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Published Online: Wednesday, April 14, 2010   [ Request Print ]


Do You Know the Next-Generation Pharmacist?

Pharmacy Times and Parata Systems, an industry leader in pharmacy technology, are launching the Next-Generation Pharmacist program to examine the issues and individuals that are shaping the future of pharmacy. The new program has 2 components: the Next-Generation Pharmacist Profile and the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards. Nominations are now open for the awards program.

The Next-Generation Pharmacist Profile will highlight the current state and future vision of the field of pharmacy. This research program will explore where pharmacists see the profession heading, and identify the qualities and values of those at the forefront of the industry. The Next-Generation Pharmacist Profile’s findings will be published in a special supplement to the July issue of Pharmacy Times.

The Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards will honor the forward-thinking individuals who are working to advance the field and bring the industry to the next level. Awards will be presented to winning nominees in 10 categories, and the inaugural “Next-Generation Pharmacist” will be chosen from 1 of the 10 category winners. Finalists will be profiled in Pharmacy Times and honored at an awards dinner during the National Community Pharmacists Association Annual Convention and Trade Exhibition in October.

To register to receive updates about this exciting new awards program, learn more about the award categories, or submit a nomination, visit www.nextgenerationpharmacist.org. Nomination entries can be submitted online or via e-mail from April 4 to May 31, 2010.


Illicit Drug Use on the Rise Among the Elderly
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that illicit drug use is increasing dramatically among older Americans. The report collected data on 19,921 adults aged 50 or older from 2006 to 2008 and estimates that 4.3 million adults in that age group used an illicit drug in the past year.

The researchers found differences in drug use patterns according to age group and sex. For adults aged 50 to 59, marijuana was the drug of choice, while individuals aged 69 and older were more likely to abuse prescription drugs. Of men aged 50 to 54, 8.5% used marijuana in the past year, while only 3.9% of women in that age group used the drug.

SAMHSA predicts that by 2020, rising levels of marijuana use and the nonmedical use of prescription medications may necessitate double the amount of substance abuse treatment services currently available. Although substance abuse negatively affects the health of all demographics, seniors are particularly vulnerable due to the physiologic changes that occur as individuals age.

To read the full report online, visit www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k9/168/168OlderAdults.cfm.


NCPA Promotes Pharmacy in Washington, DC
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is holding its 42nd Annual Conference on National Legislation and Government Affairs in Washington, DC, on May 10-12, 2010, at a time when health care issues are in the national headlines and the important role of pharmacists has received more attention than in recent years. “Washington, DC, is the single most important place where pharmacy-level decisions are being made,” wrote Joseph H. Harmison, PharmD, NCPA president, in his editorial urging NCPA members, including student pharmacists, to participate in this conference.

The association plans to visit congressional offices for face-to-face lobbying and hold general sessions on the critical legislative issues facing pharmacy today. “We need real solutions, and coming to Washington…represents the best chance community pharmacy has in making its case in the corridors of power,” wrote Harmison.

The conference will include grassroots training and a behind-the-scenes look from the NCPA Congressional Committee staff. The special guest speaker at the Sal D’Angelo PAC Breakfast is Tucker Carlson, news commentator and correspondent for Fox News, the Daily Caller, and the Cato Institute. Confirmed speakers include Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD, director of pharmacy affairs, FDA, and Barbara Edwards, director, Disabled & Elderly Health Programs Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

NCPA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Roberts, RPh, encouraged pharmacists to make their voices heard. “Your elected officials need to know just how important pharmacy is in the health care equation,” he said.

For more information, visit www.ncpanet.org.


New Web Site Monitors New Drugs
Pharmacists interested in learning more about pharmaceutical and biotech drug development can visit a new Web site, launched early this year by The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), an independent, academic, nonprofit research group at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1976, the center undertakes research to develop strategic information to improve the quality and efficiency of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceutical development, review, and utilization.

The new Web site monitors and reports on the development, regulation, and utilization of new drugs and biopharmaceuticals; explores economic, legal, scientific, and public policy issues; and serves as an information resource on the development and regulation of new therapeutic agents.

Tufts CSDD Director Kenneth I. Kaitin, PhD, professor of medicine and professor of pharmacology and experimental Therapeutics, welcomes visitors to the new Web site, http://csdd.tufts.edu, and promises to deliver the most complete, objective research on key drug development issues.


NACDS Regional Chain Conference Stresses Advocacy
Retailers from small- to medium-sized chain stores gathered for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Regional Chain Conference, held February 7-9, 2010. Attendance at the 29th annual conference was 20% higher than in 2009. Attendees participated in a variety of business and education sessions, on topics from pharmacy trends to health care reform to social media.

In a session featuring speakers from NACDS leadership, Chairman of the Board Andy Giancamilli stressed the need for NACDS members to unite to face common policy goals and continue to advocate for pharmacy in the political arena. “I see a truly diverse and member- driven trade association that derives ever-increasing strength from common purpose,” he said.

NACDS President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, emphasized NACDS’ view that pharmacy is the face of community health care. Anderson stated, “We have resolved that pharmacy will not just talk about medication adherence, but own this issue, and proclaim that lives can be improved and saved, and costs can be reduced, by helping people take the right medications in the right ways.”

The 2011 NACDS Regional Chain Conference is scheduled for February 6-9, 2011, in Naples, Florida. Information about the 2011 program and speakers and how to register for the conference will be available on the NACDS Web site.

For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org.


Cardinal Health Expands Managed Care Services
Cardinal Health recently announced an expansion of its managed care services, which are designed to assist independent pharmacy owners.

Currently, 3000 independent pharmacies participate in Cardinal Health’s managed care network, and the company reports that members who use all their managed care offerings save an average of $42,000 to $70,000 per year.

The keystone of Cardinal Health’s managed care services is LeaderNET, one of the industry’s largest pharmacy services administrative organizations. Through LeaderNET, Cardinal Health manages network contracting and plan administration for community pharmacies, and negotiates prescription reimbursement rates with many managed care networks, including more than 50 Medicare Part D plans.

Cardinal Health also recently added contracts for immunizations and 90-daysupply medication programs as well.

Cardinal Health offers an array of other managed care services, including automated prescription claim editing, direct deposit payments from payers, reimbursement reconciliation services, customized reimbursement consulting, and audit and reimbursement assistance.

For more information, visit www.cardinalhealth.com/improvingreimbursements. ■


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