaving equipment are adding to strain on health care clinics and emergency rooms and setting off a scramble to get critical supplies where they are needed most. A breakdown in the supply of prescription drugs and medical equipment was one of several problems that David Persse, MD, the top doctor for the Houston Health Department, discussed with health officials and hospital chief executives as they plotted a way out of the crisis. "The supply and need are always mismatched" after massive storms, Persse said. "That’s what makes it a disaster." City health officials had nowhere to put 1,500 pounds of insulin delivered Thursday to the jam-packed conference center. The shipment, which included an additional 4,500 pounds of syringes and other supplies, was more than was needed for evacuees, Persse said. Meanwhile, there was a stark need for insulin outside of Houston on Friday, as clinics in Galveston and Beaumont waited for shipments organized by Healthcare Ready, which began flying emergency supplies into Houston’s airport on Monday and ferrying them out by helicopter. Wall Street Journal (September 1, 2017) Evans, Melanie

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Surviving Harvey: Lone pharmacist serves Cleveland during hurricane
Hurricane Harvey threatened citizens of Cleveland not only with flood waters but also potential delays in receiving prescribed medications. However, one Cleveland pharmacist stepped forward to help local citizens keep their health in check during the disaster. Brad Smith, 64, is a local pharmacist who works at the Cleveland's Brookshire Bros. Pharmacy. When Hurricane Harvey flooded Cleveland, the city was without a large portion of its pharmacists except for Smith due to others located out of town and being blocked off by floodwaters."I'm the only local pharmacist who lives here," said Smith.Brookshire Bros. Pharmacy opened on Monday, Aug. 28, during torrential rains to provide for the medical needs of local residents. Smith says the day was slow in contrast to Tuesday."It was just very, very busy," said Smith. San Antonio Express-News (September 1, 2017) McAdams, Jacob

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Retail pharmacy focuses support on Gulf Coast region
HOUSTON — One week following Hurricane Harvey, the Gulf region where that powerful storm made landfall is beginning to put the pieces back together. For example, Walmart, among other retailers have reported the reopening of all stores with the exception of a handful of locations impacted by flooding.

Similarly, Walreens has about 450 locations open in southeast Texas and Louisiana, with about 50 currently closed. In addition to reopening stores Walgreens customers throughout the country have donated $5 million to the American Red Cross relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. Walgreens has also contributed $200,000 to the America Red Cross. And Walgreens has set up pharmacy services in the GRB convention center in Houston to assist with prescription needs and donated food items, first aid and medical equipment including blood pressure cuffs, glucometer strips and transport wheelchairs to the convention center.
Drug Store News (September 5, 2017) Johnsen, Michael

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Association News

Human Services Committee Chair Richard Raymond Calls for Meeting on Rider 219
On September 9, Human Services Committee Chair Richard Raymond called for a meeting of the various pharmacy organizations and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to discuss pharmacy driven Rider 219 (Riders are specific instructions to an agency on how they should spend some of their appropriated funds). The meeting included representatives from a number of the pharmacy organizations and also included TPA Board member Jay Bueche R.Ph.

Rider 219 requires that: “the Health and Human Services Commission shall study potential cost savings in the administration of prescription drug benefits. In studying potential cost savings, the Health and Human Services Commission may consider savings achieved from, but not limited to: a single statewide claims processor model to deliver prescription drug benefits …; reduction of the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Providers Fee, guaranteed risk margin, and administrative services fees from decreasing capitation related to pharmacy benefits; and transitioning to a prescription pricing methodology based on National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) with a professional dispensing fee commensurate with the most recent study commissioned by the Health and Human Services Commission.”

The meeting provided a great opportunity for pharmacy to share with HHSC the overall intent of the rider and to outline what pharmacy wanted to see out of the required study. HHSC assured Chairman Raymond and those in attendance that they will begin working on the required study and will be ready to provide a general update on where they are in the study by an expected December meeting of the Human Services Committee.

Pharmacy will continue to work with Chairman Raymond and his office and HHSC as the study moves forward.


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Dallas Area Pharmacy Association (DAPA) New Officers and Board Members for 2017-2018
TPA CEO Debbie Garza and Chris Dembny, vice president of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, installed the new officers and board members of the Dallas Area Pharmacy Association (DAPA) Thursday evening. Emery Johnson was installed as president of the organization for 2017-2018. Other officers include: vice president - Jeff Loesch; secretary – Kim Nguyen; treasurer – Shari McDaniel; past president – Jayne Cornell; board members are Navid Sundrani, Melanie Hope, Ashley Chasse, Jamahla Murgerson, Jo Ah Lee, Don Levine, and Janet Bubis. The DAPA meeting was sponsored by Gilead Sciences Inc. and included an enlightening continuing education program on Proactive HIV Prevention with TRUVADA for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).


DAPA president Emery Johnson being sworn in by
Debbie Garza.
DAPA new officers and board members for 2017-2018.

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Texas Pharmacy Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
Help pharmacy help Texas communities in need. Contribute to the Texas Pharmacy Foundation Disaster Relief Fund today. Funds will be used to assist pharmacies in the affected areas and to help communities in Texas have access to pharmacy services. Donate Here

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National News

CDC awards $28.6 million in additional state funding to fight opioid epidemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding more than $28.6 million in additional funding to 44 states and the District of Columbia to support their responses to the opioid overdose epidemic. The funds will be used to strengthen prevention efforts and better track opioid-related overdoses. This builds upon the July 2017 announcement that CDC was providing $12 million to states to support overdose prevention activities. Drug Store News (September 6, 2017) Johnsen, Michael

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Trending News

Hospitals use pre-discharge prescriptions to cut readmissions
Hospitals use programs that provide patients with needed medications before discharge as a way to reduce readmissions among those who may not be able to fill prescriptions at home. Hospitals also have added outpatient pharmacies that can fill prescriptions on-site. The Washington Post (September 4, 2017) Kritz, Fran

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Decline in pharmacy customer satisfaction driven by prescription drug costs, J.D. Power finds
The U.S. pharmacy industry, perennially one of the highest-scoring industries measured by J.D. Power, experienced notable declines in overall customer satisfaction this year. According to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Pharmacy Study, decreases in satisfaction with pharmacies are driven primarily by declines in satisfaction with cost. "Pharmacies have historically earned very high marks for customer satisfaction, so any significant year-over-year decline is cause for closer investigation," says Rick Johnson of J.D. Power. "Consumer concerns about rising drug prices have likely affected perceptions of the cost for their retail prescriptions. The decrease in satisfaction with cost is the primary drag on overall customer satisfaction, creating a serious challenge for (pharmacies)." Supermarkets have highest overall satisfaction among pharmacy channels: Among all channels studied, supermarkets have the highest levels of overall customer satisfaction (859 on a 1,000-point scale), followed by mail order (853); hospital or clinic (851); chain pharmacies (849); specialty pharmacy (842); and mass merchandisers (839). Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy ranks highest among specialty pharmacies with a score of 853. BriovaRx (851) ranks second, and CVS Specialty/CVS Caremark (840) ranks third. J.D. Power Press Release (September 5, 2017)

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New Oregon law lets pharmacists prescribe formulary drugs, devices
Oregon legislators have empowered pharmacists to prescribe and dispense medications and devices from a formulary to be compiled by the state board of pharmacy. Diabetic testing supplies, inhalers, epinephrine autoinjectors, and quit-smoking aids are among the items that will be included on the list—which will exclude anything that is diagnostic in nature. The bill conveying pharmacists' new authority was crafted with input from medical and nurses groups, the Oregon Pharmacy Coalition, and the state board of pharmacy and builds on earlier legislative efforts that failed. It passed on its first try this past spring and was formally endorsed by Gov. Katherine Brown in May, with most components of the law to take effect January 1, 2018. Although the measure widens pharmacy practice, it fails to address the issue of pharmacist compensation in their expanded role. "If we're going to have the patient come in for an actual visit and sit them down and talk about how to manage their diabetes and, as a result of that, prescribe them products to support that, then we should get paid for that visit separately," said Kevin Russell, operations manager for the four outpatient pharmacies under Corvalis-based Samaritan Health Services.
ASHP News Release (August 25, 2017) Thompson, Cheryl A.

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Health Care Pricing Shouldn’t Be Like Nuclear Codes
Ask just about anyone what the most closely held secret is in America, and odds are they’ll either say the nation’s nuclear codes or the formula for Coca-Cola. Yet running a close third is the actual selling price of pretty much everything in health care. The health care industry, especially the large players that dominate the landscape today, keep the actual dollars paid for care hidden amongst themselves, often obscured within complex contract language. Yes, there are “published” prices, but they bear little resemblance to the reimbursements providers and payers are agreeing to behind the curtain.
RealClear Health (August 29, 2017) Borca, Greg

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Report: Obesity rates remain stable in most US states
Almost 38% of US adults are obese and about 8% are extremely obese, but from 2015 to 2016 obesity rates remained steady in most states, according to a report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report called for obesity prevention efforts at the federal, state and local levels, and supported menu labeling rules, the updated Nutrition Facts label, and Medicare and Medicaid coverage of obesity services.
Medscape (free registration) (August 31, 2017)

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TEXAS PHARMACISTS!

You belong here: NCPA Annual Convention!

It’s where ideas are born! Join other successful community pharmacists for peer-tested solutions to boost profits, reduce costs and bring new patients into your pharmacy. Register today for the NCPA Annual Convention, October 14-18, 2017 in Orlando. Check NCPA website for updated schedule of events and educational workshops.
Register + Book your hotel at
www.ncpanet.org/convention


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