NASP News

Ensuring Rebates and Discounts in Medicare Part D Help Reduce Patient OOP Costs

Please click here for the final signed copy of the letter Rep. Buddy Carter championed and sent to HHS and CMS. Despite the strong opposition it generated from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and newly the Citizens Against Government Waste, 54 Members of Congress signed the letter in support of ensuring rebates and discounts in Medicare Part D help reduce patient out-of-pocket costs and patient access to specialty pharmacies is not limited by the use of inapplicable Star Rating measures.

We sincerely thank Rep. Carter and his Congressional colleagues, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), Managed Health Care Associates (MHA), select state pharmacy associations and PhRMA in addition to NASP members for their strong support of this very important initiative!

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s Education Committee Unveils Winners of Abstracts from Members on Boosting Patient Engagement & Enhanced Clinical Outcomes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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 Washington, D.C. (Sept. 20) — On the final morning of the fifth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) meeting, the NASP Education Committee unveiled winners of the abstracts submitted by members, highlighting research in specialty pharmacy, along with efforts to enhance patient engagement and clinical outcomes.  The Education Committee evaluated each abstract based on novelty of the research, significance of the findings, relevance to specialty pharmacy, and clarity. This year, 35 abstracts were submitted by members – from educational and research institutions like Vanderbilt University to corporations like Walgreens – working to address diseases from Parkinson’s and cancer to MS and HIV.  Submission categories included: delivery of specialty pharmacy products or services; adherence; outcomes (cost or other); and student research.

“As many of our speakers yesterday emphasized, it is important for specialty pharmacy to highlight its significant contributions to clinical outcomes for patients by documenting studies and data,” said NASP Executive Director Sheila Arquette. “The work reflected in the posters and abstracts submitted at NASP 2017 will be a great contribution to our ongoing efforts to elevate awareness for the differentiated outcomes that specialty pharmacy delivers for patients every day.”

First Place Title: Economic Analysis of Molecular Mutation Testing in Real-World Practice Using Claims Data: Costs of Single Gene vs. Panel Tests in Patients with Lung Cancer

Authors: A. Dalal, K. Dea, A. Guerin, K. Culver  |  Presenting:  Alex Mutebi, PhD
Background & Objectives: In lung cancer, BRAF mutation and other driver mutations can be detected by single gene tests (e.g., reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]) and panel tests (e.g., next-generation sequencing [NGS]). No information exists in literature on the costs of genetic testing from a payer perspective for patients (pts) with BRAF mutated lung cancer. To assess time to BRAF testing, the abstract compared characteristics between pts tested vs. not tested for BRAF mutation, and described the amount reimbursed for BRAF tests, and the total cost for BRAF testing following a sequential vs. an NGS approach.

Conclusions: Amounts reimbursed for BRAF mutation tests vary based on the combination of procedures. Findings suggest NGS testing is associated with cost savings compared with sequential testing of individual mutations.

Second Place Title: Collaboration and Data Reporting for Hemophilia Specialty Pharmacy Management: Metric Development for Quality Improvement

Authors: V. Pindolia, M. Rice, K. Koulianos  |  Presenting:  Michelle Rice, BA

Background & Objectives: Hemophilia represents a significant driver of healthcare resource utilization, requiring expert hematologic and multidisciplinary services to achieve optimal outcomes. Despite serving as federally recognized centers of excellence in managing this unique patient population for more than 40 years, hemophilia treatment center (HTC) collaboration with specialty pharmacy providers (SPPs) and payers is currently lacking. This is largely due to a lack of communication and information shared between stakeholders. Routine information sharing between HTC/SPP and payer stakeholders is paramount to improving outcomes in hemophilia; the Comprehensive Care Sustainability Collaborative (CCSC) initiative provides a unique forum for such dialogue and data exchange. The CCSC set forth to develop a set of quality improvement and cost management metrics. These metrics will be used in a first-of-its- kind series of pilot programs that are anticipated to forge innovative collaboration between payers and HTCs/SPPs.

Conclusions: Pilot programs founded on the metrics developed by the CCSC will serve as the foundation for future collaboration between payers and HTCs/SPPs. Data collection and reporting demonstrates quality in specialty pharmacy management by HTCs and SPPs, and enhances sustainability in the relationships of these entities with payers. Such quality improvement and cost management initiatives are crucial in the new era of health care accountability.

Third Place Title: Assessing the Impact of High Touch Specialty Pharmacy Services in Patients Receiving Teriparatide

Authors: E. Singleton, K. Litten, B. Bolis, S. Burkes, A. Bagwell  |  Presenting: Autumn Bagwell, PharmD

Background & Objectives: Teriparatide is the first FDA-approved anabolic hormone that stimulates bone growth in patients with osteoporosis, with recommended treatment up to two years. However, a significant number of patients do not complete the recommended two years of treatment. Nonadherence has been shown to result in a higher risk of fracture, all-cause medical costs, and frequency of inpatient service utilization.
In 2013, the Vanderbilt Specialty Pharmacy (VSP) integrated a clinical pharmacist into the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Endocrinology Clinic to help with continuity of care for patients beginning teriparatide treatment. Assessing this model of care and its impact on patient adherence to treatment can lead to decreased medical costs, improved patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. This abstract evaluates teriparatide completion rates between patients who receive the medication through VSP using a high-touch integrated specialty pharmacy model compared with those prescribed teriparatide prior to VSP integration. This abstract evaluated the number and types of pharmacy interventions provided. By quantifying specific aims, we hope to demonstrate the impact of a specialty pharmacist in an integrated specialty care model.

Conclusions: Following VSP integration, teriparatide completion rates rose by approximately 10%, correlating with a 20% change. These results demonstrate the benefits of this integrated model of care.

Audience Choice: Multidisciplinary Process Improvement Optimized Oral Chemotherapy Safety and Quality

Authors: R. Havriliak, M. Stutsky, K. Adelson, S. Kregling, T. Ouellette, L. Lee, M. Smith, M. Harrison, O. Abdelghany, H. Cohen  |  Presenting:  Renee Havriliak, RPh

Background & Objectives: Nationally, oral chemotherapy has been highlighted as an area of high risk and medical error. Our Quality Oncology Practice Initiative certification identified opportunities for improvement in our oral chemotherapy processes that include: lack of documentation in the medical record, refills received from third-party pharmacies after prescription discontinuation, incorrect self-administration of medications, delivery delays, and underuse of available patient assistance programs. To implement an oral chemotherapy medication care model that supports access to medications in a timely manner, patient adherence to regimens, and provides ongoing patient monitoring.

Conclusions: A patient-centered multidisciplinary care model integrating clinical, operational, and financial resources optimized safety and quality of care for patients receiving oral chemotherapy. At a time with great financial pressures within health care where health systems services are increasingly stretched, the program’s financial benefits may be further evaluated and implemented.

NASP represents over 50 healthcare industry leaders, working on behalf of retail and specialty pharmacies, drug distributors and hospital systems on legislative and regulatory efforts for the association, which has 250 member pharmacies.  Patient satisfaction not only ties directly to increased revenue, but is also a critical area of focus for pharmacy partners like payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers. According to the Drug Channels Institute, specialty drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, human growth hormone deficiencies, organ transplantation, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

CONTACTMaureen Shanahan | nasp@skdknick.com

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Names Ardon Health Specialty Pharmacy of the Year & Honors Mike Agostino with the Distinguished Service Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, Sept. 19 – 3:00pm ET

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New President Elect & Board Members Also Unveiled, Including Representatives from Walmart, Therigy, PANTHERx, Onco360, MedImpact, Maxor National Pharmacy, Hercules, CSI Specialty Group, & ACHC

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Washington, DC (Sept. 19) — Kicking off the fifth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) meeting today, outgoing NASP President Rebecca Shanahan announced the industry’s two much-anticipated awards recognizing the best in the business of specialty pharmacy this year. Of the 1,200 corporate association members, Ardon Health was named Specialty Pharmacy of the Year, and incoming NASP President Mike Agostino was honored with a Distinguished Service to Specialty Pharmacy award, recognizing his exceptional and sustained leadership within NASP.

“Millions of Americans suffer from some of the most devastating and complex diseases, depending on specialty pharmacists to deliver knowledgeable, skilled and caring services to help them manage their sickness,” Shanahan said. “Specialty pharmacy provides a crucial and unique service to the most vulnerable patients in the country, ensuring they have access to the life-changing medications they need, along with the necessary support to succeed with complex treatments. This year’s NASP award honorees are exemplary representatives of the specialty pharmacy industry.  Both recipients demonstrate an inspiring commitment to making quality care accessible to their patients, and today we commend them for their efforts.”

NASP represents over 50 healthcare industry leaders, working on behalf of retail and specialty pharmacies, drug distributors and hospital systems on legislative and regulatory efforts to advance the practice of specialty pharmacy. These peer-nominated and reviewed awards go to the individual and organization that have done the most to advance patient care and the practice of specialty pharmacy, as well as uphold the values of NASP over the past year.

Ardon Health was recognized for embodying the practice of pharmacy in the field of specialty, based on community involvement, patient satisfaction, cost management, innovation in the field, and quality/performance improvement initiatives, which includes patient care and outcomes, disease state and therapy management, and patient engagement. Mike Agostino, the president of Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, was recognized for his exceptional and sustained leadership within NASP.

“All of our previous board members have done an outstanding job and I have no doubt that all of our new board members will do the same,” said incoming NASP President Mike Agostino. “Everyone’s contribution to our organization remains invaluable. We are very fortunate to have such a strong backing from so many renowned leaders throughout the industry. A special thank you to Rebecca Shanahan for her strong leadership this past year as President, and a sincere congratulations to Carmine DeNardo, who was voted as and has accepted the position of President Elect 2018 for NASP.”

The presidential torch was passed to Agostino today, who named the following as new NASP board members:

  • Carl T. Bertram, PharmD, MBA – Senior Director of Walmart Specialty Pharmacy
  • Roy Bigler – National Accounts Manager for the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC)
  • Keith Cook – Vice President of MedImpact Direct Specialty Operations
  • Suzette DiMascio, CHE, CMCE, CPC – President/CEO of CSI Specialty Group
  • Michael T. Einodshofer – Chief Innovation Officer for Maxor National Pharmacy Services
  • Paul Jardina, Onco360 President and CEO, as well as President and CEO of CareMed Specialty Pharmacy
  • Joseph Morse – President and Chief Operating Officer of Therigy
  • Gordon J. Vanscoy – Chairman and CEO of PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy, as well as Associate Dean for Business Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
  • Timothy Ward – President of Hercules Pharmaceuticals

NASP convened over 250 legal professionals for the industry’s second annual Law Conference yesterday. Today kicked off with a state of the industry address from Rebecca Shanahan (full agenda here). This afternoon’s first keynote will be from Alex Azar – pharmaceutical executive, healthcare industry leader, former president of Lilly USA, and former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The day will conclude with a keynote address by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (MD).  The conference continues through tomorrow, Sept. 20.

Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute, specialty drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

CONTACTMaureen Shanahan | nasp@skdknick.com

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New Data Shows Specialty Pharmacy Tops Health Care Industry in Patient Satisfaction, Driven by Superior Fulfillment, Empathy & Knowledgeability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s Performance Measurement Tool Helps Members Boost Patient Engagement & Enhanced Clinical Outcomes

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 19) — At the fifth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) meeting today, NASP Executive Director Sheila Arquette unveiled new data underscoring the superior value of specialty pharmacy, along with ways health care organizations across the continuum of care can transform the patient experience with actionable plans for immediate improvement and ongoing results.

“As the debate about how best to transform the delivery of health care in America continues, achieving The Triple Aim remains a constant,” said NASP Executive Director Sheila Arquette. “The ultimate goal of improving the quality of care and ensuring patient satisfaction while cutting wasteful spending remains a major focus. NASP is thrilled to be partnering with SullivanLuallin Group to offer a specialty pharmacy patient satisfaction tool designed to create an independent, non-biased industry gold standard, promote benchmarking data standardization, and provide meaningful insights to NASP members. This tool will help us to amplify our advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels, while driving increased patient engagement and enhanced clinical outcomes.”

NASP partnered with SullivanLuallin Group (SLG), a national health care consulting firm, to produce a Patient Survey Program to measure key performance areas affecting patient engagement. By standardizing a performance measurement tool, the intent was to make it easier for payors, manufacturers, patients and pharmacies to adequately understand and benchmark their performance against other organizations. Specifically, the survey evaluated issues related to access, prescription fulfillment, pharmacy/staff performance, billing, overall satisfaction and willingness to refer friends or family members, and pertinent demographic information.
Key performance metrics around patient satisfaction were driven by prompt call center interactions and prescription fulfillment, staff listening skills and empathy, and staff knowledge of disease and medication.

The analysis revealed interesting insights into specialty pharmacy performance at a broad level, such as the determination of a Net Promoter Score (NPS)– a cross-industry standardized index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service, as well as a customer’s loyalty to the brand. Determining a NPS allows for a comparison between specialty pharmacy and other service-oriented organizations in a variety of sectors, as well as specialty versus traditional pharmacies.

An evaluation of specialty pharmacies versus traditional pharmacies is dramatic. The average NPS in the traditional pharmacy setting is just 28 compared to the 78.6 score of specialty pharmacies, showing how the patient experience within a specialty pharmacy is dramatically different than that of a big-box pharmacy or drugstore chain, pointing to the unique value offered by specialty pharmacies.

Other results showed how successful specialty pharmacies extend customer support beyond the dispensing of prescriptions, as many specialty patients are dealing with life-threatening illnesses or diseases that take both a physical and emotional toll. As a result, a pharmacy’s training program should not just focus on knowledgeable support—but also best practices for offering respectful and compassionate guidance during these challenging times. Also, given the
instant gratification of today’s digital world, customer expectations around communication are at an all-time high. Patients not only compare their interactions with a specialty pharmacy against other health care interactions— they also consider broader online banking, shopping and other retail experiences. As such, patients expect to have varied communication options including mail, email, text, app, phone and in-person.

NASP represents over 50 healthcare industry leaders, working on behalf of retail and specialty pharmacies, drug distributors and hospital systems on legislative and regulatory efforts for the association, which has 250 member pharmacies.  Patient satisfaction not only ties directly to increased revenue, but is also a critical area of focus for pharmacy partners like payors and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

According to the Drug Channels Institute, specialty drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

MORE: http://naspnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NASP-Patient-Survey-White-Paper-Final-091817.pdf

CONTACTMaureen Shanahan | nasp@skdknick.com

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New Site Spotlights PBM Fees that Raise Medicare Costs on Seniors as Seeking Lifesaving Medications

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Launches New Hub to Educate & Empower Americans to Combat DIR Fees

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WASHINGTON, DC (August 14) – Today, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) launched StopDIRfees.com, a new website that spotlights the increasingly negative consequences of Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees. These fees are inflating prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors – the very patients the Medicare Part D program was designed to protect – and threatening the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases.

“Big Pharmacy Benefit Management firms (PBMs) have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated and opaque that very few people understand how they impact sick seniors enrolled in Medicare,” said Sheila Arquette, Executive Director of NASP. “DIR fees endanger the integrity of the Medicare Part D program, which is intended to ensure quality, satisfaction, and cost effectiveness for sick seniors across the nation. While debates continue over runaway prescription drug prices from Capitol Hill to local town halls, sick and vulnerable seniors are increasingly shouldering the brunt of DIR fees, which erode access to the vital clinical and patient support services required of such breakthrough specialty medications. StopDIRfees.com exposes how these dangerous and misaligned fees threaten both seniors’ pocketbooks and our entire healthcare system.”

A recent paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that due to the structure of the Medicare Part D benefit design, rebates and remunerations – including DIR fees – actually increase patients’ out of pocket costs. Dr. Peter Bach, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, and a co-author of the paper, calls current Medicare system “absolutely devastating for people on high-cost specialty drugs.”

“Big PBMs risk putting profits over patients, and squeezing out the specialty pharmacies working as an extension of physicians treating sick seniors as they manage complex, life-altering, or life-threatening diseases,” said Rebecca Shanahan, NASP President and CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy. “It’s time for Washington to take action by requiring PBMs to stop DIR fees and enhance transparency by opening up their ‘black box’ of information. We need big PBMs to engage in an open and honest discussion around containing prescription medication costs for sick seniors, and work with specialty pharmacies to establish standards and incentives that apply to the unique services provided or patients treated by specialty pharmacies.”

StopDIRfees.com is a hub of educational materials and resources for patients, healthcare providers, legislators, government administrators, industry analysts, media, and taxpayers. The site provides information and testimonials to show how big PBMs impose DIR fees to rig the Medicare system to direct more profits into their pockets. StopDIRfees.com also features an online petition and contact information for constituents to call or write their elected officials and urge them to stop DIR fees.

About Specialty Pharmacy – Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating disease (or fatal if left untreated or undertreated). Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)

NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide educational programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, and to promote specialty pharmacist certification for specialty pharmacy professionals. NASP also serves as an advocate for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications in tandem with critical services.  In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also focuses on support programs and services to ensure patients realize the maximum clinical benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.

NASP President Rebecca Shanahan recently wrote a letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to curb these below-cost reimbursements to specially pharmacies by PBMs, clarify Medicare definitions, and promote accurate and responsible reimbursement. She also authored an Op-Ed for The Hill, calling on Congress to protect seniors and taxpayers from these unwarranted fees.

For more information, visit www.naspnet.org.

Media Contact

Maureen Shanahan

mshanahan@skdknick.com
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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Dismisses PBM-Funded Report Claiming Drug Cost Savings from Direct & Indirect Remuneration (DIR) Fees

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DIR fees continue to inflate prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors & threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, & often life-threatening diseases

Washington, DC (August 4) — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s Executive Director, Sheila Arquette, released the following statement in response to the recent report commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) on direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees:

“The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) recently commissioned a report about direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, which speculated on how they may be beneficial to the federal government. The answer is simple: DIR fees collected from specialty pharmacies are neither beneficial to the taxpayer-funded Medicare Part D program, nor to the sick seniors enrolled in the vital safety net program.

While the report sought to address both DIR received from manufacturers (e.g., rebates) and DIR fees collected from pharmacies after the point-of-sale (POS), the report acknowledged that the overwhelming majority of all DIR (and alleged savings to Medicare) related to manufacturer rebates.  Yet, DIR fees assessed against specialty pharmacies by big PBMs continue to inflate prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors – the very patients the Medicare Part D program was designed to protect. Simultaneously, DIR fees threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases.

A recent JAMA paper showed that the structure of the Medicare Part D benefit design, rebates and remunerations – including DIR fees – actually increase patients’ out of pocket costs. In fact, Dr. Peter Bach – director of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, and a co-author of the JAMA paper – calls current Medicare system “absolutely devastating for people on high-cost specialty drugs.”  Even PCMA’s report conceded that DIR fees do not directly reduce Medicare beneficiary cost sharing at the POS.

Instead, through complex financial engineering, PBMs increase front-end reimbursement, and therefore patient out-of-pocket costs, only to then take DIR fees back on the back end. As a result, these egregious fees force sick and vulnerable seniors to pay more up front than they should. This runs contrary to the intent and purpose of Medicare’s prescription drug program.

DIR fees impact out-of-pocket costs for sick seniors, and for Medicare beneficiaries being treated with a specialty drug, the impact is even more profound. That’s because DIR fees push sick seniors into the donut hole faster, where patients are responsible for covering a much greater percentage of their prescription medication costs.

Then, when sick seniors pass through the donut hole to the catstrophic coverage phase of the Part D benefit, the taxpayer-funded Medicare program pays a much higher percentage of the overall cost of care.  With nearly 41 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, it’s putting a huge burden on Medicare in terms of costs for the program and costs to American taxpayers.

That’s why we’re advocating to keep the point-of-sale negotiated drug prices as transparent as possible, so sick seniors can choose between one drug versus another based on the understanding of the actual out-of-pocket cost to them, in addition to the Medicare program. Currently, big PBMs are misusing DIR fee provisions.

Due to a supreme lack of transparency, we question the intent and benefit of this financial engineering, especially since drug costs keep increasing for sick seniors at the point of sale, in addition to negatively impacting specialty pharmacy’s ability to continue to provide the highest level of patient care services to one of the most vulnerable patient populations.

This is just another in a long line of studies paid for by pharmacy benefit managers, attempting to validate monopolistic and opaque practices of charging specialty and independent pharmacies with capricious fees, months after the point of sale, and over which specialty pharmacies have little to no control. 

Unfortunately for the PBMs, even this study does not support their argument. The report admits the difficulty in measuring performance, particularly in the specialty space. This is not surprising, as the performance measures currently being used do not apply to the drugs dispensed by specialty pharmacy, nor the patients or diseases that they manage.

This is having hugely disproportionate and negative impact on the ability of accredited specialty pharmacies to continue to serve seniors, and it needs to stop.

Specialty pharmacies and the sick seniors we treat need PBMs to demonstrate, in a way that is much more transparent, how they calculate reimbursement for specialty services and careIncreasing transparency within big PBMs would benefit the industry and the patients we serve, helping us to finally institute clear metrics and incentives that would be aligned with the services and patient outcomes that specialty pharmacy provides, and which also align with the foundational goals of the Medicare Part D program: quality, cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. 

To continue providing much-needed, high-quality, white-glove care for sick seniors enrolled in Medicare, specialty pharmacies need a fair reimbursement structure for the drugs and services we provide.”

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Specialty Pharmacy | Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Examples of illnesses that require specialty medications include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees | One of the chief challenges facing the industry right now is: how to help CMS and Congress stop big PBMs from imposing unfair and opaque DIR fees that increase prescription drug costs for seniors and crush specialty pharmacy’s ability to provide the care that sick seniors need. DIR fees are increasingly egregious and impose negative consequences by inflating prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors – the very patients the Medicare Part D program was designed to protect. Not only that, DIR fees threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases.

National Association for Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) | NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association that represents specialty pharmacy, serving as the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty pharmacy healthcare professionals and patients alike. In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also features support programs and services to ensure patients maximize the benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.  NASP will convene its fifth annual conference from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., kicking off with a keynote speech from healthcare veteran and former Lilly USA President Alex Azar, followed by two days of thought-provoking discussions on the state of specialty pharmacy (full agenda here; RSVP to nasp@skdknick.com).

CONTACT:  Maureen Shanahan | mshanahan@skdknick.com | 407-620-6046

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5th Annual Conference Keynote Announcement

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HEALTHCARE VETERAN & FORMER LILLY USA PRESIDENT ALEX AZAR TO KEYNOTE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALTY PHARMACY’S
FIFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE FROM SEPT. 18 – 20

 
Over 1,000 Leaders in Healthcare to Convene in Washington, DC for Three-Day Conference, Including Second Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference &
Women in Specialty Pharmacy Lunch

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 27, 2017) – Pharmaceutical executive, healthcare industry leader, and former president of Lilly USA, Alex Azar, will kick off the fifth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) conference with a keynote speech on Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C. The conference will kick off with NASP’s second annual Legal Day on Monday, Sept. 18, followed by two days of thought-provoking discussions on the state of specialty pharmacy, in addition to networking opportunities and meetings among leaders in healthcare.

“I’m honored to keynote NASP’s annual conference, and hope to inspire ongoing innovation and top-notch patient support from specialty pharmacy’s industry leaders,” said Alex Azar, the Chairman of Seraphim Strategies, who served as president of Lilly from 2012 – 2017. “Specialty pharmacies and pharmacists are the best when it comes to providing the groundbreaking drug therapies, resources and white-glove services that sick Americans need and deserve to live their best lives.”

Azar joined Lilly USA, the largest affiliate of global biopharmaceutical leader Eli Lilly and Company, in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). His keynote will provide members with an update on all aspects of specialty pharmacy, including the evolution of the market, impact of specialty pharmacy on patients, and national legislative and regulatory policy.
“Millions of Americans suffer from some of the most devastating and complex diseases, depending on specialty pharmacists to deliver knowledgeable, skilled and caring services to help them manage their sickness,” said Rebecca Shanahan, NASP President. “This year’s conference features an all-star lineup, including healthcare veteran Alex Azar, to foster meaningful discussion and ideas around developments in the specialty pharmacy ecosystem.”

NASP is excited to bring back by popular demand the “Women in Specialty Pharmacy” networking lunch on Tuesday, Sept. 19, which was founded by Suzette Di Mascio, President & CEO of the CSI Specialty Group. Women are invited for networking and dynamic conversation on experiences and best practices for navigating the workplace; promoting the education and certification of female pharmacists; and elevating female leaders in specialty pharmacy.

The three-day conference will take place from Sept. 18 through Sept. 20 at the Marriot Wardman Park in Washington, D.C, offering Continuing Education (CE) credits for both legal day attendees, as well as for NASP members attending the following two-day conference. Additionally, a one-day prep course will be offered to pharmacists studying for Certified Specialty Pharmacist certification. NASP members are encouraged to register now to reserve their spot.

Specialty Pharmacy | Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Examples of illnesses that require specialty medications include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees | One of the chief challenges facing the industry right now is: how to help CMS and Congress stop big PBMs from imposing unfair DIR fees that increase prescription drug costs for seniors and crush specialty pharmacy’s ability to provide the care that sick seniors need. DIR fees are increasingly egregious and impose negative consequences by inflating prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors – the very patients the Medicare Part D program was designed to protect. Not only that, DIR fees threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases.

National Association for Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) | NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association that represents specialty pharmacy, serving as the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty pharmacy healthcare professionals and patients alike. In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also features support programs and services to ensure patients maximize the benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.

 
MEDIA CONTACT:  Maureen Shanahan | mshanahan@skdknick.com | 407-620-6046

Walgreens, Pfizer & AstraZeneca Executives Join Board of Directors for National Association of Specialty Pharmacy

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WASHINGTON, DC (July 19) – Today, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) announced the addition of three new healthcare veterans to its governing board of directors, welcoming senior executives from WalgreensPfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca. In addition to their new responsibilities representing the interests of over 1,500 corporate and individual NASP members nationwide, Ed Kaleta serves as Walgreens Vice President of Federal Government Relations and U.S. Public Policy; Tolga Tanguler serves as Pfizer Inc.’s Regional President of North America for Rare Disease; and Blaine Squires, RPh serves as AstraZeneca’s Executive Director.

 

“The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy is excited to add leadership representation from three influential players in our industry: Walgreens, Pfizer and AstraZeneca,” said Sheila Arquette, Executive Director of NASP. “Ed Kaleta, Tolga Tanguler, and Blaine Squires are three experienced, accomplished and seasoned industry veterans, tasked with elevating the practice of specialty pharmacy, promoting the education and certification of pharmacists, and advocating for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications on behalf of NASP’s multi-stakeholder membership. These three remarkable leaders will be instrumental in helping to ensure patients receive the high-quality, high-touch patient care and support services that are critical to optimally managing and living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases. And what’s more, that these patients can seek the care they need from the specialty pharmacy of their choosing.”

 

“It’s an honor to serve on the board of an organization dedicated to helping our communities deal with the most devastating of diseases,” said Kaleta, Walgreens Vice President of Federal Government Relations & U.S. Public Policy. “I believe our pharmacies and pharmacists are the best at what they do, and are vital to the provision and sustainability of healthcare for America. We must ensure that lawmakers understand and recognize their value so that our patients receive the therapy and resources they need to be well.”

 

“I am honored to be elected to the board of the NASP,” said Tolga Tanguler, Regional President, North America, Pfizer Rare Disease. “I am certain it will provide new opportunities to partner with other industry leaders to raise the standards of patient engagement and ensure access to treatment options for rare disease patients who often do not have other alternatives.”

 

“Being part of the NASP team is a tangible way for me to connect my professional work to the broader impact of pharmacy across patient, industry and advocacy arenas,” said AstraZeneca Executive Director Blaine Squires, RPh.  “I will support the NASP efforts to continue this important work with positive and significant outcomes.”

 

About Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating disease (or fatal if left untreated or undertreated). Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

 

About Edward Kaleta: Walgreens, Vice President of Federal Government Relations & U.S. Public Policy

Kaleta leads the federal lobbying and public policy activities for Walgreens, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains.  Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy provides patients who have chronic, complex and rare health conditions with easy access to their specialty and traditional medications and comprehensive support, including everything from helping patients with medication adherence and therapies to connecting patients with financial assistance programs and providing refill reminder and automatic refill services. Prior to Walgreens, Kaleta served as the Director of the Washington Office for Humana, where he was responsible for navigating the company through the historic health reform legislative effort, as well as tripling the size of Humana’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Kaleta’s experience also includes serving as Caterpillar’s Washington Manager of Governmental Affairs, and as the Chairman and co-founder of the Employers’ Coalition on Medicare, a coalition of over 60 companies and organizations that helped ensure favorable employer provisions and final passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003.  Kaleta is also a founding member of CCPM, the Coalition for Competitive Pharmaceutical Markets, a coalition which helped provide better access to safe and effective generic pharmaceuticals. The University of Richmond graduate began his career at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  He spent over six years in various capacities including Congressional and Public Affairs, ChamberBiz, and the Office of the COO.  Kaleta currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Business Government Relations Group and Illinois Group.

 

About Tolga Tanguler: Pfizer Inc., Regional President, North America for Rare Diseases

Tolga leads an organization of more than 200 colleagues across marketing, sales, access, medical and corporate affairs and a portfolio of 6 assets to ensure they are focused on one objective: to transform patients’ lives. A key focus is to ensure that the engagement and experience of rare disease patients and their families are at the forefront of all programs; while ensuring the organization is prepared for the next phase of scientific breakthroughs, including gene therapy. Tolga has more than 15 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, including leadership roles in both developed markets such as the US, Japan and the Nordics and emerging economies including Africa/Middle East and Latin America. Most recently, Tolga was the Vice President, Global Marketing for ELIQUIS. Throughout these various assignments, the organizations led by Tolga were recognized for their rapid growth performance, as well as their strong culture that led to a significant improvement in colleague engagement. Tolga has Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics & Finance from University of Istanbul, and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Supply Chain from Michigan State University. He also has a Post Graduate Degree in Marketing from the University of California. Tolga was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of NASP.

 

About Blaine Squires, RPhAstraZeneca, Executive Director

Squires leads AstraZeneca teams that oversee Field Reimbursement Managers, AZ’s internal HUB, AZ Access360, as well as all affordability programs including AZ&ME, commercial co-pay programs, and global product donations.  He has worked across the healthcare industry from retail pharmacy, home infusion and currently in the pharmaceutical industry, performing a wide range of roles from clinical management of specialty pharmaceuticals, to sales and reimbursement. Squires is known and respected for innovative and strategic thinking around process, with a focus on patient outcomes and therapeutic impact. His pharmaceutical career has included roles at Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, and now AstraZeneca, as well as clinical and business development roles with Apria, Coram Healthcare, as well as several start-up pharmacy companies. Squires received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from The University of Texas, Austin and is a licensed pharmacist in the state of Texas.

 

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)

NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide educational programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, and to promote specialty pharmacist certification for specialty pharmacy professionals. NASP also serves as an advocate for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications in tandem with critical services.  In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also focuses on support programs and services to ensure patients realize the maximum clinical benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.

 

NASP President Rebecca Shanahan recently wrote a letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to curb these below-cost reimbursements to specially pharmacies by PBMs, clarify Medicare definitions, and promote accurate and responsible reimbursement. She also authored an Op-Ed for The Hill, calling on Congress to protect seniors and taxpayers from these unwarranted fees.  For more information, visit www.naspnet.org.

 

Media Contact:  Maureen Shanahan | mshanahan@skdknick.com

 

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NASP Applauds CMS for Enhancing Oversight & Holding Large Pharmacy Benefit Managers Accountable for Rising Drug Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Applauds CMS for Enhancing Oversight & Holding Large Pharmacy Benefit Managers Accountable for Rising Drug Costs

ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 19, 2017) The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for enhancing the oversight of large Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), as they are misusing Medicare’s Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fee provisions to drive up profits, despite dangerous consequences for sick seniors and the specialty pharmacies that serve the population’s unique healthcare needs.

Last month, CMS announced its proposed 2016 reporting requirements for DIR fees, which refer to retroactive fees levied by PBMs on pharmacies on the sale of prescription drugs. They were originally conceived to ensure accountability in Medicare Part D prescription drug program for seniors. Yet, over the past few years, PBMs have expanded the types of fees that they argue fall under the umbrella of “DIR,” including pay-to-play network fees and patient adherence fees.

NASP’s comments urge CMS to use its authority to drive greater transparency from large PBMs by strengthening reporting requirements, and requiring more data as PBMs negotiate drug prices with pharmacies and plan sponsors. Specifically, NASP urges CMS to require reporting on DIR fee data by pharmacy type, further clarifying the term “reasonably determined at the point-of-sale.”

“In the last few years, large pharmacy benefit managers have re-engineered financial models for Medicare Pharmacy benefits to impose increasing DIR fees on specialty pharmacies that provide much-needed healthcare for sick seniors. PBMs refuse to provide evidence that these fees make seniors healthier or keep overall drug benefit costs down,” said Rebecca Shanahan, President of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy and CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy. “We applaud CMS for further investigating and categorizing these fees, as they threaten quality, affordable care for seniors facing life-threatening diagnoses. It’s time for CMS to put an end to the inappropriate application of DIR fees, which PBMs are recklessly using to  elevate out-of-pocket costs on seniors, pull funds from pharmacies, and keep more Medicare dollars for themselves.”

Using new regulations, CMS can determine how DIR fees are impacting seniors and resolve whether these fees provide any savings to the Part D program or health benefits to seniors. Specialty pharmacies across the country report that DIR fees hurt seniors financially and clinically, as the extra costs driven by PBMs make it more difficult for seniors to follow prescription medication treatment plans, as directed by their doctors. The out-of-control engineering of financial models to levy DIR fees on specialty pharmacies limits seniors’ access to clinical support when these inappropriately applied costs push pharmacies out of the Medicare market. These fees reduce the ability of specialty pharmacies to deliver the high-touch, white-glove, and comprehensive care that these patients require and deserve. CMS is expected to issue final reporting requirements later this year.

Full comments from NASP are here: http://naspnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Proposed-Medicare-Part-D-DIR-Reporting-Requirements-for-2016.pdf

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association that represents specialty pharmacy, serving as the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty pharmacy healthcare professionals and patients alike. Specialty pharmacy provides important medications to patients with conditions including cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis. Additionally, specialty pharmacy features support programs and services to ensure patients receive the most benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to make it easier for patients and families to manage these tough conditions. The core mission of NASP is to elevate the practice of specialty pharmacy by developing and promoting continuing professional education and certification of specialty pharmacists while advocating for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications in tandem with critical services. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit naspnet.org.

###

Media Contact:
Maureen Shanahan
SKDKnickerbocker
(407) 620-6046
mshanahan@skdknick.com

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Announces Agenda, Opens Registration for its Second Annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Announces Agenda, Opens Registration for its Second Annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference

Hosts Unique One Day Conference Preceding National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s

5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference

ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 15, 2017)The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), a nonprofit organization representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry, including leading specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, patient advocacy groups, integrated delivery systems and health plans, technology and data management vendors, wholesalers/distributors and practicing pharmacists, opened conference registration today for the Second Annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference on September18, 2017. The event will take place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., and will precede the NASP 5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, September 19 to 20, 2017. The preliminary conference agenda was also announced today. The agenda and event registration is available at naspmeeting.com.

 

This unique, one-day conference was designed by Rebecca Shanahan, JD, CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy and NASP president and Abby Kaplan, JD, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Avella Specialty Pharmacy. It is intended for general counsel and in-house counsel for national and regional specialty pharmacies, practicing attorneys in health care law, compliance officers, and executives concerned with the legal and regulatory requirements and the extraordinary complexities of operating a specialty pharmacy. Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 250 practicing lawyers. Attendees can receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.

 

Agenda for Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference

Sessions presented from leading experts at the following companies include

      • Quarles & Brady LLP
        State of the Law in Specialty Pharmacy, Including Specialty Pharmacy Contracting With Payers and Manufacturers
      • Frier Levitt, LLC
        Specialty Pharmacy Trends: Payer, Pharma and Biotech Relationships
      • BakerHostetler
        Outsourcing Facilities, Challenges and Opportunities
      • Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
        Protecting Business Assets, Trade Secrets
      • HPS Group, LLC.
        Orphan Drug Act and Inside the FDA
      • Bass Berry Sims
        Fraud, Waste and Abuse
      • Elwyn Pharmacy Group
        Creation of a Sustainable Model of Care in the Era of Biosimilar and Gene Therapy
      • Much Shelist, P.C.
        Moderated Health Care Law Panel: Repeal and Replace

 

“As an association dedicated to providing continuing education programs to our members in specialty pharmacy, we are delighted to once again offer a unique educational opportunity to address the extraordinary legal and regulatory complexities of operating a specialty pharmacy,” said Rebecca Shanahan, NASP president. “Specialty pharmacy is one of the fastest growing and evolving health care industry segments and demands that our members stay abreast of the most important issues, with the ultimate goal of positively impacting patients.”

 
The NASP annual meeting hosts over 1,000 specialty pharmacy professionals such as senior executives, pharmacy directors, staff pharmacists, consultants, and other management- level personnel from specialty pharmacy providers, infusion pharmacies, pharma/biotech manufacturers, institutional pharmacies, managed care organizations, GPOs, distributors, and suppliers to the industry.

 

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) 
NASP is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit naspnet.org.

 

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Media Contacts:
Alana Suko
Specialty Pharmacy Times®
267-932-8760 x310
alana@hornercom.com

NASP’s comments to CMS’ Proposed Medicare Part D DIR Reporting Requirements for 2016

NASP represents an industry that focuses on providing quality patient care first with an added emphasis on outcomes and patient choice. NASP believes that it shares these common goals with CMS and looks forward to partnering with the agency to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries receive high quality cost effective care from their specialty pharmacy. In furtherance of these shared goals, NASP has submitted the following comments related to CMS’ Proposed Guidance related to CMS’ Proposed Medicare Part D DIR Reporting Requirements for 2016.

View NASPs comments to CMS’ Proposed Medicare Part D DIR Reporting Requirements for 2016

Registration Open for National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s 5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Registration Open for National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s

5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference

 Also for Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference and Specialty Pharmacy Certification Preparation Course

 

ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 8, 2017)The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), a nonprofit organization representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry, including the nation’s leading specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, health plans and integrated delivery systems opened conference registration today for the NASP 5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, Sept. 18-20, 2017. The event will take place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. and will feature the Second Annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference and First Annual Specialty Pharmacy Certification Preparation Course, Sept. 18. Registration for all events can be found at naspmeeting.com.

“At its core, NASP is dedicated to providing continuing education programs to pharmacists and other health care professionals working in specialty pharmacy, one of the fastest growing and evolving health care industry segments,” said Rebecca Shanahan, NASP president. “Our annual meeting format has grown to include specific education around legal issues, as well as helping our members prepare for or maintain their specialty pharmacist certification. We are excited to provide our attendees with rich opportunities to extend their clinical and practical pharmacy knowledge, with the ultimate goal of positively impacting patients.”

The NASP annual meeting hosts over 1,000 specialty pharmacy professionals such as senior executives, pharmacy directors, staff pharmacists, consultants, and other management- level personnel from specialty pharmacy providers, infusion pharmacies, pharma/biotech manufacturers, institutional pharmacies, managed care organizations, GPOs, distributors, and suppliers to the industry.

The annual meeting also provides pharmacist continuing education credit through its accredited NASP University program, the official continuing education resource of NASP. NASP University was developed by and is managed through a partnership with ProCE, a nationally recognized provider of continuing education for health professionals. NASP University is guided by an advisory board composed of individuals nominated by member companies of NASP.

 

NASP Offers Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits

NASP will also be hosting its second annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference the day before the annual meeting begins. This unique, one-day conference was designed by Rebecca Shanahan, JD, CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy and NASP president, and Abby Kaplan, JD, general counsel and chief compliance officer, Avella Specialty Pharmacy. It is intended for general counsel and in-house counsel for national and regional specialty pharmacies, practicing attorneys in health care law, compliance officers or executives concerned with the legal and regulatory requirements and the extraordinary complexities of operating a specialty pharmacy. Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 250 practicing lawyers who attended presentations on antitrust laws and enforcement, compliance, provider networks, employment law, legal and regulatory aspects of compounding, state pharmacy licensure and crisis management. Attendees can receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.

 

NASP Provides Specialty Pharmacy Certification Exam Preparation Course

Further demonstrating its commitment to education, NASP is hosting a one-day preparation course for pharmacists studying for the October examination administered by the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board for Certified Specialty Pharmacist certification. The course will cover aspects of clinical, fulfillment, intake and outcomes that might be expected on the exam. Expert faculty will address the fundamentals and considerations for the patient intake process, as well as fulfillment workflows, quality assurance and dispensing channels. They will also review outcomes measures and standards, clinical modules persistence and adherence, specialty drug classes, indications, interactions, and more.

NASP Exhibit and Sponsorship Opportunities Available
Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. (MJHA), a full-service health care communications company, is the exclusive corporate management company for the NASP 5th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference. Working closely with the NASP planning committee, MJH Associates’ leading business units, MJH Live Events, Specialty Pharmacy Times® and MJH Healthcare Communications®, are managing all aspects of the annual meeting, including implementing and executing sponsorship sales, marketing, hotel and logistics management, faculty recruitment, onsite management of the meeting and attendee recruitment. For registration information, exhibit or sponsorship opportunities, please visit naspmeeting.com.

Specialty Pharmacists
Specialty pharmacists largely provide medications for people with serious health conditions requiring complex therapies. These include conditions such as cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, and hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Specialty pharmacists connect patients who are severely ill with the medications that are prescribed for their conditions, provide the patient care services required for these medications, and support patients who are facing reimbursement challenges for these highly needed but also frequently costly medications.

For more information on the Annual Meeting, please visit naspmeeting.com.

 

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) 
NASP is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit naspnet.org.

 

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Media Contacts:

Alana Suko
Specialty Pharmacy Times®
267-932-8760 x310
alana@hornercom.com

NASP releases new education website – NASP University

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP™) is the association representing the voice of Specialty Pharmacy and we are happy to announce the launch of NASP University.

NASP is committed to advancing specialty pharmacy education and providing programs and services to improve patient care. The NASP University platform offers a variety of live and on-demand educational opportunities to our members and the specialty pharmacy community.
s the specialty pharmacy industry continues to grow in complexity, NASP University is here to support your ongoing educational needs, as well as provide certification that enhances your knowledge and career potential.

NASP University

To learn more about NASP University, visit: www.naspnet.org/university

NASP White Paper: “Performance” Based DIR Fees: A Rigged System with Disparate Effect on Specialty Pharmacies, Medicare Part D Beneficiaries and the U.S. Healthcare System

On behalf of National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, the Executive Board commissioned a white paper (Performance” Based DIR Fees: A Rigged System with Disparate Effect on Specialty Pharmacies, Medicare Part D Beneficiaries and the U.S. Healthcare System), authored by the law firm, Frier Levitt, LLC. We write to you to make you aware of the enclosed white paper and forthcoming press release. Please review the document in detail to better understand the background and implications of DIR fees.

The white paper focuses on percentage-based DIR fees which are often shrouded by PBMs under the aegis of “performance.” However, as the white paper demonstrates, the performance metrics used by PBMs are wholly inapplicable to the unique and high-touch services provided by specialty pharmacies, leaving them no meaningful opportunity to actually influence the performance scores being assessed against them. Instead, these DIR fees do nothing to improve performance for specialty pharmacy patients served by Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage pharmacy networks, and amount to nothing more than an “after-the-fact” surcharge on providers, often putting them grossly underwater on high-priced specialty medications and threatening their ability to continue to provide life-saving services to support Medicare beneficiaries with diseases treated by specialty medications.

We understand that you may receive questions from your colleagues and from media. Please forward all media inquiries to Sheila Arquette at (703) 842-0122 or sarquette@NASPnet.org.

View Press Release

Download White Paper

NASP Response to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Comments Regarding Draft 2018 Call Letter

NASP represents an industry that focuses on providing quality patient care first with an added emphasis on outcomes and patient choice. NASP believes that it shares these common goals with CMS and looks forward to partnering with the agency to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries receive high quality cost effective care from their specialty pharmacy. Through this lens, NASP has submitted our comments related to CMS’ draft 2018 Call Letter.

View NASPs reply letter to CMS’ draft 2018 Call Letter

Sheila Arquette Joins National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) as Executive Director

On Monday, February 27th Sheila Arquette will be joining National Association of Specialty Pharmacy as the Executive Director. Sheila holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy. She has extensive practical and leadership experience in retail pharmacy,  hospital pharmacy, long-term care consulting and dispensing, in addition to the managed care, PBM and specialty pharmacy space. Sheila comes to NASP from  Independent Health where she was the Director of Pharmacy Services.

Please join NASP in welcoming Sheila to the NASP team.

Contact Information:
Sheila Arquette
Executive Director
National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
Email: sarquette@naspnet.org
Phone: (703) 842-0122
Fax: (703) 842-8893

View Press Release

CSPE NEW CE – Certificate in Specialty Pharmacy Exam Prep Course

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) has teamed up with ProCE to bring you the Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE), THE official continuing education website for NASP. Most CSPE activities cover the clinical therapeutics of various disease states in which specialty pharmacy products and services are provided. However, CSPE also covers legal, regulatory and operational topics relevant to specialty pharmacy practice.

Certificate in Specialty Pharmacy Exam Prep Course

This is a featured CE activity on the Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE) website. CSPE is the educational hub of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP). The CSP Exam Preparatory Course will cover aspects of Clinical, Fulfillment, Intake and Outcomes that might be expected on the exam. Join expert faculty as key aspects of specialty pharmacy and the specialty pharmacist’s role are discussed.

The fee for this activity is $99. Earn up to a total of 6.75 contact hours for completing all modules.

Learning Objectives

 

The target audience for this activity includes pharmacists.

 

At the completion of Patient Intake, participants will be able to:

  • Outline and explain key considerations for the specialty pharmacist concerning the patient intake process.
  • Define and describe the central intake approach to the specialty pharmacy patient intake process.
  • Identify and distinguish the specific roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the patient intake process.
  • List and explain the fundamental steps of the patient intake process for specialty pharmaceuticals.
  • Identify and discuss specific business drivers as they relate to specialty pharmacy patients.
  • Compare and contrast key opportunities and challenges related to the specialty pharmacy patient intake process.

At the completion of Clinical Practice in Specialty Pharmacy, participants will be able to:

  • List the key components of the patient medical record related to the clinical management of the patient.
  • Define persistence and adherence.
  • Outline barriers to adherence.
  • Describe strategies to improve adherence.
  • Outline the various components of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS).
  • Identify the characteristics of Limited Distribution Drugs (LDD).
  • Discuss the specialty pharmacy role in assuring desired patient safety and patient outcomes.

At the completion of Clinical: Inflammatory Diseases, participants will be able to:

  • Identify different classes of medications, mechanisms of action, and indication used to treat auto-immune conditions
  • Identify standardized dosing schedules, route of administration, and storage considerations for medications used to treat auto-immune conditions
  • Discuss monitoring parameters, possible side effects, and complications associated with medications used to treat auto-immune conditions

At the completion of Clinical: Oncology, participants will be able to:

  • List dosing and indications for oral oncolytic therapies in oncology and hematology
  • Identify most commonly used therapies in practice and important counseling/monitoring parameters
  • Assess therapies for appropriateness based on drug-drug and drug-disease interactions
 

At the completion of Clinical: Hepatitis, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the prevalence and diagnosis of hepatitis C
  • Describe the pharmacology of direct acting antivirals
  • Determine the appropriate treatment selection of a direct acting antiviral regimen
  • Identify common drug interactions with direct acting antivirals

At the completion of Clinical: Multiple Sclerosis, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate the disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Identify both common and serious adverse effects, as well as significant drug/drug interactions for each DMT
  • Identify recommended monitoring parameters for each DMT, including Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) requirements
  • Recognize how each product is supplied and how to properly administer as well as store each DMT

At the completion of Fulfillment, participants will be able to:

  • Define the Pharmacist role in specialty pharmaceutical fulfillment workflows
  • Describe the steps required to screen specialty pharmacy orders
  • Explain the importance of quality assurance in the specialty product fulfillment
  • Identify primary dispensing channels
  • Compare and contrast key opportunities and challenges in the specialty pharmaceuticals fulfillment process

At the completion of Outcomes, participants will be able to:

  • Define the three categories health outcomes measures
  • Describe the value of specialty pharmacy in health outcomes terms
  • Describe outcomes that specialty pharmacies can measure to demonstrate value
  • Describe the gold standards in measuring health outcomes
  • Discuss barriers to collecting optimal health outcomes data
  • Identify how payers are managing specialty pharmaceuticals

 

Faculty

 

Erin Stack, PharmD (Patient Intake)
Supervising Pharmacist, Cottrill’s Specialty Pharmacy

King Vu, PharmD (Patient Intake)
Clinical Help Desk Pharmacist, Diplomat Pharmacy

Kevn McNamara, PharmD (Clinical)
Owner-Manager, Clinical Pharmacy Partners

April Jones, PharmD, CSP (Clinical)
Clinical Pharmacist, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Houston Wyatt, PharmD, CSP (Clinical)
Clinical Pharmacist, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

 

Alicia Carver, PharmD, BCPS, CSP (Clinical)
Clinical Pharmacist, Specialty Pharmacy Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Aimee Banks, PharmD, BCPS (Clinical)
Clinical Pharmacist, Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Stephen Lagano, MS, PE (Fulfillment)
CEO, Altometrixs

Kanika Kapoor, PharmD, CSP (Outcomes)
Clinical Pharmacist, Diplomat Pharmacy

 

Accreditation

Pharmacists

ACPE LogoThis CE activity is jointly provided by ProCE, Inc. and NASP. ProCE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE Universal Activity Numbers 0221-9999-17-061-H04-P, 0221-9999-17-062-H01-P, 0221-9999-17-063-H01-P, 0221-9999-17-064-H01-P, 0221-9999-17-065-H01-P, 0221-9999-17-066-H01-P, 0221-9999-17-067-H04-P, and 0221-9999-17-068-H04-P have been assigned to these knowledge-based home-study CE activities (initial release date 02-06-17). These activities (8 individual activities) are approved for a maximum of 6.75 total contact hours (0.675 CEU) in states that recognize ACPE providers. Completion of the evaluations and the post-tests with a score of 70% or higher are required to receive CE credit. No partial credit will be given.

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Launches New Members-Only App

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP), a 501(c)(6) trade association representing stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry, has just released a new app exclusively for its members. The NASP Member App is an easy-to-use tool for networking, conversing and strategizing. NASP Members can use the app to:

  • Quickly update and maintain their member contact information
  • View calendar of key industry events
  • Access membership directory
  • Receive instant communication from NASP meant for all members
  • Send/receive direct messages with other members

The NASP Member app is available for Android and iOS users. Reliable and stable by design, it will have clear guidance on how to contact NASP with questions, concerns or feedback.


“The best way to be an excellent resource for our members is for us to be there when they need us in as many ways as possible. That’s where this app comes in,” notes Rebecca Shanahan, NASP President. “Members will be able to create posts and interact with their peers in a casual way and have easy viewing of NASP and industry updates all in one place.”

NASP continues to innovate and create meaningful ways to connect with the Specialty Pharmacy Industry. The non-profit organization is committed to being a trusted and go-to resource for professionals in the field to build a stronger, more knowledgeable community. The new app can be downloaded at http://naspnet.org/member-app .

To become a member of NASP today visit: http://naspnet.org/membership/.

 
About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
NASP (www.naspnet.org) is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit: www.naspnet.org. Media contact: media@naspnet.org

New Report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Illustrates the Challenges Associated with Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) Fees

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The report validates the position of many industry experts that these fees, levied by pharmacy benefit managers and Part D plan sponsors, are ineffective and harmful.

 

Washington, D.C. January 23, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ – The National Association of Specialty Pharmacies (NASP) has just announced its perspective on a recently-released report about DIR from CMS, praising the report for its transparency in showcasing how these fees are growing while driving unintended consequences. The concept of “direct and indirect remuneration” or “DIR” was originally intended to help plan sponsors and the Medicare program share in the savings derived from drug rebates paid out by drug manufacturers to pharmacy benefits managers.  However, the concept of DIR has been morphed by PBMs to include DIR fees, which have evolved into an overly-broad term for a variety of different fees extracted from pharmacies participating in Medicare Part D, including those which are performance-based.  Many experts say that these fees are misleading, confusing and unfair, negatively impacting not only pharmacies, but ultimately the entire healthcare industry and patients themselves. It risks depriving patients of willing providers and providers of appropriate value for their services.

 

While passing no judgment on the propriety of DIR and DIR fees, the CMS report on DIR and DIR fees shows that there is a growing disparity between gross Part D drug costs at the point of sale and net Part D drug costs, which account for DIR and DIR fees. CMS also observed that the total of DIR revenue grew approximately 22 percent per year and that per member per month DIR revenue grew nearly 14 percent between 2010 and 2015. This data supports NASP’s position that DIR – including PBM-imposed DIR fees – are not being applied as originally intended and are having a significantly negative impact not just on pharmacy revenue, but the overall costs to beneficiaries and the Medicare program as a whole.  As concluded by the CMS report, higher percentages of DIR ultimately shift financial liability from PBMs and Part D plan sponsors to beneficiaries and the Medicare program in the form of higher cost-sharing obligations and increased catastrophic care liability.

 

NASP has previously indicated its concerns regarding DIR fees, stating that the way these fees are being calculated is not aligned with the original CMS program or congressional intent. The organization is currently working with its members and industry stakeholders to develop recommendations for a more appropriate DIR fee structure and metrics related to Specialty Pharmacy. Performance metrics currently used to calculate DIR fees have no relevance to specialty pharmacies, essentially penalizing specialty pharmacies for performance not even part of their service models.

 

“NASP applauds CMS for being increasingly transparent about the occurrence of DIR fees and some of the unintended consequences that have arisen because of this financial model,” said Rebecca Shanahan, President of NASP. “We are excited to see that CMS is willing to analyze the widespread impact of a program that has put many healthcare organizations, and ultimately patients, in harm’s way.”

 

NASP has been actively engaged in educating lawmakers and CMS over the past 18 months about the threat these DIR fees in their current application pose to specialty pharmacy, Medicare beneficiaries and the Medicare Part D program, NASP is committed to working with its members, industry stakeholders and CMS to develop a comprehensive solution which includes a more appropriate DIR fee structure and metrics specific to specialty drug performance.

 

About NASP

NASP (www.naspnet.org) is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit: www.naspnet.org.

Media contact: media@naspnet.org

NASP Leadership Represents its Members at 35th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

January 9-12, 2017

The annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is the largest and most informative healthcare investment symposium in the industry, bringing together industry leaders, emerging fast-growth companies, innovative technology creators, and members of the investment community.

JPMorganWell-represented at this conference are pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans, Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) firms, specialty pharmacies, drug distribution companies, for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, provider networks, pharmacy and healthcare services companies and retail and specialty pharmacies.

A panel of NASP members presented information about hot topics in Specialty Pharmacy to a group of over 20 attendees who represented various private equity firms interested in learning more about Specialty Pharmacy. Discussion topics included the value proposition of specialty pharmacy, the role of specialty pharmacy in the pharmacy channel, NASP position regarding network fees and the challenges and opportunities presented by specialty therapies and services.

 

 

NASP leadership attendees included:

  • Rebecca Shanahan, NASP President
  • Burt Zweigenhaft
  • Carmine DeNardo
  • Aaron Wiese
  • Phil Hagerman
  • Mike Ellis
  • Mark Montgomery
  • Jayson Slotnik

The leadership team at NASP will continue to attend national meetings throughout the year, to represent the interests of NASP members and stakeholders.

NASP Leadership Changes for 2017

rebeccashanahanThe National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP™) announced today that the Board of Directors has selected Rebecca Shanahan of Avella Specialty Pharmacy as President and Mike Agostino of Hy-Vee, Inc. as President-elect for 2017. Ms. Shanahan will succeed Burt Zweigenhaft, who will become Immediate Past President for 2017. Mr. Agostino will succeed Ms. Shanahan, becoming NASP President in 2018. Both currently serve on the Board of Directors and on the Board’s Executive Committee.

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NASP Statement on the 21st Century Cures Act

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NASP Statement on the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34)

December 6, 2016 – The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) strongly supports the passage of legislation that aligns with improving patient care, medication access, quality outcomes and the review and approval of lifesaving drugs. While the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34) invests nearly $1.8 billion in new resources to transform cancer research and accelerate discoveries and nearly $3 billion to continue the President’s signature biomedical research initiatives, which creates new research models focused on finding cures, we are specifically concerned with Section 5004 of the Act.

Under the proposed legislation, Section 5004 changes the reimbursement methodology for infusion drugs furnished through an item of DME from one which allows home infusion providers to cover the costs associated with home infusion including the medication cost and the professional nursing services required, to a pricing structure which may cover the medication cost but would no longer cover the costs of the professional services required for home infusion. While Section 5012 of the Cures Act does create a separate fee for the professional services, this does not become effective until January 1, 2021. This creates a four-year gap where home infusion providers will not be reimbursed for professional services.

It is widely recognized that the patient’s home is the most comfortable and cost effective site of service, offering a personalized approach which improves therapy compliance and outcomes. For patients living in remote areas or those relying on caregivers to help with their care, home infusion can be the difference in a patient being able to schedule, afford, and receive the treatment they require. NASP is concerned that under this proposed payment methodology, home infusion providers will no longer be able to care for Medicare patients in their home.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes the utilization of acute care drugs in the home infusion setting often results in an earlier hospital discharge and reduced healthcare costs. Access to home infusion therapy providers is critical to facilitate these healthcare transitions. (Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Manual, Chapter 6, Section 10.11).

NASP respectfully requests that the Senate remove Section 5004 from the Act to ensure home infusion providers can continue to provide personalized, safe, and cost effective treatment to Medicare patients.

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
NASP (www.naspnet.org) is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. To learn more, please visit: www.naspnet.org. Media contact: media@naspnet.org

NASP Congratulates President Elect Donald J. Trump

Please click the button below to read the letter sent on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 to President-Elect Trump, his transition team and key members of Congress from NASP President Burt Zweigenhaft, congratulating President Elect Trump on his victory. Burt also took the opportunity to introduce NASP as the unified voice of specialty pharmacy in the United States, to highlight NASP’s dedication to education, advocacy and industry engagement and the important role specialty pharmacy plays in the health care delivery system while establishing the foundation to position NASP as the new administration’s specialty pharmacy resource.

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Congressman Buddy Carter Addresses NASP Annual Meeting, Reiterates Commitment to Support Specialty Pharmacy in Congress

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

Congressman Buddy Carter Addresses NASP Annual Meeting, Reiterates Commitment to Support Specialty Pharmacy in Congress

Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2016) – Congressman Buddy Carter (R-1st, GA) this week reaffirmed his commitment to supporting Specialty Pharmacy (SRx) in Congress during his address to an enthusiastic crowd at the National Association for Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) annual meeting.

Congressman Carter, the only pharmacist in Congress, noted that several pieces of important legislation pertaining to Specialty Pharmacy are currently pending in Congress as October (which is American Pharmacists Month) approaches.

Pending legislation includes bills to address provider status, MAC transparency, and the issue of “Any Willing Provider.”  Another bill addresses “DIR fees” which are confusing, misleading and economically debilitating to many specialty pharmacies.

“While I am the only pharmacist in Congress, these bills make clear that pharmacy has many friends on Capitol Hill and that it is important,” said Congressman Carter. “But, we need to grow the ranks of legislators who support our profession.”

“NASP is immensely proud to have the support of Congressman Carter,” said Burt Zweigenhaft, President of NASP. “It is Members like him that understand the importance of Specialty Pharmacy to the millions of patients we serve, and who without the support of our industry would not have the successful service delivery it has today.”

To learn more about the NASP Board of Directors, visit the NASP website at www.NASPnet.org.

Specialty pharmacy (SRx) provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal diseases if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

 

CONTACT:  Danielle Moodie-Mills | nasp@skdknick.com

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Names Avella Winner of the Specialty Pharmacy of the Year Award & Honors Sheila Arquette with Industry’s Distinguished Service Award

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Names Avella Winner of the Specialty Pharmacy of the Year Award & Honors Sheila Arquette with Industry’s Distinguished Service Award

 Annual Meeting Kicked Off Today, Recognizing the Best in the Business

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 27) — Kicking off the fourth annual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) meeting today, NASP President Burt Zweigenhaft announced the industry’s two much-anticipated awards recognizing the best in the business of specialty pharmacy this year. Of the 1,200 corporate association members, Avella was selected as the Specialty Pharmacy of the Year for embodying the practice of Pharmacy in the field of Specialty, based on community involvement, patient satisfaction, cost management, quality/performance improvement initiatives, and innovation in the field, which includes patient care and outcomes, disease state and therapy management, and patient engagement. Sheila Arquette was honored with the Distinguished Service to Specialty Pharmacy Award, recognizing her exceptional and sustained leadership within NASP and the specialty pharmacy industry.

“This year’s NASP award winners this year are exemplary representatives of the specialty pharmacy industry,” said NASP President Burt Zweigenhaft. “Specialty Pharmacy provides a crucial and unique service to the most vulnerable patients in the country, ensuring they have access to the life-changing medications they need, along with the necessary support to endure complex treatments. This year’s awards recipients showed inspiring commitment to making quality care accessible to their patients, and today we commend them for their efforts.”

After extensive review, the winners were selected from a group of peer nominated leaders within the industry.

“Every day, we’re searching for new medications and technologies to ease the burden of care for thousands of patients and families suffering from rare, chronic and debilitating diseases,” said Todd Speranzo on behalf of Avella. “The entire health care system will benefit from the advances we’ve made this year, but in Specialty Pharmacy, the patient comes first. I proudly accept this award on behalf of Avella, and we remain committed to facilitating the highest quality care available for specialty pharmacy patients nationwide.”

“Sheila is an extremely hard worker and has done so much for Specialty Pharmacy even answering emails at 4am”, said Burt. “We can’t thank her enough for her commitment to this industry”.

“I am humbled and honored to accept NASP’s Distinguished Service Award,” said Sheila. “The patient-centric model that drives specialty pharmacy should serve as a model for the health industry as a whole, and I am dedicated to bolstering NASP’s efforts to make that happen.”

NASP kicked off its fourth annual meeting with the industry’s first-ever Legal Day, and the conference will continue through Sept. 28. The meeting features thoughtful discussions with senior healthcare executives, as well as Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) on the rapidly growing industry (full agenda here).

Specialty Pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, debilitating or fatal diseases if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

CONTACTDanielle Moodie-Mills | nasp@skdknick.com

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Walgreens Collaborates with National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, ProCE to Launch Web-based Continuing Education Center for its Specialty Pharmacists

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Contact:
Scott Goldberg, Walgreens
(847) 315-7649

Mike Nameth, National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
(703) 842-0122

Richard Lewis, ProCE
(630) 540-2917

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Walgreens Collaborates with National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, ProCE to Launch Web-based Continuing Education Center for its Specialty Pharmacists

Virtual center to offer courses on complex disease states, including oncology, fertility, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and chronic inflammatory/autoimmune diseases

WASHINGTON D.C. – Sept. 27, 2016 – At the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Annual Meeting & Expo in Washington D.C. today, Walgreens, in collaboration with NASP and ProCE Inc., a continuing pharmacy and medical education company, announced an accredited, web-based continuing education (CE) center customized specifically for Walgreens specialty pharmacists.

As part of its ongoing professional development and clinical training programs for its pharmacists, Walgreens will offer a range of on-demand as well as live education courses across many of the most prevalent disease states managed within specialty pharmacy. These include: oncology, fertility, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and chronic inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. The courses are provided by NASP, the only national trade association representing specialty pharmacy, and serving as both the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty healthcare professionals and patients.

The Walgreens continuing education curriculum and portal, which will go live in January, is based off of NASP’s existing virtual Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE) powered by ProCE. Developed last year by NASP’s advisory panel and ProCE, the CSPE is a professionally managed, online learning platform that provides accredited continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities, examinations, and credit tracking for specialty pharmacists seeking advanced training and recognition for their enhanced knowledge and experience to improve patient care.

“We’re proud to collaborate with NASP and ProCE, two highly-reputable, nationally recognized organizations which share our strong commitment to continuing education and  patient care,” said Gerald Gleeson, group vice president, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. “Ongoing education and training are critical to ensuring our pharmacists can provide the highest levels of care and service, while helping patients with complex conditions navigate the complexities of their treatment, and providing comprehensive support when and where they need it most.”

The Walgreens customized continuing education portal features dashboard reports at both the aggregate and individual levels to track utilization and CE credits issued to Walgreens specialty pharmacists enrolled in the program.  In addition, Walgreens will have the ability to assign specific CE activities to enrolled pharmacists and to track an individually-enrolled pharmacist’s activity through course completion.

“In this exciting and ever-changing juncture in specialty pharmacy, pharmacist education is of utmost importance,” said Richard Lewis, CEO of ProCE.   “ProCE’s proven technology platform and content expertise will ensure that the Walgreens online education offering stays fresh, timely and relevant while always reflecting the expertise and knowledge of a wide range of specialty pharmacy industry leaders.”

After completing a post-test with instant grading, Walgreens specialty pharmacists can electronically claim Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) CPE credit through CPE Monitor, a national database of CPE credits through which pharmacists can track their credits and state boards of pharmacy can verify that the pharmacists have met the CPE requirements for license renewal.

“Our virtual Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education is rapidly becoming the largest source of specialty pharmacy education available,” said Burt Zweigenhaft, President of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy. “On behalf of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, we applaud Walgreens industry leadership and extraordinary commitment to continued education and advanced training of its specialty pharmacists to support the ever-growing needs of the patients they serve. Walgreens specialty pharmacists are not only taking the courses and getting CPE credit, they are also CSPE advisors, reviewers and faculty.”

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)

NASP (www.naspnet.org) is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry.  The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. NASP’s corporate members employ more than 7,000 specialty pharmacy professionals and represent over $50 billion in annual specialty drug spend. In addition, NASP operates the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB), which is responsible for the Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP) program.  Specialty pharmacists can earn this credential by passing a rigorous examination and meeting certain experience and education requirements.

About ProCE, Inc.

ProCE, Inc. (www.proce.com) is an independent continuing education provider accredited by ACPE that develops, delivers, and evaluates educational activities for health professionals. ProCE designs educational activities for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare disciplines, offering comprehensive services that include clinical needs assessments; grant development and writing; faculty management; educational content development; attendee recruitment; CE certification; and outcomes analysis.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,173 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens omnichannel business includes Walgreens.com and VisionDirect.com. More than 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy 2016 Annual Meeting in Partnership with Sponsor Avella Launch Mobile Meeting App

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Fourth Annual Meeting to Kickoff September 26th-28th in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) will convene its fourth annual meeting from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C., kicking off with the industry’s first-ever Legal Day, and followed by a two-day discussion with senior healthcare executives and Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) on the rapidly growing industry (full agenda here).

Proud sponsor Avella, is excited to launch the 2016 NASP Annual Meeting mobile app, now available for iOS and Android. The app is designed to help attendees of the NASP Annual Meeting and first annual NASP Legal Day get the most out of the upcoming conference.

With numerous speakers, panel discussions and Members of Congress taking part in the exciting two-day conference, the mobile app will help conference goers stay connected with each other and also stay connected to connected to industry trends. With the help of the NASP Annual Meeting App, attendees are able to:

Create a profile and connect with other attendees

View the full conference schedule

Learn more about the meeting speakers, moderators and panelists

Navigate the Omni Shoreham Hotel and Washington, DC area 

Receive instant updates and notifications related to the conference

NASP conference attendees will also be able post their comments on various panels, rate and review speakers and share photos creating a truly interactive event.

Specialty pharmacy (SRx) provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

The conference will commence on Sept. 26 with the sold-out Legal Day, drawing more than 250 practicing lawyers in the health care space who have previously been unable to receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits specific to their area of practice. Attendees can obtain 8 to 9.5 credit hours, including an ethics credit, as required by most states. The next two days will feature 30 educational sessions, along with dedicated exhibits and networking time in a compact format for SRx leaders to maximize their time in Washington, D.C.

NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association that represents Specialty Pharmacy (SRx), serving as the leading educational resource and national advocate for SRx healthcare professionals and patients alike. 
In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, SRx also features support programs and services to ensure patients maximize the benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

U.S. Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) 
Specialty Pharmacy & National Policy

Martin Mattei, Vice President, Clinical Product Innovation, MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc.
A Prospective on Pharmacy Benefit Management: The Rise & Role of Specialty Pharmacy

Douglas Long, Vice President, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics 
The Specialty Pharmacy Industry Report

WHERE: Omni Shoreham Hotel | 2500 Calvert St. NW, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Monday, Sept. 26 – Wednesday, Sept. 28

MEDIA REQUESTS & RSVPs: Danielle Moodie-Mills | nasp@skdknick.com
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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy President Congratulates Lasker Award Winner Michael Sofia, Calls for Continued Innovation & Enhanced Delivery of Care

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy President Congratulates
Lasker Award Winner Michael Sofia, Calls for Continued Innovation & Enhanced Delivery of Care
_____________________________________________________________________
New York, NY (Sept. 14) — Michael Sofia was just honored with the prestigious Lasker Award, which recognizes scientists’ major contributions to medical science or those who have performed public service on behalf of the field. Sofia won the award for creating a pill to fight the once-incurable virus that has dominated today’s headlines: Hepatitis C. In response, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) President Burt Zweigenhaft issued the following statement:

“Just three years ago, patients suffering from Hepatitis C had few treatment options: the main drug employed against this viral disease was only available via injection, it was accompanied by serious side effects, and for many, the drug was not effective. Today, thanks to Michael Sofia for revolutionizing Hepatitis C care, there are groundbreaking medications available that demonstrate cure rates of over 90%, and with minimal side effects.

“Nonetheless, of the nearly 3 million Americans infected with Hepatitis C, more than three out of every four (78%) are unaware of their infection, and lack of treatment for this disease results in higher incidents of liver cancer, liver transplants, and other liver-related deaths. We now have drugs that can prevent much of that with an early cure, and leaving Hepatitis C untreated among infected Americans results in a much larger financial cost and burden to society. So with our modern technology and capabilities, we can ensure patients get the care they need, including adherence to costly therapies, which results in fewer visits to the emergency room, enhances quality of life, and reduces overall costs of care.

“Health care providers should look for responsible, reasonable and clinical utility in everything they do. That includes working together as an entire health care system, and partnering to provide the right drugs to the right patients at the right time, with the goal of eradicating diseases and providing the highest level of care available. Specialty pharmacies employ a patient-centric model to help patients with Hepatitis C and other diseases, and our model for care should become the norm, not the exception in America.”

NASP will convene its fourth annual meeting from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C., kicking off with the industry’s first-ever Legal Day, and followed by a two-day discussion with senior healthcare executives and Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA-1) on the rapidly growing industry (full agenda here; RSVP to nasp@skdknick.com).

Specialty pharmacy (SRx) provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. Examples of these illnesses include cancer,hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease,rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

CONTACT: Danielle Moodie-Mills | nasp@skdknick.com
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Teresa Dinzeo Joins NASP

On August 15, Teresa Dinzeo will be joining National Association of Specialty Pharmacy as the Marketing Coordinator. Teresa has over 10 years of experience in specialty pharmacy sales support, pharmacy operations, IT and Marketing, and has most recently been a Sales Operations Senior Consultant with CVS Pharmacy. Teresa’s vast experience includes, project management, web design, and client infrastructure and application process training. In her new role Teresa will be supporting all aspects of NASP from a coordinator role. Please join NASP in welcome Teresa to the NASP team.

Contact Information:
Teresa Dinzeo
Marketing Coordinator
National Association of Specialty Pharmacy
Email: TDinzeo@NASPnet.org
Phone: (703) 842-0122
Cell: 682-300-0867
Fax: (703) 842-8893

SullivanLuallin Group-NASP Patient Satisfaction Survey

SullivanLuallin Group is honored to announce a new partnership with the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), offering a competitively priced patient satisfaction survey tool to its members. In collaboration with NASP, we have developed an industry-accepted standard patient survey to address the unique drivers of patient engagement and satisfaction within the specialty pharmacy field.

In addition to measuring the satisfaction of specialty pharmacy patients, this survey tool will provide consistent satisfaction metrics and reporting to various pharmaceutical manufacturers and payer clients.

Participating in the SLG-NASP survey program will provide:

Results using an industry-accepted standard patient satisfaction survey tool
Statistically viable results for each participating NASP member
National benchmarking for all survey questions
Member Percentile Ranking against SLG-NASP database
Online access to survey results
Key-Driver Analysis to determine how best to improve your scores
Presentation of Findings to review all survey results
Access to SLG-NASP National Annual Report of Industry Findings and Measures

The full press release announcing this collaborative launch can be found here. A copy of the proposed SLG-NASP patient satisfaction survey can be viewed here. NASP members interested in participating in this patient satisfaction survey program can click here.

Click here to learn more.

NASP to develop patient satisfaction survey in conjunction with assessment firm SullivanLuallin Group

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For Immediate Release

National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) to develop patient satisfaction survey in conjunction with assessment firm SullivanLuallin Group
Organizations will jointly develop a new survey tool expected to become the gold standard for specialty pharmacies.

July 14, 2016: The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) announced today that it has engaged the SullivanLuallin Group (SLG) to develop a patient survey that will address the unique attributes and quality objectives of its specialty pharmacy industry.

NASP is a trade association with a membership consisting of 1,600 specialty pharmacy professionals and 100 corporate members including specialty pharmacies, managed care organizations, integrated health systems, distributors and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Thanks to the diversity of the NASP membership, experience and commitment in the specialty pharmacy market NASP members have gained valuable insights, which will be incorporated into the strategic design of the new assessment survey.

“Our aim is to ensure that this tool accurately and precisely measures specific drivers of patient engagement and satisfaction within the specialty pharmacy industry,” said Burt Zweigenhaft, president of NASP. “This includes valuable data about cost savings, quality, outcomes, prescription access, clinical services and patient education. By participating in this assessment, specialty pharmacies will gain valuable insight that will help them benchmark and improve on all of these factors.”

SLG is one of the nation’s most recognized providers of patient experience assessment and consulting services. The organization has a 30-year track record which includes working with more than 2,500 healthcare organizations, including leading hospitals, medical groups and health systems. Its surveys are distributed to over one million patients every year.

According to Thomas P. Jeffrey, president of SLG, “Today, specialty pharmacies employ a wide variety of survey models and metrics to gauge patient satisfaction. This lack of standardization makes it difficult for payers, patients and pharmacies themselves to adequately assess and compare performance across the industry. The combined expertise of NASP and our organization will be incredibly useful in developing a new gold standard for specialty pharmacy assessments that directly addresses this challenge.”

NASP also expects that many payers, including national health plans, will be particularly interested in using industry-wide data from this survey as they develop specialty pharmacy utilization and network strategies. This information may be made available in a blinded report available through the trade association, with initial results being shared at the upcoming NASP Annual Meeting September 26-27 in Washington, DC..

The new patient satisfaction survey can be distributed through either direct mail or web-based options. Information about the assessment, which will be available to NASP members in July of this year.

About NASP

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), based in Washington, DC, is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. Its members include the nation’s leading specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, GPOs, distributors, and more. With 100 corporate members and 1,600 individuals, NASP is the unified voice of specialty pharmacy in the United States. 

NASP is dedicated to patient access, national policy advocacy, specialty pharmacist education and certification, and the engagement of all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. For additional information visit www.NASPnet.org.

About SullivanLuallin Group

SullivanLuallin Group (SLG) provides comprehensive services and programs for patient experience transformation — from assessment tools and surveys, to improvement planning and programs, to ongoing maintenance of success.

With more than 20 years of healthcare experience, SLG has seen the industry evolve, and understands the unique challenges organizations face concerning patient satisfaction, employee engagement and retention, and budget constraints as well as reimbursement. SLG is comprised of senior-level consultants and strategic thinkers that have worked over the years with more than 2,500 healthcare organizations nationwide, including physician groups, hospitals and provider networks. To learn more, visit www.sullivanluallingroup.com.

Media Contacts:

For SullivanLuallin Group:
Thomas Jeffrey, (619) 283-8988 or TJeffrey@SullivanLuallinGroup.com

For National Association of Specialty Pharmacy:
Todd Speranzo, (623) 742-1719 or todd.speranzo@avella.com

NASP Announces Inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference

NASP announces the first inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference, to be held September 26, 2016 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The conference is intended for general counsel and in-house counsel for national and regional specialty pharmacies, practicing attorneys in health care law, compliance officers or executives in specialty pharmacies or other settings concerned with the legal and regulatory aspects of operating a specialty pharmacy. Sessions will offer CLE credit.

Registration is now open and the fee for the Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference may be applied toward registration for the 2016 NASP Annual Meeting & Expo, which begins the following day, September 27, at the Omni Shoreham.

View the preliminary program

NASP Leaders Visit with Congress

Taking its political advocacy efforts to the next level, NASP board members and leaders visited Congress on February 24. During its inaugural “Capitol Hill Fly-In” event, NASP members met with nearly 50 congressional offices, including several key committees that are instrumental in shaping U.S. health policy.

Top NASP leaders participating in the meeting included:

Burt Zweigenhaft (NASP President), LindenCare

Rebecca Shanahan (NASP President-Elect), Avella Specialty Pharmacy

Erik Halstrom (NASP Secretary), Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.

Mike Ellis, RPh (NASP Immediate Past President), Walgreens

Mike Agostino (Board), Hy-Vee Health Solutions

Chris Ariyan, (Board), Pfizer

Thomas Blissenbach (Board), Fairview Pharmacy Services

Carmine DeNardo, (Board), ReCept Specialty Pharmacy

Mark Montgomery (Board), Axium Healthcare Pharmacy

Nuaman Tyyeb (Board) CareMed Specialty Pharmacy

Mark Vineis (Board), OncoSourceRx at Cardinal Health

Dave Walker (Board), Wal-Mart

Sheila Arquette (Co-Chair, NASP Government Affairs Committee), Independent Health

Wayne Grau, (Co-Chair, NASP Government Affairs Committee), Managed Healthcare Associates

Caleb Desrosiers, CareMed

Shara Siegle, Innovatix

Kathleen Streaker, Managed Healthcare Associates

Adrian Walker, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

Aaron Weise, Amber Specialty Pharmacy

NASP President Burt Zweigenhaft, BS, Chief Operating Officer Robert A. Fulcher, CAE and other members of the NASP Board met with dozens of key Congressional offices, including senior staff members from Senator Kristen Gillibrand's (D-NY) office during the recent Capitol Hill Fly-in Day event.
NASP President Burt Zweigenhaft, BS, Chief Operating Officer Robert A. Fulcher, CAE and other members of the NASP Board met with dozens of key Congressional offices, including senior staff members from Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office during the recent Capitol Hill Fly-in Day event.

While each of those participating had their own individual schedule of meetings, several group meetings were also organized with key congressional committees. Board members met with the staff Director for the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over legislation related to Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, as well as the Medicare hospital program. The Board also met with top staffers for the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which oversees the Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval and research programs, and key aspects of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, an important meeting was held with the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which is conducting a series of hearings on pricing and competition in the prescription drug market.

The Lynx Group and NASP

NASP has selected The Lynx Group to provide marketing and communications services to the associaiton.

As part of this partnership, The Lynx Group will provide the NASP with planning and marketing support for its annual meeting and expo, which will take place September 26-28, 2016, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. This event is expected to draw more than 1,000 senior executives, pharmacy directors, staff pharmacists, consultants, and other management- level personnel from specialty pharmacy providers, infusion pharmacies, pharma/biotech manufacturers, institutional pharmacies, hospitals, managed care organizations, GPOs, distributors, and suppliers to the specialty pharmacy ecosystem. For additional information, see the Press Release.

NASP Leadership Elections

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP™) announced today that the Board of Directors has selected Burt Zweigenhaft as President and Rebecca Shanahan of Avella Specialty Pharmacy as President-elect for 2016. Mr. Zweigenhaft will succeed Mike Ellis, who will become Immediate Past President for 2016. Ms. Shanahan will succeed Mr. Zweigenhaft, becoming NASP President in 2017. Both currently serve on the Board of Directors and on the Board’s Executive Committee.

For additional information, see the news release

Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education Center Opens

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP™) today announced the launch of the Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE). As announced in April of this year, NASP partnered with ProCE to provide online education activities for pharmacists and other health care professionals who focus on specialty pharmacy. For more information, read the news release or visit CSPE.

NASP Launches Specialty Pharmacy SmartBrief

NASP and SmartBrief have partnered to deliver a daily newsletter providing the specialty pharmacy industry with a snapshot of current events. The purpose of this brief is to keep specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, GPOs, distributors and other specialty pharmacy stakeholders engaged in and informed on their industry. To subscribe, click here.

See the Press Release about the NASP SmartBrief

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