Save the date - February 23, 2015 - and plan to attend "Pharmacy Day at the WV Legislature". It is your opportunity to inform your elected officials of issues important to your profession and your pharmacy. This annual event is hosted by WV Pharmacists Association.
Improving healthcare to West Virginians
Pharmacists are NOT currently recognized as healthcare providers under federal law, despite having more medication education and training than any other health care professional. Beyond being unfair to the profession, this lack of federal recognition restricts the contributions pharmacists can make to improving patient care.
That's why WVPA has joined other state and national pharmacy organizations to achieve "provider status" which will recognize pharmacists as valued members of the health care team, and allow pharmacists to use their unique skills and extensive education to enhance patient health.
H.R. 4190 has been introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to enable patient access to, and coverage for, Medicare Part B services by state-licensed pharmacists in medically under-served communities.
Passage of this legislation would improve many West Virginian's access to health care services. It would also give recognition to pharmacists as "healthcare providers." WVPA members are requested to contact our State's members of Congress and request they support H. R. 4190.
Congress examining generic price increases
The U. S. Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging is holding a hearing on November 20 to explore why the costs of certain generic drugs are skyrocketing. Announcement of the hearing came soon after the Dept. of Justice said it was investigating the matter. About a year ago pharmacists began noticing a rash of dramatic price increases for many common generic drugs. Some increased more than 1,000% overnight.
Capehart assumes president's post
Krista D. Capehart, PharmD, MSPharm, AE-C, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Wigner Institute for Advanced Pharmacy Practice, Education and Research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at WVU School of Pharmacy, is serving as 2014-15 WVPA President. She was installed to the post during the 107th Annual Convention at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV.
She completed her Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and later completed a Master of Science in Pharmacy with focus in drug policy and regulations at the University of Florida in Gainsville, FL.
Prior to joining WVU, Doctor Capehart joined the clinical faculty in 2006 at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, and was pharmacist in charge of the PharmUC Patient Care Clinic. She has focused her practice in community and ambulatory clinical pharmacy, concentrating on improving adherence and quality of life through patient counseling and education.
Doctor Capehart has received multiple award recognition including Teacher of the Year in 2006, WVPA Distinguished Young Pharmacist in 2012, and WV Asthma Coalition Champion in 2013. She was selected as a Salzburg Global Fellow and participated in the Salsburg Global Seminar entitled "The Drive for Universal Health Coverage: Health Care Deliver Science and the Right to High-Value Health Care" in Austria.
She utilizes her experience in health policy and regulations to advocate for her patients and the profession of pharmacy in her role with the Wigner Institute. The mission of the Institute is to advance the practice of pharmacy throughout West Virginia and optimize health outcomes by providing education, training and resources. She also employs her other areas of interest in Wigner duties by assisting with direct patient care service developments, improving health care access in rural areas through expanded pharmacy services, and increased patient self-management awareness and knowledge in the community setting.
Sale of tobacco a "no-no" in independent pharmacies
Over 90% of the independent pharmacies responding to a WVPA survey this week have NEVER sold tobacco products. The remainder did at one time but ceased such sales several years ago.
Recent articles in state newspapers reported some chain pharmacies ceasing sales of tobacco.
Caremark (PBM division of CVS) recently announced it is now providing some plans with a co-pay differentials to their beneficiaries. The co-pay will vary based on whether the pharmacy the pharmacy sells tobacco or not. Caremark patients who purchase prescription drugs from pharmacies selling tobacco products will have to pay an extra $15 co-pay.
Caremark patients that go to pharmacies that do not sell tobacco products will not see the extra co--pay charge.
CVS is one of the pharmacies reported by the news as ceasing sales of tobacco.
Pharmacists contribute to increased immunization
WV Dept. of Health and Human Resources Division of Immunization Services received two national honors from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its efforts to control vaccine-preventable diseases among children, adolescents and adults in the State. The CDC announced the awards at the annual National Immunization Conference in Atlanta.
The CDC ranked West Virginia among the top three states in the country for having the highest number of adults immunized against the flu. Approximately 52.3% of adults in West Virginia got a flu shot in the 2013-14 season, compared to 42.2% nationally.
"Fortunately, flu vaccines have become available in more venues in recent years, including pharmacies, which has contributed to the efforts of doctors," said Jeff Neccuzi, Director of the WV Division of Immunization Services.
According to Board of Pharmacy records, 716 West Virginia pharmacists have certificates to administer immunizations to adults. The represents a third of the State's 2,100-plus licensed pharmacists.
West Virginia was also one of the five states honored for immunization coverage of adolescents, ages 13-17. The rate of immunization of adolescents is nearly 80% for Tdap and meningitis vaccines.
WVPA successfully lobbied the West Virginia Legislature and the Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathy to allow pharmacists to administer certain immunizations to adults. WVPA will pursue expanding this valuable service to adolescents.