texaspharmacy.org  Friday, June 15, 2018 View Archive
Association News

Nigerian Pharmacists Association-DFW Affiliates with TPA

Texas Pharmacy Association CEO Debbie Garza, R.Ph., joined the Nigerian Pharmacists Association-Dallas Fort Worth (NPA-DFW) chapter at its monthly meeting to welcome them as TPA’s newest affiliate organization. Debbie presented an overview of TPA for its newest members, focusing on the key objectives of the Association and upcoming events. “Their passion for the profession and wanting to be in the know of the latest legislative and regulatory changes prompted the NPA-DFW executive officers and members to reach out to TPA about affiliating," Garza said. "I was excited to hear their desires for our profession, for TPA, and to have the opportunity to work together.”

TPA Meets with Nigerian Pharmacists Association of Dallas Fort Worth

Chief Executive Officer Debbie Garza, R.Ph. meets with TPA's newest affiliate,
the Nigerian Pharmacists Association-Dallas Fort Worth, on June 10.

TPA Names 2018 Award Winners

The Texas Pharmacy Association is pleased to announce its 2018 award winners. These members will be recognized at a special Awards Luncheon July 13 during the annual TPA Conference & Expo. Congratulations to the following honorees.

  • Bowl of Hygeia: Carol Reagan, Pharm.D.
  • Pharmacist of the Year: Charlotte Weller, Pharm.D.
  • Distinguished Young Pharmacist: Adam Chesler, Pharm.D.
  • Distinguished Pharmacy Technician: Ben Sims, CPhT
  • Distinguished Student Pharmacist: Shawn Ahmad
  • Distinguished Service Award: Ellen Church, R.Ph.
  • Excellence in Innovation: Sara Robison, Pharm.D.
  • Excellence in Patient Outcomes: H-E-B Pharmacy
  • Generations Rx: Lucas Hill, Pharm.D.
  • Robert L. Hays Consultant Pharmacist: Larry McClaugherty, R.Ph.

Hotel Discount Deadline Approaching for TPA Conference & Expo

TPA 2018 Conference & Expo

The TPA Conference & Expo is less than a month away! Register for the conference and be sure to book your hotel by Sunday, June 24 to take advantage of the TPA discounted room rate. Join your pharmacy colleagues from across the state July 13–15 for a fun weekend in The Woodlands and earn more than 16 hours of continuing education—including informative general and CE sessions on emerging trends and timely topics. View the full schedule online.

WANTED: Your TPF Silent Auction Baskets

Texas Pharmacy FoundationThe Texas Pharmacy Foundation’s annual fundraising activities to support student scholarships and research projects includes a Silent Auction of donated items at the TPA Conference & Expo. TPF asks you to put things together in a basket for the auction because “Together Pharmacy Advances.” (Click here for suggestions.) We challenge the students from each college/school of pharmacy and each local association to participate for good, old-fashioned, Texas-sized bragging rights for best basket. Submit your contribution form online by Friday, June 29. Contact Sandra Nelson for more information.

Register Now for the PharmPAC Breakfast!

Sunday, July 15
7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
at the TPA Conference & Expo

Hear from key elected officials serving on the Public Health and Opioid and Substance Abuse Committees! PharmPAC needs your support so that it can support you and your profession.
PharmPAC assists TPA in public policy education, political activities, grassroots and advocacy.

Register online today.

In the State

Legislators Call for Hearings Following Media’s ‘Pain & Profit’ Series

Concerned about the information reported in last week’s Dallas Morning News investigative Pain & Profit series, Texas House and Human Services Chair Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) set a hearing to discuss the series June 20 at 9 a.m. at the Texas Capitol. The following week, House General Investigating & Ethics (GIE) Chair Sarah Davis (R-Houston) will also hold a joint hearing of the GIE and Appropriations Article II Subcommittee, which she also chairs, at the Capitol June 27 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the Health and Human Services management of managed Medicaid contracts.

The five-part Dallas Morning News series "exposed systemic denials of care and other abuses by companies paid to administer Medicaid” and “detailed how Texas health officials have hidden the magnitude of failures from the public and reduced hundreds of millions in fines for companies that failed their patients.”

Dallas Morning News (June 7, 2018) McSwane, J. David

Texas Medicaid: Crosswalk and Drug Labeler File Now Available

HHSC has published an update to the June 2018 Texas National Drug Code (NDC) to Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) crosswalk. It’s important to note that inclusion of a HCPCS code on the crosswalk does not guarantee coverage or payment. Utilize the Fee Schedule to confirm that the procedure is payable. Clinician-administered drug (CAD) processing instructions and frequently-asked questions are also available. Click here for the Clinician-Administered Drug page.

Poll: Texans Say Legislators Need to Make Health Care a Priority

Texans say the Legislature’s top three priorities should be lowering the cost of health care, reducing the number of women dying after childbirth and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, according to a poll conducted by the Episcopal Health Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Texas Tribune (June 14, 2018) Evans, Marissa

Aetna Leans on Analytics, State Health Departments to Curb Antibiotic Overprescribing

Aetna has sent nearly 1,500 letters to antibiotic "superprescribers" across 43 states as part of an initiative to reduce overprescribing. The insurer is also working with health departments in six states (California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia), using co-branded letters signed by state officials to strengthen the messaging. In Texas, the state's health commissioner included an accompanying letter warning about the threats of antibiotic resistance.

Fierce Healthcare (06/06/2018) Sweeney, Evan

Kids in Texas, Other States at Higher Risk Because Parents Opt Out of Vaccinations

Eighteen states allow parents to opt their children out of school immunization requirements for nonmedical reasons, with exemptions for religious or philosophical beliefs. Researchers from several Texas academic centers tracked the increasing number of children with exemptions in all 18 states. The 15 metropolitan locations with the most exemptions were Seattle and Spokane, Wash.;  Portland, Ore.; Phoenix; Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah; Houston, Fort Worth, Austin and Plano, Tex.; Detroit, Troy and Warren, Mich.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Pittsburgh.

The Washington Post (June 12, 2018) Sun, Lena

Texas Lags in Vaccination Rates for Human Papillomavirus

Hoping to increase vaccination rates in Texas for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a group of health professionals on Tuesday announced the launch of a new education effort. In Texas, where battles over vaccination have been politically charged, only 33 percent of children aged 13 to 17 have been vaccinated for HPV — leaving the state ranked 47th among states for HPV vaccination rates.

Austin American-Statesman (June 12, 2018) Price, Asher

Texas Hepatitis C Clinic Shows Future of Pharmacy

The Hepatitis C Clinic at the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center can significantly improve medication adherence, according to Jennifer Fix, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacotherapy and a past president of the Texas Pharmacy Association. That is because the person managing every patient's care at the clinic, n collaboration with the health care team, is a pharmacist.

UNT Health Science (June 6, 2018) Jarvis, Jan

National News

CMS Rolls Out Plan to Fight Opioid Crisis

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has identified three key focus areas to address the opioid epidemic: prevention, treatment, and data. Per CMS, opioids killed 116 people per day in 2016, with 40 percent attributed to prescription opioids. CMS rolled out a roadmap detailing best practices, innovations and helpful resources.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (June 11, 2018)

Senate Committee Passes e-Prescribing Bill to Help Address Opioid Abuse

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday passed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act. A House committee passed companion legislation on May 9. The bill would require electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D to help prevent fraud, abuse and waste.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (June 12, 2018)

HHS Says Drug Companies Looking at Substantial Price Cuts

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday touted the administration’s plan to combat high drug prices, saying several drug companies are looking at “substantial and material” price cuts, working with industry middlemen including PBMs to make sure “they’re not discriminated against” for cutting their prices. Democrats said the plan would accomplish little.

The Wall Street Journal (June 12, 2018) Armour, Stephanie and Loftus, Peter

House Panel Questions FDA's Track Record Combating Illegal Opioids

Lawmakers fear the Food and Drug Administration is not doing enough to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States as the country works to combat the opioid epidemic. Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee questioned whether the FDA's criminal investigators are effective at blocking illegal drugs at U.S. ports of entry.

Reuters (June 11, 2018) Lynch, Sarah

Flu Season One of the Deadliest for US Children

The past flu season was the deadliest for U.S. children in nearly a decade, health officials said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said they had received reports of 172 pediatric flu deaths since October. That surpasses the 2012-2013 flu season, when there were 171. An average season sees about 110.

Associated Press (June 8, 2018) Stobbe, Mike

Drug Shortages Remain 'Serious Concern,' FDA Deputy Says

Lawmakers and FDA officials expressed concern about drug shortages at a recent House subcommittee hearing. "It's a serious concern not just in routine, everyday clinical care, but also in the context of a shortage of life-saving products at a time of a public health emergency," an offical said. Over 100 products are in shortage, such as penicillin.

Bloomberg BNA (June 6, 2018) Baumann, Jeannie

FDA on Track to Approve as Many Generics as Last Year

Eight months into Fiscal 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration is on pace to approve about the same number of generic drugs as in fiscal 2017, having approved 496 abbreviated new drug applications and tentatively approving another 114 ANDAs through May.

Regulatory Focus (June 11, 2018) Mezher, Michael

Trending News

Few Adults Receive All Recommended Preventive Health Services

A study in Health Affairs showed only 8% of almost 2,800 surveyed US adults older than 35 were receiving all of the 15 highly recommended preventive services with the greatest potential for enhancing their health, including osteoporosis screening, blood pressure checks, vaccinations and tobacco use counseling.

Reuters (June 11, 2018) Lehman, Shereen

Many Common Drugs May Be Making People Depressed

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors, beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors, and anti-convulsant drugs. "The more of these medications you're taking, the more likely you are to report depression," says study author Mark Olfson.

National Public Radio (June 12, 2018) Aubrey, Allison

Medication Reconciliation Tied to Positive Health Outcomes in Diabetes

A new study shows that patients who had some or all of their diabetes medications reconciled had a reduced risk of emergency department care and hospitalizations over six months. "Individual performance feedback could help to achieve more comprehensive medication reconciliation," the study authors wrote.

Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (June 13, 2018)

Boosting Generic Competition Not Enough to Reduce Drug Prices, Study Finds

Allowing more generic drugs to enter the market by expediting the approval process is essential for reducing prescription drug prices, but boosting generic competition alone is not enough, according to a PwC study. Addressing the biologics and biosimilar market "will probably have the biggest influence on drug pricing over the next decade."

Modern Healthcare (June 12, 2018) Kacik, Alex

Millions of Kids on ADHD Meds Decide Their Treatment as Adults

Many U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD are debating whether to continue taking their medication as they enter into adulthood. Despite its effectiveness, as children age, they typically want to use the medication less and deal with their symptoms in other ways. Many only use medication when needed and regulate by tasks requiring more concentration.

CNN (June 6, 2018) Watson, Michelle

65% of Americans Can't List Dosage of Prescription Medications

A new national poll on disaster response and preparedness found that just 35% of respondents said they could list all of their prescription details if they had to evacuate quickly without any medications or medical supplies. Additionally, about 25% said they could go 2-3 days without access to their medications before they experienced a negative effect.

Becker's Hospital Review (June 11, 2018) Paavola, Alia

Study Suggests Pharmacists Could Help Treat UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common reasons people end up in the emergency room, but this could be prevented as pharmacists are allowed to treat the condition, according to a Canadian study. About 88.9% of patients who received care for a UTI from a pharmacist reported their symptoms were resolved at two-week follow-up.

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (June 7, 2018) Petz, Sarah

Lilly, AstraZeneca Ditch Trials of Alzheimer's Drug

Eli Lilly and Co. and AstraZeneca are the latest in a line of companies to abandon Alzheimer's drug trials. The company decided to end late-stage trials for lanabecestat, a beta secretase cleaving enzyme inhibitor, after an independent data-monitoring committee determined the trials were unlikely to meet their primary goals.

Reuters (June 12, 2018)

Testing Ebola Treatments Important, but Plagued with Challenges

The Ebola outbreak in the Congo may end without the available experimental drugs having been tested, given the way transmission appears to have slowed. Some experts watching the slow pace of studying Ebola drugs are beginning to wonder if, with the advent of Ebola vaccines, the window for doing this kind of research may be closing for good.

Stat (June 11, 2018) Branswell, Helen

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Texas Pharmacy Today
Editor: Brian Sparks, Division Director, Communications and Marketing
(512) 615-9140 • bsparks@texaspharmacy.org

Texas Pharmacy Association

Debbie Garza, R.Ph., Chief Executive Officer • (512) 615-9170

Disclaimer: Texas Pharmacy Today is a weekly e-newsletter for members of the Texas Pharmacy Association, 3200 Steck Avenue, Suite 370, Austin, TX 78757. According to Texas Government Code 305.027, portions of this material may be considered "legislative advertising." Authorization for its publication is made by Debbie Garza, CEO, Texas Pharmacy Association.
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