Pharmacy Quality Alliance Plans for New CEO, Future of Pharmacy

2020-07-06 15:43:00
Tags: pharmacy,legislation

Pharmacy Times® spoke with Laura Cranston, RPh, CEO of Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), about what is next for the organization after the recent announcement that Cranston is stepping down by the end of 2020.

Cranston has led PQA for nearly 15 years and said the original vision for the organization was for it to be a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership to ensure drugs were being used safely and appropriately. In the early days, Cranston said PQA functioned solely as a measure developer for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but has since grown to develop measures for state Medicare programs, employer coalitions, and other partnerships.

Cranston said she is excited for the transition, as PQA is simultaneously planning for the next 1 to 3 years. Instead of creating solely a 3-year plan, Cranston said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has encouraged them to focus on the next 18 months.

“With all of the changes between telehealth and telemedicine and telepharmacy, it doesn’t seem like we can realistically project out what we’re going to be focusing on for 3 years,” Cranston said. “So, we’re going to take this very consolidated approach to say, ‘What will deliver to our members the greatest [return on investment] over the [next] 18 months as we emerge from this pandemic?’”

With all of those changes in mind, Cranston said she believes the pharmacy industry is hitting reset. She predicts lots of state-based action in the coming months and years, with the goal of making recent developments for pharmacists last beyond the pandemic.

“Because if it’s good to do during the pandemic, then why isn’t it good to do after the pandemic?” she said.