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Pharmacy Quality Alliance adds 3 new board members

BY David Salazar
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance announced Tuesday that it has added three members to its board. The new additions are Jason Ausili, director of pharmacy affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS); American Medical Group Association (AMGA) chief medical and quality officer Dr. Jerry Penso; and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) EVP policy & research and membership Lori Reilly. 
 
Ausili is responsible for leading NACDS’ pharmacy quality efforts and representing chain community pharmacy representing chain community pharmacy member on the advancement of value and team-based care models. Penso, who is also president of AMGA’s foundation, leads learning collaboratives for best practices and the organization’s national hypertension campaign. At PhRMA, Reilly oversees its development of policy and legislative analysis, as well as research studies about health care issues that affect biopharmaceutical companies.
 
“I am pleased to have the opportunity work with these individuals who have a demonstrated commitment to PQA's mission of developing meaningful measures of appropriate medication use and patient safety that can drive overall patient outcomes, and enhance the patient experience,” PQA executive director Laura Cranston said. “Their combined expertise and unique backgrounds will provide the leadership and engagement necessary to continue to advance the appropriate uptake and implementation of performance measures in new and evolving models of care.”

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Benzer Pharmacy opens fourth new store in 2016

BY David Salazar
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Benzer Pharmacy opened a new store here Tuesday, the chain’s fourth new store since the year began. The new location will offer specialty medications for such complex chronic conditions as HIV and rheumatoid arthritis. 
 
“We are one of the fastest growing private companies in America,” Benzer pharmacist Kevin Shukla said at the new location. “Following this rapid growth, the pharmacy is ensuring that we reach more customers and guarantee that their experiences match their expectations.”
 
Shukla also touted the role medication synchronization, which Benzer says has gained traction in the community, can play in adherence. 
 
“Medication synchronization also known as med sync, allows patients to pick up all their ongoing prescription refills at the pharmacy on a single, convenient day each month and work closely with the pharmacist on sticking to their medication regime,” he said. “In addition, the once a month appointment day facilitates increased pharmacist-patient dialogue and allows time for additional patient care services.”

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Purdue Pharma-led survey finds myriad errors in online resources

BY David Salazar
STAMFORD, Conn. — Purdue Pharma released the results of a new Collaborative Compendia Review Project (CCRP) research study Tuesday, noting that it found misinformation among online drug information compendia (ODIC). The study, which was published online in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, evaluated the accuracy and completeness of five commonly used resources: Medscape Reference, Lexicomp Online, Lexi-Drugs, Epocrates Online, Drugs.com and RxList.
 
"This is an important study that highlights the need for HCPs (health care professionals) and consumers to use multiple sources when seeking drug information, as there were a surprisingly large number of errors, including inaccuracies and outdated information, across various drug summaries in online drug information compendia,” said Amarita S. Randhawa, lead study author, and Purdue Pharma’s senior manager of medical services. 
 
The 11 participating pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies looked at 270 drug summaries on the sites between August 2014 and January 2015, finding a median of 782 errors. Most errors identified had to do with incomplete information, as well as inaccurate and omitted information. 
 
“As ODIC use expands, it is crucial to ensure drug summaries are up-to-date, accurate and complete,” Randhawa said. “Purdue Pharma has implemented an ongoing compendia review process, which served as the model for this collaborative initiative and is briefly outlined in the publication." 

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