Save the Dates
PFOA Annual Meeting
November 14, 2020
Featured Speaker -
Doug Hoey from NCPA
Please complete your Board Election Proxy prior to the meeting.
IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference
Huntington Beach, CA
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Las Vegas, NV
American Pharmacies APEX
San Antonio, TX
McKesson ideaShare Conference
San Diego, CA
Retail Business Conference
July 28-August 1
Las Vegas, NV
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Midtown MediCenter Pharmacy
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Fountain Inn, SC
Rocky Top Pharmacy
Fisherville Family Pharmacy
NABP Warns Licensees of Scammers Impersonating Board Inspectors
Licensees in multiple states are receiving scam phone calls from individuals impersonating state board of pharmacy inspectors, warns NABP. Licensees should first verify the source is legitimate before giving confidential or payment information over the phone.
Scammers are claiming that pharmacists' facilities or individual licenses are under investigation for suspicious activity or drug trafficking, with some saying they work for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The "investigators" say the licensee will face disciplinary action, a revoked license, and/or arrest if they do not immediately pay a fine over the phone. To appear authentic, many scammers even employ "spoofing," disguising the caller's phone number to mimic a legitimate source. They may also use a fake name and fraudulent inspector identification number.
If the call sounds suspicious, hang up and call the state board of pharmacy number listed on its website for more information. These sites also list current state board inspectors and investigators. Licensees should immediately report fraudulent calls to their state boards of pharmacy, the Federal Communication Commission's consumer complaint program, and FDA and DEA if they are being impersonated. NABP encourages you to share this information with other licensees.
Updated Version of PBM Storybook Now Available
An updated version of the PBM storybook
is now available. This popular resource is updated with information to illustrate how PBMs are a major driver in high prescription drug prices, despite their claims of reducing costs. The PBM Story: What They Say, What They Do, and What Can Be Done About It is a colorful, easy-to-understand guide to PBMs. The storybook recommends several policy solutions to address PBM abuses and can easily be shared with policymakers and plan sponsors to help them understand how PBMs drive up prescription costs.
Changes on the Way For NCPA Members
Changes to NCPA member benefits are coming. Current NCPA owner/manager members are in for a big change. Now your membership can benefit up to four individuals at your NCPA member pharmacy location. Beginning Nov. 2, you'll be able to login to www.ncpa.org and add up to three additional staff members at each NCPA member location. And better yet, if you own other pharmacy locations that are not NCPA members, you will be able to add the additional locations at a greatly reduced price and enjoy the same benefits for up to four staff members at each of those locations. Call NCPA membership at 703-683-8200 with questions.
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I am pleased to report that the PFOA staff is making significant progress in several areas.
We now are using the Salesforce tool daily for reporting, tasking and event calendar. We will be continuing to implement the Salesforce marketing portion, training the administrative staff on maintenance and reporting to better manage the organization.
American Pharmacies, our affiliate business partner, has completed their new agreement with AmerisourceBergen. The program features improved rebates being returned more quickly to the members, a backup solution utilizing Smart Source and much more. This was rolled out to our participating members effective October 1st.
We have retained a consultant. Arthur Schreier has begun working with us and is ramping up on learning our staff, programs, communication methods and sales techniques.
We have announced our annual meeting to be held virtually on November 14, 2020. Initial invites have been distributed to the membership. We have secured Doug Hoey, CEO of NCPA, to be our lead speaker, giving an update on the industry and the Supreme Court Rutledge case. We will be holding elections and have several members who will be running for the board. All would be great additions to our leadership.
Our Ananda Virtual warehouse program continues to gain more orders and member participation. It saves our members significant dollars on a key niche opportunity.
We continue to hold Explore sessions with our members, learning more about their respective businesses. Thank you to the board for being the first group to go through the process. This has helped us review and refine the process. If you are interested in an Explore session, please contact your PFOA business consultant.
I've begun a review process of all staffers. I am confirming goals for the organization and individuals during these reviews, along with covering their performance.
As we all still dealing with the dynamics of COVID 19, the elections, the Rutledge case before the Supreme Court and the daily need to manage our business, it is comforting to know we are all taking steps to improve and meet the challenges ahead of us. I hear this every day in my calls to members and working with the staff. We mustn't get overwhelmed. We need to assess needs and continue to adjust to provide solutions.
Med D enrollment is open. I urge you to review what your patients are doing now and help them and yourselves bring the appropriate solution to the patient. This is a critical move for a successful pharmacy business. There are tools to help.
If you need assistance in any facet of your business, reach out to us and let us help via review, opportunity presentation, connection to a peer or some other area of expertise we can avail for you on our behalf.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve now for ten years as your PFOA executive director.
HHS Decision Authorizes Pharmacy Techs, Interns to Provide Vaccines, COVID-19 Tests
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores praised the Department of Health and Human Services' issuance of guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, or PREP, Act authorizing qualified pharmacy technicians and state-authorized pharmacy interns to administer childhood vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines when made available, and COVID-19 tests, all subject to several requirements.
This guidance clarifies that the pharmacy intern must be authorized by the State or board of pharmacy in the State in which the practical pharmacy internship occurs, but this authorization need not take the form of a license from, or registration with, the State board of pharmacy.
Upon making the announcement, assistant secretary for health Admiral Brett Giroir, said, "Pharmacists and their staff are critical to the COVID-19 response. Together with pediatricians and family physicians, they are ensuring that Americans receive the vaccines they need where they need it."
NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said, "Throughout the pandemic, pharmacy team members have served among all other healthcare heroes with the highest professionalism and dedication, meeting the needs of patients, communities and the entire nation. NACDS has consistently informed federal and state government leaders about steps that can be taken to address complexities, contradictions and barriers in policy that ultimately hinder service to the American people at this crucial time."
Anderson continued, "Today's guidance under the PREP Act is the latest in a series of extremely important steps that this Administration has taken to help empower the response of pharmacy teams on behalf of patients. It ultimately will make a difference in scaling the nation's response in terms of COVID-19 testing, administering critical vaccinations, and ultimately being prepared to make available COVID-19 vaccinations when they are safe, effective and available. We will continue to make recommendations about the need to address policy barriers for the purpose of addressing the needs of all Americans."
By Sandra Levy Published in Drug Store News
HHS Rolls Out Vaccines Video
HHS recently released a video, "Tell Me More About Vaccines," designed to help answer commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The video shares why vaccines are so important and provides background and clarity - via expert commentary and graphic illustration - to help viewers understand the science of vaccine development. The video features experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci (NIH), Dr. Stephen Hahn (FDA), and Dr. Robert Kadlec (ASPR) talking about the steps researchers and scientists are taking to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Feel free to add the video link to your website or promote on social media.
Published by NCPA
Get Trained on Point-of-Care Testing
Ready to get in the COVID-19 testing game, but not sure where to start? The Community Pharmacy-Based Point-of-Care Testing Certificate Course arms you with the tools needed to establish a successful community pharmacy-based POCT program that will serve your pharmacy long after the pandemic. The CE program includes 16 hours of on-demand pre-work that you can complete on your schedule and a four-hour live (online) program Nov. 15. Walk away from this program with clinical knowledge of how to assess, administer POCT and refer to as needed; resources on establishing a profitable POCT program; and practical tools to establish collaborative relationships with prescribers in the community. Space is limited; reserve your seat today.
NCPA Calls on State AGs to Scrutinize Express Scripts-Prime Therapeutics
In a recent letter to state attorneys general, NCPA warned that a partnership between two massive pharmacy benefit managers will squash local pharmacies and ultimately limit consumer choices. "These two companies operating separately already exert tremendous downward pressure on independent pharmacies. By joining forces, they can put many out of business and steer their patients to larger competitors," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. "There's nothing competitive or fair about that, and in the end, patients will lose access to their preferred local health care providers."
NCPA urged the National Association of Attorneys General to scrutinize a partnership between Express Scripts and Prime Therapeutics, two of the biggest PBMs in the country. Express Scripts, which is owned by Cigna, controls prescriptions for 75 million patients across the country. Prime Therapeutics is owned by a consortium of Blue Cross Blue Shield companies that cover 30 million patients in 18 states. In April of this year they formed a partnership to combine their negotiating leverage. According to NCPA, it has already triggered sharp cuts in reimbursements to pharmacies.
De-Escalating Tense Situations
Amid Mask Mandates
Those who work in drug stores and mass retailers regularly see people from the community who are stressed and anxious - maybe they're worried about a sick family member or concerned about how they're going to pay for a high-cost prescription. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many workers also are expected to enforce new protocols like social distancing rules and mask mandates. More than ever, these workers need guidance on how best to communicate and help the diverse range of people they are interacting with during their shifts.
Leaders in the industry need to acknowledge the increasing pressures and challenges store workers are facing. It's important that staff are trained with the right tools to ask for voluntary compliance, and to de-escalate customers who are defying mask mandates, so that the situation does not turn hostile.
Connect Not Confront
Emotional outbursts are like mini-mental health crises and need skillful interventions since many of the common responses to irate outbursts actually make the situation worse. As an example, telling someone to "calm down" rarely accomplishes one's goal. De-escalation mode is not problem-solving mode because complex problems require rational thinking and, in a crisis, the thinking part of the brain temporarily goes offline. When a person screams that they're not going to wear a mask, we teach workers to begin with empathic responses that will help build a connection. In most cases, the responses are different from what people are used to. Some examples include:
· "We're glad you're here;"
· "I know it's a pain;" and
· "Can you help me out with the mask thing?"
In other words, connect with them through empathy rather than confront them with rules or logic.
Connection can be produced quickly even in tense situations by following some simple steps:
- Paraphrasing what you think you've just heard
This could be responding to an outraged customer by acknowledging "the mask thing isn't working for you," or "I realize you're not happy with the mask rule." This can be disarming because it's nonconfrontational; it demonstrates that you've heard the person and are sensitive to their feelings. Empathy promotes connection, and connection reduces tension. When we teach this skill in the classroom, many people find it strange, but it's a skill that can be quickly developed and embodies the idea of being nonjudgmental - another important element in de-escalation.
- Look for common ground
This is about finding a common goal: "Help us out with the mask thing, so we can keep the store open" is the kind of script that matches this idea. We both want the store to remain open, so we're working together toward the same goal. Look for things to agree on, rather than focusing on areas where there is disagreement.
- Provide options instead of threats
Threats will quite predictably set off a defensive response in the brain and could result in shouting and yelling. Instead of saying, "If you don't wear the mask, you can't come in," we teach people to create options: "You can wear your own mask or grab one of our free ones." Again, this is disarming - the thinking part of the brain tries to work out what to do. The use of informal language like "grab" reduces the authoritarian feel of the encounter.
Often a person will comply, but want the last word on the matter, and if that happens, it's important to let this go. The end goal is the person's voluntary compliance, even if it's reluctant, and workers who realize that they are not going to be able to make someone comply are halfway there. The goal is the kind of interaction where the person quickly realizes that they and the worker are trying to achieve the same thing.
By Russ Turner, People Incorporated Training Institute
NASEM Committee Recommends Pharmacists Receive Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccine
A special committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has recommended that pharmacists be among the health care providers who receive "phase 1" access to COVID-19 vaccines when they become available, along with physicians, nurses, and other providers. Although pharmacists were placed in a second tier in an early draft of the framework created by the NASEM committee, the change was made following a letter
signed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and other pharmacy organizations who recommended pharmacists be provided the same priority access as their colleagues in other health professions. The letter cited pharmacists' exposure to COVID-19 as frontline health care workers who have continued to serve communities throughout the country during the pandemic.
Although this recommendation is nonbinding, it is expected to be influential in the final COVID-19 vaccine distribution and allocation plans, according to APhA
Published by NABP
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