Saturday, November 28, 2015

2016 1/2 Kanawha Boulevard E. Charleston, WV  25311-2204 Phone: (304) 344-5302 Fax: (304) 344-5316





Your Membership Matters
Dear Colleague: 

The resources WVPA invests in making sure your voice is heard and your interests represented are significant. Advocacy for your profession requires an ongoing commitment and stakeholder investment.
Advocacy is the major responsibility of WVPA.   If you ask yourself whether or not what you are doing is at risk for obsolescence...then you need advocacy. If someone attempts to control what professional services you provide and what you are permitted to do with your profession and business practice...then you need advocacy. If you cannot identify 100 consumers of your services willing to go to the wall to ensure that you remain their provider...then you need advocacy. If your perception of quality services and positive outcomes is considered overrated by others...then you need advocacy. If you do not know who your state legislators or U. S. Congressman are...then you need advocacy. If you are just beginning your professional career...then you need advocacy. 
WVPA staff and elected officers attend to their advocacy responsibilities with the interest of your profession foremost. The resource fueling WVPA’s advocacy efforts is dependent upon membership. 
WVPA needs your membership to help assure continue advocacy for your profession. While our efforts are not always successful, WVPA has made – and will continue to make with your membership – tremendous strides and accomplishments in being pharmacy’s advocate. WVPA secured legislative authority allowing pharmacists to expand their scope of practice by administering certain immunizations. This expansion offers an opportunity to you to provider more health care services to your patients. 
As late as the 2012 Legislature, WVPA issued a “call to action” to pharmacists/members to defeat legislation that would have allowed insurance companies and PBMs to dispense 90-day supplies of medication from out-of-state mail order operations. Similar advocacy action was taken to prohibit insurance companies to require mail order of chronic medications. 
Earlier this year WVPA influenced the Legislature to “modernize” our Pharmacy Practice Act allowing you to provide health care services with the skills you attained through from your education and training. 
This accomplishment did not come easy as we had opponents to our legislative efforts. But wit the help of our members who contacted Senators and Delegates, we were successful.
A major provision in the new Act advancing our profession is medication therapy management (MTM). This is a professional services you can provide Medicare beneficiaries to improve their health and be paid by Part D plans I am very excited about this new opportunity for our profession, as I’m sure you are. The provisions of this new law are contained in House Bill 2577. 
We trust you can conclude from the above that your membership matters. Your being a member is imperative to WVPA continuing to advocate for our profession. Please continue your membership...or become a member if you currently are not one... and participate in our advocacy efforts. 
Your membership matters!
Thank you,

Krista Capehart, Pharm.D., MSPharm
News & Updates


Residents taking dangerous drug mix

West Virginians are more likely than residents of other states to mix anti-anxiety medications with prescription pain pills -- a potentially deadly combination -- said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by Eric Eyre, staff writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

For one of every five days West Virginians were taking a painkiller, the same people also were taking an anti-anxiety drug like Xanax, the CDC reported.  West Virginia had the highest rate of overlapping prescriptions among the eight states taking part in the study.

"If you mix the two, that leads to most of the drug-related deaths," said Mike Goff, administrator at the WV Board of Pharmacy.  "The combination really slows down the respiratory system.  You shouldn't mix them, especially in high doses."

West Virginia has the highest prescription-drug overdose death rate in the U. S.

The CDC also reported West Virginians are more likely to receive extra-strength prescription painkillers -- long-acting oxycodone and hydrocodone -- as new patients.  "Giving out a big dose of opioids to someone who hasn't had them is a problem," Goff said.  "It could potentially lead to an overdose if they prescribe too much all at once."

Rogue pain killers have issued many of high-dose painkiller prescriptions in WV, according to Goff.  State health regulators are shutting down some of the clinics as part of a crackdown on prescription drug abuse.

The CDC analyzed prescription data from eight states -- West Virginia, Idaho, California, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Florida and Delaware -- that agreed to take part in the study.  The CDC said the study shows there's an urgent need to overhaul doctor's prescribing practices, particular for painkillers, which were prescribed twice as often as stimulants and sedatives in West Virginia and the other seven states. 

Overall, the study found that a small percentage of doctors was responsible for most opioid prescriptions. "A comprehensive approach is needed to address the prescription-opioid overdose epidemic, including guidance to providers on the risks and benefits of these medications," said Debra Houry, director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 


Doctor's prescribing practices key to curbing painkiller abuse: CDC

Improved prescribing practices could help reduce narcotic painkiller abuse and overdose deaths from those drugs, a new U. S. government study says.  An analysis of prescription drug-monitoring programs in eight states found that a small number of doctors were responsible for most narcotic painkiller prescriptions, according to the U. S,. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers.

The CDC researchers analyzed 2013 data from prescription drug-monitoring programs in California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Main, Ohio and West Virginia, which represents about one-quarter of the U. S. population.

The study found a small number of doctors who were heavy prescribers.  For instance, the top one percent of prescribers wrote 25 percentage of narcotic prescriptions in Delaware, compared with about 12 percent in Maine.  The findings, published in the October 16 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlight the need to improve prescribing practices, particular for narcotics, the study authors said.  


 More news here


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