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QI initiative seeks to provide patients with clearer medication information at the pharmacy

BY Allison Cerra

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new quality improvement initiative that aims to disseminate newly designed patient medication information to patients filling prescriptions at participating pharmacies has been launched.

The QI initiative stems from an ongoing multistakeholder workgroup convened by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution under a cooperative agreement with the Food and Drug Administration. The workgroup includes: Catalina Health; the Medical Cognition Laboratory at Duke University; Emory University School of Medicine; the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen; Pfizer; Purdue University College of Pharmacy and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Effectiveness Research.

Catalina Health said that through voluntary telephone and online responses, it will survey patients to confirm that they received the new PMI, assess whether patients found the information useful and determine how they would like to receive this newly formatted patient medication information in the future. All survey data collected by Catalina and other healthcare partners will be kept in accordance with all federal and state privacy laws.

"Patients frequently receive safety information about their prescriptions that is difficult for them to understand and too often not followed correctly," Catalina Health president Renee Selman said. "Catalina Health has a long history of working to get patients clearer information. In 2008, Catalina was one of the groups that spearheaded a citizen’s petition urging FDA to improve the information patients receive. Based on efforts the FDA had taken, the citizen petition was withdrawn. We are proud to be leading this quality improvement initiative to see what patients think about the newly formatted information."

Janet Woodcock, the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said, "The FDA wants patients to have the most important information needed to take their medications safely. We commend these organizations for helping to generate evidence to ensure that PMI meets that need."


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NACDS: Pharmacists as vaccinators are key in battle against whooping cough

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Reflecting the value of community pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is answering the call of public health authorities to promote vaccinations in the battle against whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

Kathleen Jaeger, NACDS’ SVP of pharmacy care and patient advocacy, is spreading the message amid a growing national outbreak of the highly-contagious respiratory disease.

In a letter addressed to “pharmacists and community vaccinators,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked them to help raise awareness of whooping cough vaccinations, because “as trusted healthcare professionals, research shows that [their] recommendation to receive needed vaccines is vital.”

NACDS is featuring Jaeger, a pharmacist, in an online, print and radio media outreach effort to bring attention to the outbreak and to note the accessible and professional solution that community pharmacies provide. Through the use of op-eds, interviews, news releases and other communications vehicles, Jaeger will concentrate her efforts in Washington State, where the CDC has declared a whooping cough epidemic, and in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which have the next highest rates of reported incidences.

The CDC is reporting a three-fold increase in pertussis rates in more than a dozen states. Pharmacists can administer the Tdap vaccine — which protects against pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria in adults — in 43 states, including Minnesota, Washington state and Wisconsin.

The CDC is recommending that adults who come into close contact with young infants — parents, grandparents, caretakers and other adults — receive a dose of the vaccine, known as Tdap, at least two weeks prior to contact. The vaccination will help protect newborns, infants and school-aged children against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The CDC also recommends that pregnant women receive the vaccination after 20 weeks of pregnancy and to receive the influenza vaccine anytime during pregnancy.


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Kinney Drugs appoints Jim Spencer as COO

BY Antoinette Alexander

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — Kinney Drugs announced on Tuesday that Jim Spencer, formerly VP retail operations, has been promoted to COO.

He will report to Bridget-ann Hart, president of Kinney Healthcare Services. In his new position, Spencer is responsible for overseeing retail and pharmacy store operations and the retail merchandising department. He is responsible for the ongoing development of pharmacy and retail services.

“Jim is a results-driven leader who has been a significant contributor to the success of our retail business since becoming part of the Kinney Drugs team,” Hart said. “We are confident that his vision and leadership as COO will drive future success and growth for the company.”
 
Spencer joined Kinney Drugs in 2010 and has more than 20 years of operations experience within the retail industry.

Kinney Drugs currently operates 94 stores in central and northern New York and Vermont.

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