PHARMACY

PTCB launches partnership program with employers

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — An organization that certifies pharmacy technicians is starting a program designed to encourage more technicians to get certified.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced Tuesday the launch of the Employer Partnership Program, which it said was for retail and health-system pharmacies that want to encourage technicians to participate in the PTCB certification program. North Carolina regional chain Kerr Drug already has joined the program, according to PTCB.

"Employers are an integral part of pharmacy practice," PTCB director of professional affairs Megan Sheahan said. "The tools provided by this new program will help employers facilitate the professional development of their employees and support workplace safety initiatives through PTCB certification."

Employers that become advocate partners receive an array of complimentary benefits, including free individual verification of a pharmacy technician’s certification status, monthly newsletters, company recognition on the organzation’s website and discounts on its official practice exam.


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PHARMACY

A campaign custom-made for pharmacy

BY Jim Frederick

About $290 billion a year. That’s what Americans’ rampant nonadherence to their prescription medication therapy is costing the country each year in medical bills and lost work, according to national estimates. So getting patients to stick with their drug regimens is a huge challenge, not only for pharmacists in all practice settings, but for the entire healthcare provider network and the U.S. economy.

The adherence issue already is red hot as Congress, federal health policy-makers, and the publicly funded and employer-sponsored health plans paying most of the nation’s healthcare bills finally wake up to the fact that improving adherence rates will save gobs of money by keeping patients healthier and out of emergency rooms. That means involving pharmacists more directly in patient interventions and long-term medication therapy management. And starting soon, it’s going to mean some changes in the pharmacy school curriculum as educators focus more heavily on adherence.

The pharmacy education community signaled as much last week with the announcement of a new partnership with independent pharmacists. To wit: The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the National Community Pharmacists Association are joining forces to launch what they’ve dubbed the Medication Adherence Educators Challenge.

The challenge will feature grants and idea sharing, and will culminate at a joint AACP-NCPA Medication Adherence Educators Symposium on July 18 in Kissimmee, Fla.

The immediate goal: to improve the way pharmacy schools prepare tomorrow’s practitioners for what will surely be a massive drive to boost patient adherence. The underlying goal: to help keep the nation’s overstretched, massively costly health system from heading over a fiscal cliff.
The benefits of improved adherence rates could be profound. One study from CVS Caremark found that patients with one or more of four chronic diseases who take their medications as prescribed could save the healthcare system as much as $7,800 per patient each year.

That means that adherence will be one of the defining issues of the pharmacy profession over the next decade. As a pharmacist, you’ll be on the front line of this battle.

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

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PHARMACY

Rite Aid picks CaptureRx as 340B technology vendor

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is teaming up with a new technology vendor for dispensing drugs under a special federal discount program, the company said Tuesday.

Rite Aid announced that it had selected CaptureRx as its preferred vendor and administrator in dispensing drugs under 340B, a Federal Public Health Service program that allows health centers and hospitals to purchase outpatient drugs for less than half of their cost on the commercial market.

"Rite Aid has long been committed to the health of the communities we serve," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "Each day, our pharmacists provide services and programs to help our patients live and stay well. Our relationship with CaptureRx is just another way we can improve overall health outcomes of those we serve every day."

The company said it had set up several pilot sites and would offer the 340B program nationwide later this year.

"We are delighted to welcome Rite Aid to our extensive network as we work together to offer better access to quality care to improve the well-being of the communities we serve," CaptureRx COO Edward Gilmartin said.

More information about the program is available here.


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