texaspharmacy.org  Friday, September 14, 2018 View Archive
Association News

DAPA Installs New Officers

DAPA 2018-2019 Officers
DAPA installed its 2018–2019 elected leaders at its September meeting.

The Dallas Area Pharmacy Association met September 6 at Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House in Dallas and installed its new elected leaders. DAPA Past-President Chris Dembny RPh, installed the following new officers and board members: Emery Johnson, President; Jeff Loesch, Vice-President; Kim Nguyen, Secretary; Shari McDaniel, Treasurer; Jayne Cornell, Past President; and Board Members Brian Cheng, Navid Sundrani, Melanie Smith, Ashley Chasse, Jamahla Murgerson, Jo Ah Lee, and Janet Bubis. The meeting was sponsored by Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and with a discussion topic of Advancing Pharmacist's Understanding of Rare Genetic Disorsers of Obesity Utilizing a Novel Approach in Therapeutics presented by DAPA Member Pam Sardo.

Save the Date: Pharmacy Day at the Capitol

Pharmacy Day at the Capitol: Feb. 26, 2019 

Your Participation is Powerful! Each legislative year, the Texas Pharmacy Association coordinates the Texas Pharmacy Day at the Capitol, where hundreds of pharmacy professionals come together to make their voices heard. It’s a chance to meet legislators, network, and contribute to promoting and advancing your profession. All Texas pharmacy organizations will be hosting the event.

Pharmacy Day at the Capitol will begin February 26, 2019 at 7 a.m. by hearing from legislators and reviewing talking points for key issues. Then pharmacy professionals will attend meetings with legislators and staff to educate them on the issues and how they affect pharmacy and patient outcomes. Stay tuned for more details and registration!

TPA Members Donate Hour per Month to PharmPAC

Is your profession worth an hour a month? For a growing number of TPA members, the answer is yes! PharmPAC launched it’s hour-a-month campaign this summer at the TPA Conference & Expo. Investing in your future has never been more important—and it’s never been easier! Invest one hour per month. Simply commit to a monthly contribution equal to approximately one hour’s wage:

  • Pharmacists: $60
  • Pharmacy Technicians: $15
  • Students: $10

Each month, we will recognize those pharmacy professionals who make a financial commitment to their profession in Texas Pharmacy Today. August 2018 members of the hour-a-month club are:

  • Asim Abu-Baker
  • Lucas Cannon
  • Mark Comfort
  • Theresa Day
  • Cassidy Heath
  • Mary Klein
  • Carolina Lestico
  • Linda McMahon
  • Charlotte Weller

In the State

HHSC Schedules Webinars about Medicaid, CHIP Managed Care

In accordance with Rider 60 and 61 from the 85th Legislative Session (2017), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) contracted with an external entity to conduct required studies and reports concerning Medicaid and CHIP managed care. Two webinars have been scheduled to provide an overview of the five reports. Stakeholders may submit questions in advance of the webinar through Sept. 19 to MedicaidManagedCare@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Rider Reports 61b, 61c and 61d: Prescription Drug Benefit Administration in Medicaid, CHIP, and Other Health-Related Services
Oct. 3, 2018 • 3:30–4:30 p.m. Register online.

Rider Reports 60 and 61a: Evaluation of Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care
Oct. 4, 2018 • 3–4 p.m. Register online.

Health Chairman Price Files to Run for Texas House Speaker

State Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, filed September 6 for speaker of the Texas House, making him the sixth Republican to enter an already crowded race to replace the retiring House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. Price, an attorney, is serving his fourth term in the House. He’s the chairman of the House Public Health, Health & Human Services Transition Oversight and Opioids and Substance Abuse Select Committees.

Texas Tribune (September 6, 2018) Samuels, Alex

Insurers Take Aim at Opioid Crisis by Not Covering OxyContin

Private insurers across the country and in Texas have entered the very public fight against opioid addiction, with some now outright denying coverage of OxyContin, the most notorious of drugs linked to the crisis. But the move has unleashed a clash of opinion over its wisdom. The worry is that those already addicted may simply turn to another prescription opioid or street drug. In May, Texas sued OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma contending that deceptive marketing helped fuel the opioid crisis.

Houston Chronicle (September 12, 2018) Deam, Jenny

National News

Pharmacy Groups Praise CMS' Rejection of Below-Cost Medicaid Dispensing Fees

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Washington State Pharmacy Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association all came out in support of a September 10 decision by CMS to reject Washington State’s below-cost and lowest-in-the-nation Medicaid pharmacy dispensing fees.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (September 11, 2018)

Senate Finalizes Opioids Legislation

The Senate's proposed Opioid Crisis Response Act would allow the Drug Enforcement Administration greater leeway to reduce manufacturing quotas for controlled substances, instruct HHS to issue regulations regarding remote prescribing of anti-addiction medicines and prevent the illegal importation of fentanyl through the mail.

Stat (September 12, 2018) Facher, Lev

House Bill Would Ban Restriction of Patient-Pharmacist Conversations

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's health subcommittee has passed a bill that would prohibit pharmacy contract clauses restricting pharmacist-patient conversations about drug prices. The measure now goes to the full committee for consideration.

Washington Examiner (September 7, 2018) King, Robert

FDA Chief Lambasts Executive over 400% Antibiotic Price Hike

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb excoriated Nostrum Pharmaceuticals President Nirmal Mulye for his company's decision to raise the price of the antibiotic treatment nitrofurantoin from around $500 to over $2,300 per bottle and for defending the decision by saying it is Nostrum's "moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price."

CNN (September 11, 2018) Drash, Wayne

Trump Health Chief Meets With GOP Lawmakers on Lowering Drug Prices

HHS Secretary Alex Azar last Thursday met with Republican lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss ways to lower drug prices. President Trump has railed against drug prices and his administration has rolled out a series of actions seeking to lower prices, though many say the moves have been relatively modest.

The Hill (September 6, 2018) Sullivan, Peter

FDA Approves New Dosage Strength of Sublingual Film as Treatment for Opioid Dependence

FDA approved last Friday buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film (Cassipa) for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. The approval provides a new dosage strength, 16 mg/4 mg, of buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual film. The product is also approved in both brand name and generic versions and in various strengths.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (September 7, 2018) Felberbaum, Michael

CDC Offers Guidance to Travelers as Influenza Season Nears

With the U.S. influenza season fast approaching and reports in the news about airline passengers with influenza, CDC is reminding people of its recommendation that everyone aged 6 months and older receive a seasonal influenza vaccine, preferably by the end of October.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (September 7, 2018)

FDA Announces New Steps to Ensure Quality of and Preserve Access to Compounded Drugs

FDA has issued a revised draft memorandum of understanding regarding certain distributions of compounded drug products between the agency and states. It addresses patient access concerns previously raised by stakeholders, while retaining critical safety provisions, and is an important step to increase collaboration with the states.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (September 7, 2018) Meyer, Lyndsay

Industry, Pharmacists Call for Changes to FDA Labeling Guidance

Pharmacists, drug companies, and other stakeholders want FDA to do more work on its new draft guidance governing the "Indications and Usage" section of product labels. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), for example, suggests that the regulator step up its surveillance of drugs or biologics with expanded or narrow indications.

Regulatory Focus (September 10, 2018) Mezher, Michael

Trending News

Analysis Shows Continued Increase in Insulin Prices

A GoodRx analysis showed that the price of insulin continued to increase from 2017 to 2018, with prices increasing by an average of 9%. The company looked at 22 brands of insulin and found that the price of traditional insulin is on average half that of modern insulin, while generic versions remain expensive.

Becker's Hospital Review (September 6, 2018) Paavola, Alia

Richard Sackler, Member of Clan Behind OxyContin, Has Patent for Opioid Treatment

A member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma — which is being sued by more than 1,000 jurisdictions for its alleged role in seeding the opioid crisis with its pain medication OxyContin — has been awarded a patent for a treatment for opioid use disorder.

Stat (September 7, 2018) Joseph, Andrew

In Debate over Safe Injection Sites, What Does Science Say?

As drug-related deaths rise to record numbers, at least a dozen U.S. cities are considering opening supervised injection sites, where people can use illicit drugs with trained staff present, ready to respond in case of an overdose. The future of such proposals in the U.S. is uncertain.

National Public Radio (September 7, 2018) Gordon, Elana

New Flu Drug Shows Strong Potential, but Clinical Trial Results Raise Concerns

A new, fast-acting flu drug showed strong potential but also some surprising and even concerning results in two newly published clinical trials. The drug, baloxavir marboxil, cut the time people were sick with flu symptoms by a little over a day. And it dramatically reduced the amount of viruses that people with infections had in their upper respiratory tracts.

Stat (September 10, 2018) Branswell, Helen

Nearly 30% of Opioid Prescriptions Lack Medical Explanation

How large a role do doctors play in the opioid crisis? Nearly 30% of all opioids prescribed in US clinics or doctors' offices lack a documented reason -- such as severe back pain -- to justify a script for these addictive drugs, new research finds. In total, opioids were prescribed in almost 809 million outpatient visits over a 10-year period.

CNN (September 10, 2018) Scutti, Susan

Many with Supposed Drug-Resistant Hypertension Aren't Taking Meds

Cases of drug-resistant hypertension (that remains even when a patient uses three or more blood pressure medications) appears to be on the rise, but for about one in five people with symptoms of the condition, they simply aren't taking their prescribed medications, according to research from the American Heart Association.

HealthDay (September 10, 2018)

Prescription Medications Account for 1 in 4 Dollars Spent by Commercial Health Plan

While the media often reports on the escalating price of individual prescription drugs, much less attention is given to overall national pharmaceutical spending—which may have more relevance for commercial payers. One study found that from 2011 to 2016, spending on pharmaceuticals rose from 20% to 25% of total spending on health care.

Health Affairs (August 24, 2018) Sherman, Michael

How EHR Use, Care Coordination Promote Safe Opioid Prescribing

An increasing number of hospitals and health systems connect to state prescription drug monitoring programs through electronic health record systems that can also help to promote safe opioid prescribing practices by streamlining communication between providers, care teams, and prescribers for better-informed clinical decision-making.

EHR Intelligence (August 20, 2018) Monica, Kate

The Secret Drug Pricing System Middlemen Use to Make Millions

In an analysis of pharmacy and PBM markups in Medicaid plans around the country, Bloomberg found big spreads on dozens of drugs, and evidence that the spreads are growing. For many widely used generic drugs, state insurance plans are collectively paying millions of dollars in fees to private companies.

Bloomberg (September 11, 2018) Langreth, Robert; Ingold, David; Gu, Jackie

Pharmacy Workforce Predicted to Grow Year-on-Year

A new report shows that the number of pharmacists worldwide has increased since 2006, but low-income countries saw the slowest growth. The report predicts the global pharmacy workforce will expand by up to 40% between 2016 and 2030. The study authors also estimate that by 2030, 72% of the total global pharmacy workforce will be women

International Pharmaceutical Federation (September 4, 2018)

The High Cost of Hope: When Parallel Interests of Pharma, Families Collide

Manufacturers selling precious, lifesaving medicines and patients share an uneasy alliance. They need each other but have clashing priorities, especially when it comes to drugs treating rare diseases.

Kaiser Health News (September 7, 2018) Kopp, Emily and Hancock, Jay

Vaccines Against HIV, Malaria, TB Unlikely, Study Says

Unless a great deal more money is invested in developing vaccines against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and a number of other infectious diseases, researchers say such products are unlikely to reach fruition. However, investigators calculate that as many as 125 new products are likely to be approved in the next 12 years.

New York Times (September 7, 2018) McNeil, Donald

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

Sharps Compliance

NCPA Annual Convention, Boston, Oct 6-10

Need Pharmacy Business Solutions?

The NCPA 2018 Annual Convention is where you’ll discover ideas, from enhanced services to business processes, to transform your pharmacy business. Come prepared to learn, grow, and discover new opportunities.

The NCPA 2018 Annual Convention in Boston is also packed with more than 30 sessions and programs designed to speed your evolution as a trusted health care provider and successful entrepreneur. It is the premier place to connect with innovators in community pharmacy. Register at http://www.ncpanet.org/meetings/annual-convention.

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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