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.
Meth labs drop in WV
Methamphetamine lab busts in West Virginia have dropped 40 percent this year, according to the latest count released by the WV State Police on December 2.
State law enforcement officers seized 290 of the clandestine labs through the end of November, down from 500 labs found by this time last year the Charleston Gazette staff writer Eric Eyre reports in today's newspaper.
The lab decrease is greater than previous estimates and mirrors a significant drop in sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Claritin-D, reports Eyre.
Meth lab seizures grew in West Virginia from 145 in 2009 to 531 in 2013, before the drop to 290 in 2014.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin called for and the WV Legislature passed a law in requiring pharmacies to use NPLEx -- a computer system that stops sales of PSE products after a person has purchased a certain quantity. The law also limits the quantity that can be purchased by an individual.
The system allows law enforcement officers to use the system to track persons who attempt to make excessive purchases. The State Police and numerous county enforcement officers use the system.
The Legislature failed to pass proposed legislation in 2013 and 2104 that would have required a prescription to obtain the products, regardless of the quantity.
WVPA members expressed their support of the current NPLEx system during the 2014 Annual Convention in August at Stonewall Resort.
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.