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Association News

Time Is Running Out! Don’t Miss Hotel Deadline for 2019 TPA Conference & Expo

2019 TPA Conference & Expo

You know you want to come to the 2019 TPA Conference & Expo. So, if you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for? The hotel registration deadline is next Wednesday, July 17. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay at the brand new Westin Irving at Las Colinas!

Block off your schedule and register today for a weekend of pharmacy education and fun. Learn how TPA is elevating the profession through aggressive legislative efforts and how your peers are advancing the practice of pharmacy with innovative services and business strategies. As always, we'll offer the opportunity to earn 17+ hours of continuing education credit, as well as a variety of activities.

Register today!


Register Today for Pre-Conference Mental Health First Aid Course

Mental Health First AidOne in five U.S. adults live with mental illness, and young adults experience the highest prevalence. More than 80 percent of Texas counties—many of them rural—are designated as Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas, That's one reason why pharmacists and pharmacy team members are more likely to need to respond to a mental health episode than to a situation requiring basic life support or CPR. This 8-hour, in-person program is designed to train you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The course uses actual cases written specifically for pharmacy audiences. NCPA has accredited the Adult Mental Health First Aid program for 8.0 contact hours (0.8 CEUs) of pharmacist/pharmacy technician continuing education.

This course is offered Wednesday, August 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center, just before the 2019 TPA Conference & Expo. Space is limited to 25 participants, so register today!

WANTED: Your TPF Silent Auction Baskets

Elevate Your Shopping: TPF Silent Auction

The 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 so that conference attendees can elevate their shopping! (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, July 19. Contact Lisa Goerlitz for more information. As for everyone else: Don’t forget to elevate your shopping by stopping by the Silent Auction during the Expo to bid on items for yourself or to give as gifts!


TPA Welcomes New Staff Member

Joelene Hemphill, CPAJoelene Hemphill, CPA, joined the Texas Pharmacy Association this week as Division Director, Accounting and Administration. Joelene has a bachelor’s degree in English and Speech Communication from Texas A&M University and went back to school in 2007 to pursue her CPA. She has worked in various industries including government, technology, property management, travel and health insurance. Her varied background brings new perspectives that we believe will provide many benefits to the Association in the coming months. Meet her next month at the 2019 TPA Conference & Expo in Irving!


In the State

‘There’s Nothing to Give Them’: The Hunt for Lifesaving Epipens

A persistent shortage of Mylan NV’s EpiPen anti-allergy injectors is forcing patients and pharmacists to go to great lengths to get their hands on the lifesaving device. Pharmacists say that nailing down when they can get more EpiPens has been difficult. TPA Member Carter High, owner of Best Value Rhome Pharmacy in Texas, said his wholesaler has pushed back the date when more injectors would be available several times. “As a parent, I look at that and think, God I wish I could help them,” High said. “I can’t. There’s nothing to give them because I just can’t get it.”

Bloomberg (July 10, 2019) Ward, Myah


New On-Demand Pharmacy Takes Hassle Out of Filling Prescriptions

Scripx announced it is taking the hassle out of filling prescriptions for clients. The company has recently been inspected by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy and has been given the official nod to begin offering its services to clients in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. Instead of patients taking time to visit a traditional brick-and-mortar store, the company provides on-demand delivery of medication through the use of an innovative and easy-to-use mobile app.

EIN Newsdesk (July 8, 2019) Eaton, Jon


Tobacco Free Amarillo Kicks Off New Campaign

Encouraging the community to quit is why Tobacco Free Amarillo has started the "Quit and Stay Quit Monday" campaign. “Smoking a lot of times is around 15-20% depending on where we are,” said Shanna James, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. “Amarillo, especially in Potter county is on the higher end. It’s actually one of the higher percentages in the state of Texas.” Pharmacist Rachel Basinger, a local tobacco treatment specialist, said that it can take between eight to 11 tries to quit the habit.

KVII-TV (July 10, 2019) Lester, Tiffany


National News

Administration Backs Away from Drug Rebate Rule

The Trump administration is withdrawing a proposal to overhaul drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid as part of efforts to lower prescription drug costs after "careful analysis and thorough consideration." One Republican senator blasted the decision as a gift for the pharmacy benefit managers that had lobbied heavily against the proposed rule.

Politico (July 11, 2019) Diamond, Dan and Cancryn, Adam


Trump Promises Order Aimed at Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Trump says his administration will announce a “favored-nations clause,” where the amount paid by the government for a particular drug would not exceed the lowest amount paid by other nations or companies. Prices in other countries are often lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers.

Associated Press (July 5, 2019)


Lawmakers Grow Impatient for FDA Cannabis Rules

Congressional lawmakers are growing impatient with FDA as the agency works to draft rules to regulate cannabis-based products. The use of hemp-based CBD products was legalized late last year in the farm bill, sending the agency scrambling to figure out new rules around regulating a unique product that is both a drug and a dietary supplement.

The Hill (July 6, 2019) Weixel, Nathaniel


Fast-Track Drug Approval, Designed for Emergencies, Now Routine

Most drugs for critical illnesses are released faster than ever through federal programs expediting their approval. FDA approved a record 43 new drugs in 2018 through fast-track programs that skip or shorten major steps other drugs must pass, or 73% of total new drugs. The programs clear drugs for patients that FDA considers to be in high need.

Wall Street Journal (July 5, 2019) Loftus, Peter


Judge Strikes Down Rule Requiring Drug Ads to Reveal Prices

The narrow ruling by a U.S. district judge on Tuesday struck down a requirement that was set to go into effect within hours. Drugmakers had argued that requiring them to disclose list prices amounted to coercion that would violate their free speech rights. The judge said the administration failed to show it had legal authority to require price disclosure.

Associated Press (July 8, 2019) Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo


FDA to Accelerate Review of Generic Opioid Overdose Drugs

The FDA announced Monday that it will be expediting review of all abbreviated new drug applications of medications indicated for emergency opioid overdose treatment. The move follows the agency's approval of the first generic version of naloxone nasal spray in April.

Regulatory Focus (July 8, 2019) Brennan, Zachary


Republican-Appointed Judges Appear to Side With Texas Challenge to Obamacare

If the challenge to the Affordable Care Act is upheld, it would do what Trump and a GOP-led Congress failed to accomplish in 2017: take down Obamacare. While Trump has repeatedly said people with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, would be covered even if the law is struck down, he's not issued any specific plans to do so.

CNN (July 9, 2019) Luhby, Tami; Berman, Dan; and Biskupic, Joan


Pharmacists for Healthier Lives Issues Statement on Vaccinations

Pharmacists for Healthier Lives is encouraging every eligible person to receive vaccinations to protect themselves and their communities from diseases such as measles. "The recent rise in reported cases of measles in the US has once again cast a spotlight on the importance of vaccinations to maintain a healthy population," said the coalition of pharmacy organizations.

Chain Drug Review (July 8, 2019)


Medicare Going in ‘Right Direction’ on Opioid Epidemic

Prescriptions for two drugs used to treat opioid addiction increased significantly from 2016 to 2018 for people on Medicare, according to a federal report. About 174,000 Medicare beneficiaries received either buprenorphine or naltrexone to help them with recovery in 2018, according to the HHS Office of Inspector General.

Kaiser Health News (July 10, 2019) Bebinger, Martha


Trending News

How Hospitals Can Accommodate Pharmacy's Expanding Role

As hospitals undergo a shift to a pay-for-performance reimbursement model, there is a need for expanded pharmacy services to prevent 30-day readmissions. Hospital pharmacists are taking on an expanded role, performing crucial patient discharge counseling, medication reconciliation, drug cost management and technology implementations.

Becker's Hospital Review (July 1, 2019) Paavola, Alia


A Peek into Opioid Users' Brains as They Try to Quit

Government scientists are starting to peek into the brains of people caught in the nation's opioid epidemic, to see if medicines proven to treat addiction, like methadone, do more than ease the cravings and withdrawal. Do they also heal a brain damaged by addiction? And which one works best for which patient?

Associated Press (July 9, 2019) Neergaard, Lauran


Pharmacist Role Helps Reduce Cost of Hospice Medications

Pharmacists are crucial to avoiding and controlling hospices' medication costs. Leveraging the expertise of pharmacists through consultation on medication management can help with cost avoidance by ensuring an appropriate amount of medication is dispensed and preventing any duplicate or unnecessary medications.

Hospice News (July 7, 2019) Parker, Jim


Study: Gabapentin Prescriptions Tripled from 2012 to 2015

A study reports a threefold increase in gabapentin prescriptions between 2002 and 2015, and researchers found that payments from drug companies influenced prescribing. Researchers concluded that doctors who received payments from drug companies were more likely to prescribe more expensive brand name versions of gabapentin vs. a generic.

Medical Xpress (July 8, 2019) University of Connecticut


Health Care Providers Slow to Adopt Drug Pricing Tools

Insurers are offering drug pricing tools embedded in EHRs that give prescribers and patients access to accurate drug prices and copayments based on the insurance plan and dispensing pharmacy. Some tools also enable prescribers to find less-expensive alternatives and initiate preauthorization processes, but relatively few have adopted the tools.

National Public Radio (July 5, 2019) Galewitz, Phil


Sandoz Distributing Emergency Allergy Shots to US Pharmacies

Novartis unit Sandoz will make Adamis Pharmaceuticals' Symjepi emergency epinephrine auto-injectors available immediately in US pharmacies amid a shortage of Mylan's rival EpiPen that has dragged on due to manufacturing problems.

Reuters (July 9, 2019) Babu, Aakash Jagadeesh and Mathias, Tamara


Supplements Probably Aren't Helping Your Heart, Research Suggests

The findings were unsurprising, said Susan Jebb, a professor of diet and population health at Oxford. "Except to prevent or correct specific deficiencies" such as low vitamin D levels, or in specific circumstances such as pregnancy, "there is generally good agreement that dietary supplements should not be recommended to the general population."

CNN (July 8, 2019) Azad, Arman


Researchers Have Eliminated HIV in Mice for the First Time

A combination of gene-editing technology and a slow-release antiviral drug was able to eliminate HIV from the DNA of infected mice, according to a new report. "The possibility exists that HIV can be cured," said the study’s author. Researchers used a form of antiretroviral therapy (ART), known as LASER ART, on nearly two dozen mice.

USA Today (July 3, 2019) Yancey-Bragg, N'dea


Reflux Drugs Tied to Bone Fractures in Children

Infants are sometimes treated for gastroesophageal reflux with acid-suppressing medicines, but a new study suggests that they may increase the risk for bone fracture later in childhood. Researchers studied records of more than 850,000 children up to 14 years old. About 97,000 had received acid suppression medicines in their first year of life.

New York Times (July 5, 2019) Bakalar, Nicholas


Coprescribing Laws Linked to Increase in Naloxone Prescriptions

States requiring community pharmacies to adhere to naloxone coprescription laws for individuals at risk of abusing opioids were found to dispense nearly eight times more naloxone compared with states without coprescribing laws. The number of naloxone prescriptions filled was closely linked to laws requiring coprescription.

Reuters Health (June 29, 2019) Harding, Anne


Chemical in Soaps, Hand Sanitizers Tied to Osteoporosis

New research finds that women exposed to triclosan, an antimicrobial agent found in soaps and hand sanitizers, may have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than women who were not exposed. Triclosan exposure could affect thyroid hormones and estrogen, interrupting normal skeletal development and bone maintenance as women age.

Reuters (June 26, 2019) Rapaport, Lisa


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Texas Pharmacy Today
Editor: Brian Sparks, Division Director, Communications and Marketing
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