Tom Davis of CVS Health
PHARMACY

Naloxone access, community efforts work to curb opioid abuse

BY David Salazar

Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 people dying in 2014 as a result of lethal drug overdoses — 18,893 of which were related to prescription pain relievers. The epidemic has drawn the attention of everyone from President Barack Obama to local first responders, all of whom have pointed to the drug naloxone as one of the critical first lines of defense in saving the lives of thousands from accidental overdose. Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose, but until recently it could only be accessed by prescription.

(To download Special Report: Double Down on Health, click here.)

To make naloxone more accessible, CVS Health has utilized prescriptive authority or established standing orders or collaborative practice agreements with physicians in 36 states in the past year, which enable CVS pharmacists to dispense the drug to patients without a prescription. Most recently, the company announced Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia began dispensing naloxone without a prescription in September.

“CVS Health is dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent drug abuse,” CVS Health VP pharmacy professional practices Tom Davis told Drug Store News. “We believe expanding access to naloxone, a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdose, will save lives and give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery.”

Recognizing that cost can be the biggest factor for some patients — with some versions of the drug having seen a 17-fold increase in price in recent years — CVS Health also is working to make easy-to-use versions of naloxone more affordable. The company recently entered a partnership with Adapt Pharma, which makes Narcan Nasal Spray, to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for patients without insurance that get the nasal spray.

“Having a ready-to-use dose of naloxone in a nasal spray device makes administration of this life-saving medication quick and easy for friends and families of loved ones struggling with addiction in an emergency overdose situation,” Davis said. “Through this partnership, CVS Pharmacy patients purchasing Narcan Nasal Spray without insurance will receive a $35 discount coupon to purchase the medication, reducing the out-of-pocket cost by nearly 25%.”

Besides its efforts to improve naloxone access, CVS Health also is placing a focus on prevention of prescription drug abuse that could lead to overdoses — including online resources and safe disposal centers. The company recently added clinical information and resources about prescription drug abuse prevention to CVS.com, and it has launched the Pharmacists Teach program, through which CVS pharmacists visit high school health classes to talk about the dangers of drug abuse. Pharmacists Teach has reached more than 100,000 students so far, and CVS Health has decided to continue the program for another year.

The company also has collaborated with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids to operate the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities program, donating more than 600 drug disposal units to police departments nationwide. To date, the program has removed more than 46 metric tons of unwanted medication from homes across the country. In addition to its addiction resources and community outreach, the CVS Health Foundation in September announced a partnership with DoSomething.org to launch a peer-to-peer addiction and intervention program. The text message campaign will offer information about prescription drug safety and offer tips on confronting peers about abuse.

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NCPA honors pharmacy leaders, students with awards at Annual Convention

BY David Salazar
NEW ORLEANS — As the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2016 Annual Convention continues here, the organization has honored various leaders in pharmacy, as well as pharmacy students with awards. On the heels of announcing the winners of the 2016 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year and the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, the NCPA has announced six awards given out at the Annual Convention. 
 
The awards honor pharmacists for leadership in adherence, lifetime achievement, and their commitment to education, as well as standout NCPA student chapters and members. 
 
NCPA recognized Springfield, Mo.-based pharmacist and Integrity Pharmacy president Joshua Jones with the Mirixa-sponsored 2016 NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award for his work enhancing medication adherence among the home care population. Integrity Pharmacy uses an enhanced medication synchronization model, working to improve adherence among the homebound population through a customized medication management system. The company provides patients with individualized monthly packets, CAREpacks, with each day’s medication separated. The company has grown to have 44 employees and serve patients throughout Missouri in the last eight years. 
 
"[Jones’] groundbreaking efforts to help seniors maximize their medication regimens makes him a very deserving recipient of this year's NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award,” NCPA president Brad Arthur said. "With an estimated $290 billion wasted annually on the improper use of medications in the United States, there is a pressing need to find better approaches to drive adherence. Jones' laser-like focus on medication synchronization and reconciliation in home care is making a real difference that only grows with each passing year."
 
In addition to NCPA honoring Jones, the NCPA Foundation awarded its NARD Ownership Award to former independent pharmacy owner and current lawyer James Schiffer. The award is now in its fifth year and recognizes an independent pharmacist who shows demonstrates excellence in community pharmacy ownership, and carries the original name for NCPA, which was founded in 1898 as the National Association of Retail Druggists (NARD). Schiffer is a certified immunizer in New Jersey and New York, and he works as a fill-in pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Bayonne, N.J. He owned Jim & Phil’s Family Pharmacy, which he opened with his partner Phil Gatti in 1979, in Brooklyn until 2007. 
 
"James Schiffer started his pharmacy career at the age of 14 as a delivery boy and now, more than 50 years later, continues to support the industry through his law practice," NCPA Foundation president Charles West said “Over the course of his career, James owned an independent pharmacy in Brooklyn, N.Y., has served as an adjunct professor at Long Island University's Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences since 1987, and through his law practice focuses on health care issues, predominantly for pharmacists and pharmacies. His distinguished career exemplifies the spirit of this award and we are proud to recognize James as this year's recipient of the NARD Ownership Award.”
 
 
The NCPA Foundation also recognized excellence in teaching, naming James Sajbel its 2016 National Preceptor of the Year, which honors a pharmacist with significant contributions to pharmacy student education through their work as a preceptor. Sajbel owns the Prescription Shop in Pueblo, Colo., and has taught diabetes education to students at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for 25 years. 
 
His students are given hands-on experience with patients that have diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension and high cholesterol, and they educate patients about proper exercise and nutrition, as well as monitoring of blood glucose, A1C levels and cholesterol. Sajbel also works on the board of Ex Plus Pharmacies, a member-owned cooperative buying group with a program that encourages pharmacy ownership among younger pharmacists through a junior partnership. 
 
“Even though he could have retired a long time ago, James Sajbel says he continues to serve patients and give pharmacy students hands-on learning experiences in his pharmacy because he loves what he does,” West said. “ It is that unparalleled dedication to his community and his passion for mentoring students that make James truly deserving of this honor.”
 
Like Sajbel, Sharlea Leatherwood has shown leadership and a passion for community pharmacy, and was recognized for her work leading the NCPA and NCPA Foundation with the McKesson-sponsored 2016 John W. Gargavel Medal on Monday. The award is named for the NARD’s (now NCPA) executive secretary, who served from 1933 to 1961, and is given to those who embody his spirit of leadership and accomplishment. 
 
Leatherwood became NCPA’s first female board officer in 1992, then became the first female NCPA president in 2003, founding disease state management education program the National Institute for Pharmacist Care Outcomes during her term. She was a trustee of the NCPA Foundation following her time leading NCPA, eventually becoming the foundation’s president — a role she held for eight years. 
 
“Having worked with Sharlea to advance community pharmacy for many years on the board of the NCPA Foundation, I am proud to present this honor to a friend and colleague who exemplifies what it means to be a leader in our profession,” West said. “Sharlea has always been a forward-thinker, and her advocacy work over the years helped inspire a new vision for what the pharmacy profession is capable of when it comes to helping patients achieve better health outcomes. NCPA, the NCPA Foundation, and community pharmacy are stronger today because of Sharlea's visionary leadership.”
 
NCPA also recognized the career work of Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma (PPOk) CEO Lonny Wilson, who received the Calvin J. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Convention. Anthony’s career — which began when he received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1973 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University — has seen him begin as an independent pharmacy owner and grow to include work on various pharmacy organizational boards, including a five-year stint at NCPA’s EVP. 
 
Since 1989 Wilson has been the CEO of PPOk, a company used by more than 3,400 pharmacies in 48 states for some portion of its services, which include RxSelect third-party services, central payment, claims reconciliation, RXLinc claims transmission, contract compliance monitoring, MAC evaluations, RXProtect audit services and buying group programs. He served as NCPA’s president from October 2011 to October 2012 and has been on or led NCPA committees for the past 20 years. He was the Mirixa chairman from 2009 to 2012, and he is on the SureScripts Pharmacy Advisory Council. 
 
"Lonny Wilson has been leading the charge for independent community pharmacies and the patients they serve for decades, which is why we are proud to honor him with the NCPA 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award," NCPA’s Arthur said. “His leadership with PPOk has been exemplary and helped allow independent community pharmacies to compete in a challenging marketplace. NCPA and Mirixa have also counted on his leadership over the years.”
 
 
And as it honored longtime pharmacy veterans, the NCPA Foundation also took the time at the NCPA Annual Convention to recognize standout pharmacy students, naming the Iowa College of Pharmacy’s NCPA chapter, advised by Stevie Veach, as the 2016 NCPA Student Chapter of the Year. The chapter at Western University of Health Sciences (advised by Dr. Ligaya Sanchez Chan) won the Most Improved Award; Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy won the Legislative Advocacy Challenge; the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy won the Community Health Challenge; and University of Houston college of Pharmacy wont he Simplify My Meds Challenge. Joseph William Ferullo was named the Faculty Liaison winner. 
 
“Many pharmacy school students, infused with the entrepreneurial spirit, are positioning themselves to be successful independent community pharmacy owners in the future through their participation with NCPA Student Chapters,” West said. “The NCPA Foundation enjoys working with all 107 Student Chapters and to recognize and encourage their efforts we present seven awards to the year's best performances.”
 
The NCPA Foundation also named 21 students as NCPA Outstanding Student Chapter Members of the Year. The winners were: 
 
  • Jenna Brandhorst, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
  • Courtney Cain, University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Pharmacy
  • Kaylee Cerminara, Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Morgan Fordham, South University School of Pharmacy
  • Kelsie Harris, West Virginia University School of Pharmacy
  • Priyana Kumar, University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy
  • Katrina Kutter, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Prashant Lukhi, Harding University College of Pharmacy
  • Derek Matlock, Washington State University College of Pharmacy
  • Veronica Mendez, Shenandoah University
  • Sara Mirzaei, Regis University School of Pharmacy
  • Hollie Resseguie, University of Kansas
  • Christopher Robinson, Harrison School of Pharmacy Auburn University
  • Jessica Robinson, East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy
  • Adam Schulte, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
  • Kaitav Shah, Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy
  • Tyler Siefring, Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy
  • Vivian Tahmasbi, MCPHS
  • Ally Thrall, University of Houston
  • Lily Van, University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy
  • Ryan Wheeler, Campbell College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
“Within the ranks of NCPA Student Chapters is a group of special individuals who show commitment, aptitude and leadership skills that make them stand out above the rest of their hard-working peers,” West said. "That is why the NCPA Foundation is proud to honor 21 pharmacy students as the outstanding members of their respective student chapters. We are dedicated to ensuring the pool of independent community pharmacy owners is as deep as possible for years to come. Each of these winners shows the type of promise that both reassures and inspires me.”

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Iowa pharmacist, UT Austin students take home NCPA awards

BY David Salazar
NEW ORLEANS — At the National Community Pharmacist Association’s 2016 Annual Convention, the organization gave out two of its biggest awards, naming Randy McDonough year’s Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year and giving the top honor from the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition to a team from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. 
 
McDonough received his award, which is sponsored by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, during the First General Session at the Annual Convention. McDonough, a Health Mart pharmacist, co-owns Iowa City, Iowa’s Towncrest Pharmacy and Towncrest Compounding, as well as Solon, Iowa’s Solon Towncrest Pharmacy. He is also the founder and co-owner of Innovative Pharmacy Solutions, a clinical documentation software company that enables community pharmacies to expand their scope of practice efficiently. 
 
“Randy McDonough is a very deserving recipient of the prestigious Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year award for 2016,” NCPA president Brad Arthur said. “He is a huge proponent of ensuring that the transformation in the delivery of health care makes room for pharmacies in those efforts to help patients maximize their health outcomes and ultimately reduce costs. He is a visionary who practices what he preaches.” 
 
McDonough oversees the development, implementation and quality assurance for the clinical services at his pharmacies, among them medication therapy management (MTM), nursing home consultations, wellness screenings, immunizations and adherence service. He is a board-certified geriatrics and as a pharmacotherapy specialist. He is also a member of the NCPA, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Iowa Pharmacists Association. 
 
McDonough wasn’t the only person who left the NCPA Annual Convention with an award, as the winners of the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition were announced on Oct. 15 following a live competition. 
 
The winning team, from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, included Heather Rozea, Brittany Corbell, Taylor Dean, Jennifer Ma and Jigar Satasia, advised by Dr. Nathan Pope. Their NCPA student chapter received $3,000 and had $3,000 donated to the their school in the dean’s name, and they will receive complimentary travel, registration and lodging at the NCPA 2017 Multiple Locations Conference. 
 
"We commend all the participating teams from the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, but ultimately one team stood out above the rest and was declared the winner – the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy,” said NCPA president Bradley J. Arthur, who co-owns Black Rock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y. “With half of small businesses failing within their first five years, these teams of pharmacy students received invaluable experience that increases their chances of being successful pharmacy owners. If these well-thought-out business plans are any indication of the future of independent community pharmacies, then the future is in good hands.” 
 
This year’s competition saw participants from 46 schools and colleges of pharmacy nationwide. It was named to honor the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and the late H. Joseph Schutte and it is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co. and the NCPA Foundation. 
 
At the NCPA convention, three finalist teams made live presentations for their business plans to the competition’s judges and an audience. The first runner-up team hailed from the North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and was composed of Huy Pham, Felicia Charles, Stephanie Sun and Michael Verble, advised by Dr. Patrick Brown. The second runner-up was the University of Maryland and included Elaine Pranski Brandon Biggs, Caleb Goodrich and David Tran, advised by Dr. Ashlee Mattingly. 
 
“The NCPA Foundation helps cultivate the next generation of independent community pharmacy owners and the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is our crown jewel in those efforts,” said NCPA Foundation president Charles West said. “Many past participants in the competition have gone into ownership and always point to this experience as being an important stepping stone. Judging by the submitted business plans and live presentations of the finalists, the ranks of successful pharmacy owners will only grow.” 
 
The judges for this year’s live competition were Live Oak Bank’s Mike Bollinger, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co.’s Jon Grether, AmerisourceBergen’s Charlie Le Bon, NCPA past president and NCPA Foundation board member Jerry Shapiro. 
 

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