The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a perfect time to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect. As we welcome the New Year and prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities 2018 will bring, it is important to recognize and appreciate all that we accomplished together!
What an exciting, dynamic, demanding, and disruptive time in specialty pharmacy! With each new challenge, we are also afforded a new opportunity and under the leadership and direction of Rebecca Shanahan, Mike Agostino, the NASP Executive Committee and Board of Directors and with the tireless support of Teresa Dinzeo, the extremely dedicated and passionate Committee chairs, Co-chairs and committee members and our experienced and expert consultant partners, we have achieved much success in 2017!
Together we have educated, advocated, networked and positively impacted patient care. We declared war on DIR fees and developed and executed a multi-stakeholder strategy to combat this formidable threat to our industry. We released a white paper focused on the disparate effects of DIR fees on Specialty Pharmacies, Medicare Part D Beneficiaries and the U.S. Healthcare System. We successfully launched our STOPDIRFees.com website. We met with the General counsel and Deputy Administrator of CMS, with the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Health Policy) for Planning and Evaluation at HHS and with the Counselor to Secretary Price. We also met with the CMS pharmacy leadership team and with officials from OMB and MedPAC and with countless members of Congress and their staff. We have issued responses and submitted comments to members of Congress, the FTC and CMS when industry perspective was requested and have endeavored to develop specialty pharmacy champions at both the state and federal levels. We have supported federal legislation and members of Congress have stood up and spoken out on behalf of specialty pharmacy. We have hosted CMS officials and members of Congress as part of our specialty pharmacy tour initiative providing these folks the opportunity to experience first- hand what makes specialty pharmacy special. We have engaged in proactive storytelling, providing rapid responses and serving as an industry resource when required. We have reinforced NASP messaging with original content and Op-Eds and have been featured in articles in Politico, CNNMoney, The New York Times, NY State of Politics, Chain Drug Review, The Island Now, Queens Times, KHN, Vox, Modern Medicine, Drug Topics, Specialty Pharmacy Times, Drug Store News, Specialty Pharmacy Continuum, Fierce Healthcare, The Hill, RealClear Health, Morning Consult and HME News. We have joined forces with the Pharmacy Podcast Network and launched a Specialty Pharmacy Edition of the Pharmacy Podcast to amplify our message and further educate and advocate on behalf of specialty pharmacy. We have established and fostered industry relationships with NCPA, NACDS, NORD, PQA, AMCP, COA, NHIA, APhA, Asembia, PAPCC Coalition, ACHC, URAC, NCPDP, CPPA, CSI Specialty Group, Bloomberg, Politico, Senior Care Pharmacy Collation, Capstone, AARP, ASHP, US Public Health Service, SPT, WWSG, MBGH, BofA, JP Morgan, Sharps Patient Education Forum, 340B Coalition and the HDA campaign to address the nations opioid crisis. We have developed two new NASP committees- the Clinical Outcomes Committee which is focused on establishing specialty pharmacy specific performance metrics for which specialty pharmacy will be measured going forward working in collaboration with PQA and industry payers and the Customer Experience Committee which is focused on ensuring a positive patient and provider specialty pharmacy experience and the development of a consistent, statistically validated, standardized, industry survey measurement tool. Our Education, Government Affairs and Membership Committees continue with diligence in their tireless efforts to support the organization and promote the practice of specialty pharmacy, advocating on behalf of patient access, choice and the critical patient care support services integral in achieving optimal therapeutic outcomes. We hosted a spectacular 5th Annual Meeting and Expo in September in Washington, DC featuring keynote speaker Alex Azar and Senator Bill Cassidy, which provided best in class specialty pharmacy continuing education, and poster and abstract submissions documenting cutting edge, emerging and evolving treatments and enhanced clinical outcomes. Highlights also included our second annual Specialty Pharmacy Law Conference, the inaugural CSP live prep course offering, The Women in Specialty Pharmacy Luncheon and a Yoga class taught by our very own NASP Government Affairs Committee Co-Chair who is a certified yoga instructor. We celebrated the success of Ardon-the NASP Specialty Pharmacy of the Year and Mike Agostino, the NASP Distinguished Service Award winner. The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board administered 322 CSP exams-a 280% increase over their 2017 goal. NASP University was created and is a one-stop shop for specialty pharmacy continuing education needs with over 50 educational programs currently available. We continue to focus on enhancing NASP membership engagement with our new member outreach and membership renewal activities, active refinement of membership benefit offerings, evaluation of the impact of membership M&A on the industry and the organization, through ongoing NASP SmartBrief communications and by strategically utilizing social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to shine the spotlight on NASP, NASP members and specialty pharmacy. We updated and refreshed the NASP bylaws to more effectively meet the needs of a membership working in an industry that is ever changing. We have said goodbye to exiting board members and renewed and refreshed the board composition with 27 accomplished, dedicated and passionate individuals representing all facets of the specialty pharmacy industry responsible for providing the strategic insight and direction for 2018. We have represented NASP and specialty pharmacy at industry meetings and educational conferences across the country. And since I just assumed the role as your Executive Director on February 27, 2017 I feel as we have only just begun!
As we look to the future, the key to our continued success is YOU, our members. We want to ensure NASP is delivering value, appreciating financial resources are limited and that there are so many competing priorities for your time, talents and energy.
Please click on this link to complete a short survey that our Membership Committee will use to further define and refine the value and benefits of NASP membership: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KYJ8RLJ
We sincerely thank you for volunteering your time and sharing your talents and energy with us. We welcome new volunteers, committee members and ideas as well and hope for those of you wanting to become more involved that you will add this to your list of 2018 resolutions! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any comments, suggestions, questions or constructive criticisms. Your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.
Thank you for your tremendous support and for the trust you have placed in the NASP leadership team and me! Please be assured we are 100% dedicated and committed to advocating on behalf of specialty pharmacy patients, promoting and elevating the practice of specialty pharmacy, highlighting the tremendous impact that all of our members have on the specialty pharmacy patient journey and representing our industry to the very best of our ability.
With my very best wishes for the New Year and may the best gifts of the holiday season-peace, hope, love and laughter be with you throughout 2018.
Happy New Year!
Sheila M. Arquette, RPH
National Association of Specialty Pharmacy