NASP News

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

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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

View Press Release
 

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.

View Press Release

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.

DOWNLOAD LETTER

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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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

Download Press Release

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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