texaspharmacy.org  Friday, November 15, 2019 View Archive



Association News

Pharmacy Supports Chairman Hancock at DFW Event

Eric Ho, Kelly Hancock, Jennifer Fix, Debbie Garza, Raj Chhadua
TPA Board Member Eric Ho, Senate Business and Commerce Committee Chair Kelly Hancock, Past President Jennifer Fix, CEO Debbie Garza, and President Raj Chhadua at Thursday's event.

Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee Chair Kelly Hancock was honored at a fundraiser Thursday evening in Colleyville, hosted by TPA member Kelly Selby. Texas Pharmacy Association President Raj Chhadua, Board Members Lisa Killam-Worrall and Eric Ho, CEO Debbie Garza, and other pharmacy professionals turned out to support the Chairman, whose committee passed payment for pharmacists' services and pharmacist provider status that became law in Texas along with comprehensive PBM reform legislation, although that legislation failed to receive a vote on the Senate floor. The Chairman heard firsthand from pharmacists about the challenges they face with PBMs and how our same desire to put the patient first aligns with his same interest.

Jim Hrncir, Raj Chhadua, Kelly Selby, Lisa Killam-Worrall
TPA Member Jim Hrncir, President Raj Chhadua, Member Kelly Selby, and Speaker Lisa Killam-Worrall attended Thursday's reception.

Texas Pharmacy Congress Meets in El Paso

Texas Pharmacy Congress meeting-November 2019

The Texas Pharmacy Congress, hosted for the first time by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) School of Pharmacy, met this week in West Texas. Texas Pharmacy Association President Raj Chhadua, President-Elect Michelle Beall, and CEO Debbie Garza attended the quarterly meeting, which comprises leaders from all nine Texas pharmacy schools as well as TPA, the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP), Texas Federation of Drug Stores (TFDS), and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP). The group discussed House Bill 3441 (payment for services) and House Bill 1757 (provider status) passed earlier this year by the Texas Legislature, reviewed the National Academy of Medicine Report on Clinical Burnout, received updates from each organization, and revisited the group's visioning process with an eye on the 2021 legislative session. Read the full reports from the Texas Pharmacy Congress online.

TSHP and TPA leaders at Texas Pharmacy Congress
Texas Pharmacy Congress meeting in El Paso
TSHP President Steven Knight and Executive Director Stacey Mather with TPA CEO Debbie Garza, President-Elect Michelle Beall, and President Raj Chhadua. TPA President Raj Chhadua (third from left) and other Texas Pharmacy Congress members tour UTEP's Lhakhang Centennial Museum.

TPA Promotes Membership, Advocacy Among Students

Earlier this month, Dallas hosted one of eight American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) Midyear Regional Meetings. The student-led events are designed as an opportunity to network with other students from the region, attend informational and leadership development sessions, run for regional office, and more. Former TPA Student Chair Mary Young spoke and said she was impressed with the turnout. “The students seemed to be very interested in getting involved, but do not know where to start,” Young said. “I advised to start somewhere, and for me that was through TPA.” Speaker of the House Lisa Killam-Worrall visited with students at the Association’s booth. “I encouraged all students in Texas to continue to be TPA members after graduation, and those from out of state to join if they practice here,” she said.

PRN Speaks to UIW Pharmacy Students

PRN speaks to UIW pharmacy students.
Eden Males explains to UIW pharmacy students how the Professional Recovery Network helps pharmacists in recovery.

Eden Males, LCSW, director of the Professional Recovery Network (PRN), spoke to students at the University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy November 12. Males discussed the signs and symptoms of addiction and mental health issues, the accountability and support PRN has to offer for those struggling, and the advocacy PRN can offer with licensing board and other regulatory agencies. A pharmacist in the PRN program volunteered to share with the students her journey of recovery from addiction and the role PRN played in her long-term sobriety. “We really appreciate UIW’s continued desire to have PRN talk to their P1 pharmacy students,” Males said. If you or a colleague are in need of PRN's services, you may make a referral by calling PRN's confidential hotline at (800) 727-5152.

UT Professor Hill Promotes Naloxone Access at White House Meeting

Pharmacist Lucas Hill, a TPA member and professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, spoke Wednesday at the White House when the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Surgeon General Jerome Adams brought together college presidents and representatives from higher education associations to discuss ways to prevent overdoses on campuses and plans to develop a toolkit to protect students. “It was an honor to represent UT Austin and pharmacists at the White House today,” Hill wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday. “Universities must lead by example and implement proactive opioid overdose prevention programs that expand naloxone access!”

Lucas Hill speaks as part of ONDCP panel at White House
Hill presents Surgeon General Jerome Adams with a Naloxone Saves Lives pin
ONDCP’s Kemp Chester speaks with Lucas Hill and others about responding to overdoses on college campuses. Hill presents Surgeon General Jerome Adams with a Naloxone Saves Lives pin.

Texas Leads Way in Online Narcan Sales, Other States Following Suit

Mandy Renfro discusses Naloxone on Spectrum News
Student Pharmacist Mandy Renfro discusses the online availability of naloxone.

Other states are looking to Texas and its online access to a drug that reverses opioid overdoses. Last May, Texas became the first state to allow for the online sale of the reversal drug Naloxone, and other states are following suit. “Texas and our State Board of Pharmacy has been overwhelmingly supportive of getting patients in need access to Narcan or other forms of naloxone,” said TPA Member Mandy Renfro, a University of Texas pharmacy student.

Spectrum News (November 11, 2019) Gisi, Kathryn

McKinney Park Honors Past President Webb

George Webb Park
TPA Past President George Webb at the McKinney park named in his honor.

The McKinney Parks and Recreation Department recently opened George Webb Park, named to honor longtime area pharmacist George Webb. The park’s landscape plan is an ode to Webb, with herbs such as scarlet bee balm, rosemary, and sage. “The herbs are planted and labeled all around the park so the children can recognize them,” Webb said. Webb served as president of the Texas Pharmacy Association in 1970. He was also a member of the McKinney Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and was instrumental in establishing the city’s first recreation center.

McKinney Courier-Gazette (October 20, 2019)

In the State

VDP Clinical Prior Authorization Assistance Chart Now Available

The quarterly update to the Texas Vendor Drug Program’s Clinical Prior Authorization Assistance Chart is now available. All managed care organizations (MCOs) are required to perform certain clinical prior authorizations. Usage of other clinical prior authorizations will vary between MCOs. Each clinical prior authorization has a criteria guide that describes how authorization requests are evaluated.

Texas Health and Human Services (November 8, 2019) Vendor Drug Program

Four Texas Metro Areas Among Top Ten in Walgreens Flu Index

For the week ending November 9, four Texas metropolitan areas rank high on the Walgreens Flu Index. Texas remains third among states in overall flu activity, but the Waco-Temple-Bryan area ranked second among cities nationally. Other Texas areas in the top 10 included Tyler-Longview, Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, and Houston.

Walgreens (November 9, 2019)

National News

USP Issues FAQs on Compounding Appeals

USP has posted answers to frequently asked questions related to compounding appeals to clarify enforcement of Chapters <797>, <797>, <800>, and <825>. USP says that <800> will become official on December 1, but <797>, <797>, and <825> are being postponed until further notice due to pending appeals.

United States Pharmacopeia (November 8, 2019)

CDC: Drug Pipeline to Fight Antibiotic Resistance Running Low

The CDC published a major new report about antibiotic resistant germs Wednesday and now estimates more than 2.8 million infections that resist treatment and 35,000 deaths a year in the U.S. from this problem. The agency warns that several common bacteria, including the one that causes gonorrhea, are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (November 13, 2019)

Trump Officials Making Changes to Signature Drug Pricing Proposal, Azar Says

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Wednesday said the Trump administration is changing one of its main proposals to lower drug prices because President Trump wants to go further. Trump wants the International Pricing Index proposal changed so that prices in the United States are even lower than they are in other countries.

The Hill (November 13, 2019) Sullivan, Peter

ACP Addresses High Cost of Prescription Drugs

Two new policy papers from the American College of Physicians (ACP) encourage changes that would mitigate increasing prescription drug costs. The papers include recommendations to increase transparency in industry and government, examine the role of the PBM, and explore issues in public health plans that create obstacles to care.

Medicalxpress (November 12, 2019) American College of Physicians

DEA Launches SORS as Vehicle to Report Suspicious Drug Orders

DEA has launched the Suspicious Orders Report System Online, a centralized database for DEA-registered distributors to report suspicious orders. That may include, but is not limited to, an order of a controlled substance of unusual size, deviating substantially from a normal pattern, or of unusual frequency under the law.

Drug Enforcement Administration (October 23, 2019)

FDA Approves Flu Vaccine for Older Adults

The FDA is approving a new supplemental Biologics License Application for Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, the first and only influenza vaccine for adults at least 65 years old. It was first approved in 2009 as a trivalent influenza vaccine that included a pair of influenza A strains and a B strain. The new version contains an additional influenza B strain.

MD Magazine (November 4, 2019) Walter, Kenny

Vaping Illnesses Linked to Vitamin E Acetate, CDC Says

CDC reported the discovery of a "very strong culprit" in the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries. Samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients, including two who died, "provided evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury." The findings are broadly applicable and unlikely to have resulted from a single vaping product or supplier.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (November 8, 2019) Blount, Benjamin

DEA Suing Colorado's Pharmacy Board as Part of Opioid Investigation

DEA has sued the State Board of Pharmacy in Colorado, demanding it share information from a database that tracks opioid prescriptions and setting up a clash over patient privacy amid the nation's overdose epidemic. The requested information is part of an investigation into whether two unnamed pharmacies broke the law in dispensing opioids.

Colorado Sun (November 11, 2019) Ingold, John

Pharmacists for Healthier Lives Provides Pharmacists' Perspective on Drug Pricing, Access

New videos aim to show consumers how pharmacists can enhance patient access to medications. The "Drug Pricing & Access" video series launched on Facebook and Instagram by Pharmacists for Healthier Lives will feature a diverse group of pharmacists who share their expertise and advice for patients to receive the right medications affordably.

Chain Drug Review (November 7, 2019)

Trending News

Independents Offering More Services than Ever Before

Results of NCPA’s 2019 Digest suggest independent pharmacies are offering more services than ever before despite their continued decline. Independent pharmacy represented 35% of all retail pharmacies in the US. Independent pharmacies are providing a variety of extra services. Around 91% of community pharmacies are offering some type of medication adherence program.

Drug Topics (November 8, 2019) Blank, Christine

Survey: Nearly 23% of Americans Can't Afford Prescribed Drugs

More than 1 in 5 Americans responding to a poll said there had been a time in the last 12 months when they or someone in their household could not afford a drug prescribed to them, according to Gallup, and more than 13% said a friend or family member had died in the last five years after being unable to pay for treatment.

The Hill (November 12, 2019) Sullivan, Peter

Flu Shot May Aid in Heart Bypass Recovery

Receiving the flu shot before heart bypass surgery may lead to a healthier recovery, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions. The study found that people who received the flu shot before surgery had lower levels of two chemicals that promote inflammation compared to those who received a placebo.

American Heart Association (November 11, 2019)

Another Reason to Take Blood Pressure Drugs: Lower Dementia Risk

The benefits of reducing blood pressure to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease are well known, but the role of blood pressure control in dementia has been less certain. Pooled data from six large studies suggests that medicines to control blood pressure in middle age may lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

New York Times (November 12, 2019) Bakalar, Nicholas

Study Finds Low Rate of Flu Vaccination among US Youths

Researchers reviewed 2010 to 2017 flu season data from the CDC and found that fewer than two-thirds of children ages 6 months to 17 years were vaccinated annually. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that vaccination rates were not affected by vaccine effectiveness or severity of prior or current influenza seasons.

United Press International (November 11, 2019) Dunleavy, Brian

Opioids: The Pharmacist’s Role

As the opioid crisis rages on, pharmacists face a number of challenges: how do you keep potentially dangerous medications from those who abuse them while not making things overly difficult for the chronic pain patients who rely on them—all while maintaining a busy pharmacy? Counseling is important, but difficult to do when there’s a massive backlog of unfilled orders.

Drug Topics (November 5, 2019) Hamm, Nicholas

Interprofessional Education Programs Focus on Pharmacists as Patient Care Providers

As pharmacy practice evolves and the role of pharmacists continues to expand, the notion of working alongside other health care professionals to provide patient services is becoming more widely accepted as key to a pharmacist’s job. Pharmacy students are on the forefront of interprofessional collaboration, as they learn to recognize the value in partnering with nonpharmacy disciplines.

Pharmacy Times (November 2019) Coppock, Kristen

Omega-3s Show Little or No Benefit for Depression or Anxiety

Some studies, and many ads, suggest that omega-3 supplements are helpful for improving mental health. But a systematic review of research has found the supplements are probably ineffective in treating or preventing depression and anxiety. Neither length of treatment nor size of dosage demonstrated effectiveness.

New York Times (November 12, 2019) Dixon, Keith

Cholesterol Levels Dropping in US, But Many Still Need Care

Americans' cholesterol levels are dropping, and more people at especially high risk are getting treatment. Researchers say Monday's report suggests a controversial change in recommendations for cholesterol treatment may be starting to pay off. "It is very heartening," said the study's leader. "But there is more to do."

Associated Press (November 11, 2019) Neergaard, Lauran

Chronic Pain Eased With Meditation, Lower Doses of Opioids

There's new evidence that mind-body interventions can help reduce pain in people who've been taking prescription opioids — and lead to reductions in the drug's dose. Researchers reviewed evidence from 60 studies and evaluated a range of strategies, including meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy.

National Public Radio (November 11, 2019) Aubrey, Allison

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Free Monthly Member CE: Medicaid Pharmacy Update 2019

Texas Pharmacy Today
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Texas Pharmacy Association

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

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