AzPA Pharmacy Flash
Feb. 19, 2014

Call to action: NCPDP task groups need you
The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs task groups are seeking volunteers to participate. Task group participation is open to NCPDP members and nonmembers alike.

This is your opportunity to have a meaningful voice in the important process of transforming healthcare. Task groups meet via conference calls.

Highlighted below are some of the newer task groups as well as current ones that need additional expertise and perspectives. Share this list with your colleagues outside of NCPDP and encourage them to consider joining a task group that will provide value to their organizations.

If you are a participant in the NCPDP Collaborative Workspace already, to join a task group, just check the task group on your NCPDP Collaborative Workspace profile. If you have not yet joined the NCPDP Collaborative Workspace, you can receive instructions by emailing one of the staff contacts listed below. More

Pharmacy HIT Collaborative
The Pharmacy HIT Collaborative, of which Arizona Pharmacy Association through the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations is a proud member, has recently released several important resource documents to educate both pharmacists and external stakeholders on documentation and information exchange related to pharmacists professional services.

Founded in 2010, the Collaborative was formed to focus on improving patient care quality and outcomes, through the integration of pharmacists' patient care services in the national health information technology infrastructure. Under the leadership of Executive Director Shelly Spiro, the Collaborative has since formed several workgroups, all composed of volunteers, and has produced pieces to enable pharmacists to better document the clinical exchange of information.More

AzPA Psychiatric Certificate Program — Registration deadline Feb. 21

Early registration deadline is Feb. 21! Register today.

Date: March 7
Location: Hilton El Conquistador, Tucson, Ariz.
Click here to learn more.More

47th Annual Southwestern Clinical Pharmacy Seminar — March 7-9
We are pleased to announce a partnership with The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and the Arizona Pharmacy Association in offering the 47th Annual Southwestern Clinical Pharmacy Seminar.

Keynote General Session
Saturday, March 8
Pharmacists as Providers

Guest Speakers:

Thomas Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, Sc.D.,
Executive Vice President and CEO,
American Pharmacists Association
David Chen, R.Ph., MBA, Director,
Pharmacy Practice Sections and Director,
Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers,
American Society of Health-System PharmacistsMore

Is CVS blowing smoke about cigarettes?
By Jason Poquette
CVS Pharmacy has been on the front page of the health section of every major newspaper since the company announced recently its decision to stop carrying tobacco products in stores. The retail prescription giant, which operates over 7,600 stores nationwide, has committed to removing cigarettes from shelves by Oct. 1. Apparently the financial impact will translate into $1.5 billion to $2 billion in lost revenue. But CVS says the decision is about patients and healthcare.More

Pharmacists place near top of US News & World Report job rankings
Pharmacy Times
Pharmacists slip to fifth place from third place in the previous U.S. News rankings, but continue to place highly thanks to relatively good pay and the promise of job growth due to the changing healthcare system. More

Clinicians look for ways to ease effects of saline shortage
Pharmacy Practice News
A shortage of IV sodium chloride solution has struck hospitals across the United States, forcing some clinicians to adopt conservative saline measures or to turn to alternative products. More

Pharmacists turning away legitimate pain patients as wholesalers limit shipments of controlled substances
The delicate balance between curbing controlled-drug diversion and meeting the critical needs of people with chronic pain has shifted to tougher regulation in recent months, according to pharmacists.More

It's time to stop fighting specialty pharmacy
Pharmacy Practice News
The surge in spending for specialty pharmaceuticals can no longer be ignored. No matter how uncomfortable some health systems may be with brown bagging and other so-called hassles associated with these products, it is time to address this juggernaut. Not convinced? Consider this: Specialty medicines are on pace to be the biggest driver of branded drug spending in developed markets, with a projected 30 percent increase in spending over the next five years, according to the latest industry figures.More

Clinicians look for ways to ease effects of saline shortage
Pharmacy Practice News
A shortage of IV sodium chloride solution has struck hospitals across the U.S., forcing some clinicians to adopt conservative saline measures or to turn to alternative products. More

FDA considers loosening naproxen's CV warning
Data published since 2006 suggest that naproxen does not pose the same cardiovascular risks as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to Food and Drug Administration reviewers.More

CVS: Tobacco products gone by Oct. 1
Calling the decision "simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company," CVS Caremark will stop selling all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations by Oct. 1.More

Is the money spent each year on supplements creating benefits?
By Cynthia Sheppard Solomon
During 2003-2006, 39 percent of U.S. adults used multivitamin supplements, and 53 percent used dietary supplements — a substantial increase from the past. The U.S. supplement industry reached $28 billion in 2010. Is the money being spent wisely — to benefit health? A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests not. There is actually significant evidence to advise against routine supplementation. Most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, and their use is not justified based on the research. More

US officials target escalating drug overdoses
HealthDay News
As deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers mount across the United States, government officials are searching for ways to stem the toll of addiction. The recent death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, in New York City from an apparent heroin overdose highlighted this escalating problem. More

New authorities give FDA new ways to extend some product expirations
When residents of the Omaha, Neb., area suffer from pesticide poisoning, a provision in a recent federal law may help ensure the availability of lifesaving medications when they are in short supply.More

Study: New drug shows promise for restless legs syndrome
HealthDay News
For relieving symptoms of restless legs syndrome and slowing its progression, the drug pregabalin outperformed the current standard medication in a head-to-head comparison, a new study found.More