Wednesday, March 21, 2018
May 2016
President’s Message
It’s been an Honor to Serve

I was thinking the other day that it did not seem so long ago that I was thinking about the planning for the last strategic planning meeting that took place in June of 2015. At that time, the next Annual Meeting and Tri-State were off in the future, and the idea of somehow navigating through the various issues seemed somewhat vague and very challenging.

Close to a year has passed since that time, and I have to honestly say that it has been both an informative and enjoyable journey for me as President of NJSHP. The dedication of the leadership and the response from the membership has been outstanding; and this has resulted in big strides for us as a Society. And nothing drove the message home more than the wonderful comments we received from Gerald Meyer, Past President of ASHP, when he attended our Annual Meeting this past March.

So, what’s next? Well, quite a bit to be precise. Paul Goebel will assume the President’s role on June 1, 2016, and I have every confidence that he will be an exemplary leader for our organization as we continue to advance our agenda. Paul is the consummate professional; a very competent clinician, a good listener, and a person that will work with all of you to move the Society forward.

In the year ahead I will be working with Paul and the rest of the Board as we continue to strive to meet all of NJSHP’s goals and objectives. As always, I encourage you to contact me (or any Board member) if you have some idea or suggestion that you feel can help us meet our mission. Most importantly, I hope you will consider the possibility of serving in a leadership role in NJSHP. Not only is it a rewarding and educational experience, but it also provides you with a real sense of satisfaction that you have contributed to the future of our great profession of Pharmacy.

There are far too many people to thank for supporting me this past year. However, I must give a big thank you to two people who played a major role during my term in office:

  • Stella Williams – who kept me on track and focused
  • Paul Goebel – whose support and encouraging words made me a better critical thinker
Thank you both for what you have already done, and what you have yet to accomplish in this coming year.

In closing, I just want to tell you to “dream big” when it comes to Pharmacy, and then pursue those dreams through support for the State Society that best represents Health-System Pharmacy – NJSHP.

Thank you for your support, and for being members of NJSHP!

Steven Aragona
President, NJSHP

Pharmacy Learning Network Meeting
Pharmacy Learning Network (PLN), the leader in regional education focused specifically on health-system pharmacists, is proud to partner with the New Jersey Society of Health-System Pharmacists (NJSHP) for this year’s Philadelphia conference.

Coming to the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, on Saturday, May 14, 2016, the PLN regional conference is uniquely designed to keep pharmacists up-to-date on new and emerging pharmacotherapy, focusing on strategies for implementing guideline-based care in everyday clinical practice to optimize patient outcomes and improve patient care.

NJSHP members can attend PLN Philadelphia for a discounted rate of $29—$70 off regular registration rates! Simply enter the code NJSHP29 when registering.

**PLEASE NOTE: Online registration closed on Wednesday, May 11th. Onsite registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

PLN provides attendees with:

  • Outstanding CE and non-CE educational offerings
  • Notable, engaging expert faculty
  • 7 LIVE contact hours
  • Reduced registration rates for partner members!
**Click here for more information OR to register!
Tri-State Health-System Pharmacy Summit 2016 - Friday, September 30th
Please mark your calendar to attend our 4th annual Tri-State Summit (NJ, NY, CT), which will be convened on September 30th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591. More details will follow.
Upcoming Events
(Check website for additional information as it becomes available)

Southern Chapter Meeting – May 23, 2016
Standard Work Method – Is Quality or Patient Safety Possible Without It?
Kennedy University Hospital-Stratford
Stratford, NJ

North Chapter Meeting – June 9, 2016
Pharmacy Resident Research Forum Sessions 1 and 2
Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack, NJ

North Central Chapter Meeting – June 15, 2016
The ABC’s of Hepatitis C
Overlook Medical Center
Summit, NJ

Central Chapter Meeting – June (TBA), 2016
Topic: TBA (Toxicology)
Location: TBA

2016 Tri-State Summit – September 30, 2016
DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown
455 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY

Celebrate your hard work and dedication in your pharmacy career! Share your accomplishments with NJSHP! Our monthly Newsbriefs is an excellent opportunity to provide education and information about your contributions to the practice of pharmacy. Your story can be an inspiration to others! So don’t be shy. To submit your contribution, please contact Stella Williams at 609-936-2205 or email at We’d love to hear from you!
NJSHP Recruitment Site
Looking for a job or to attract a candidate to your organization? Take advantage of NJSHP’s Recruitment Site designed especially to connect our members with new employment opportunities. Job seekers and employers can post resumes/positions and manage their accounts easily. Check out this special site here.
FDA Approves New Methylene Blue Product in New Concentration
Cheryl A. Thompson

BETHESDA, MD 29 Apr 2016 - FDA earlier this month approved the marketing of Provayblue 5-mg/mL methylene blue injection for i.v. use in patients with acquired methemoglobinemia.

Provayblue is the first methylene blue product to have FDA's approval, according to FDA's database Drugs@FDA.

The product, to be available only in ampules, is owned by Provepharm SAS in France and will be distributed in the United States by American Regent Inc.

Read More

ASHP Names 37 Members as ASHP Fellows for 2016
[May 15, 2016, AJHP News]

Kate Traynor

BETHESDA, MD 29 Apr 2016 - University of Southern California (USC) pharmacist Steven Chen is confident that data from a nearly completed multimillion-dollar project will definitively show that clinical pharmacy services are cost-effective and improve patient outcomes.

"It's practice-transforming," Chen, chair of the USC School of Pharmacy's Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacoeconomics and Policy, said of the $12-million Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)–funded project's findings.

Read More

California Mulls Coverage of Comprehensive Medication Management
[May 15, 2016, AJHP News]

Cheryl A. Thompson

BETHESDA, MD 29 Apr 2016 - A bill to have the nation's largest Medicaid program cover comprehensive medication management (CMM) services by pharmacists and primary care physicians emerged from a committee hearing on April 5 with a unanimous round of ayes by state legislators.

"In the past few years, we have added millions of Californians into Medi-Cal, making the effective management of the quality and cost of care an absolute necessity," Assemblyman Jim Wood told fellow members of the state Assembly Health Committee.

Read more

ASHP Urges Maine Legislators to Override Veto of Naloxone Bill

UPDATE: The Maine legislature voted 132-5 to overturn the governor's veto. ASHP has asked Maine’s legislative leaders to initiate a vote to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1547: An Act to Provide Access to Affordable Naloxone Hydrochloride for First Responders. The legislation, passed earlier this year, would allow the state’s attorney general to negotiate for bulk purchase of naloxone for use by first responders. Maine is one of eight states that have not enacted legislation to increase access to naloxone.

Read more

ASHP Partner CSRxP Unveils Market-based Solutions to Address Soaring Drug Prices

This week, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP), of which ASHP is a member of the Steering Committee, announced the release of market-based policy solutions to curb rising drug prices. ASHP joined the Steering Committee in February as part of its continuing effort to address the impact of increasing drug costs on patients and its members.

Read more

Pharmacy News
How Hospital Pharmacists Improve Care Without Breaking the Bank
Hospitals & Health Networks (03/16) Aston, Geri
Health reform is motivating hospital pharmacies to improve care and expand services while curbing costs. At Lifespan, a Rhode Island health system, pharmacists visit patients who are at-risk of readmission while they are still in the hospital to discuss medications and how the drugs work in the body, says Christine Berard-Collins, director of pharmacy. A clinical pharmacist oversees the transitions-of-care program at Lifespan's Rhode Island Hospital and the Miriam Hospital, and three pharmacists make the patient visits that are followed-up by case-management nurses . Many hospitals are sending patients home with their outpatient medicines in hand to prevent the patient-provider disconnect that exists in the traditional model of hospital pharmacy services, Berard-Collins says. Mark Eastham at McKesson Pharmacy Optimization says rising interest in continuity of care into the outpatient setting is prompting more hospitals to create their own retail pharmacies. Access to patients' electronic health records means hospital retail pharmacists can check physicians' notes, what drugs a patient was on in the hospital, lab values, and the last time a patient visited a hospital clinic. Hospital-owned retail pharmacies also allow hospitals to capture revenue that otherwise would be lost to pharmacy chains. However, careful analysis needs to be done to determine whether a hospital-owned retail pharmacy is financially viable, such as by determining the baseline number of discharges and specialty services needed to cover expenses.
Hospitals See On-Site Pharmacies as Revenue Generators as Medication Management Pays Off
Healthcare Finance News (03/16/16) Lagasse, Jeff
More hospital systems consider on-site pharmacy services revenue generators as they seek more efficient and controllable medication delivery to patients. There are two benefits to this approach: the hospital collects more revenue from patients by letting them fill their prescriptions on-site, and it can reduce readmissions and help health systems save even more. "A lot of the initiative is more along the lines of hospitals making sure that patients can access and adhere to their medications," says Penn Medicine's Rick Demers. A key impediment for patients who want to fill prescriptions via a third-party vendor is that those pharmacies may not carry the desired medication, and this problem has grown with the pharmaceutical industry's increasing complexity. Stanford Health Care's John Cunningham says the current situation differs from the early 2000s, when hospitals with on-site pharmacies were beginning to close those operations due to medications being less costly and complicated, and there being little momentum in ambulatory care. The passage of the Affordable Care Act, which penalized hospitals for escalating readmission rates, was a driving factor in the reversal of this trend. On-site pharmacies permit more control on the hospital side, says the Medicines Company's Fred Pane. Such facilities give clinicians direct access to information such as who's prescribing which medications to whom.
Do Armed Guards Make Health-System Pharmacies Safer?
Pharmacy Times (02/29/16) Ross, Meghan
Slightly more than half (52%) of hospital security guards currently carry handguns, according to a 2014 International Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation report. This is an increase from a 2011 Hospital Security Survey that found 22% of respondents who were hospital officials in charge of security had their security officers carry a firearm or were considering the use of firearms. Back then, 78% of respondents said they had "no plans to use firearms." For some pharmacists, the question of safety in relation to armed guards depends on the hospital setting. Craig Cocchio, PharmD, BCPS, an emergency medicine clinical pharmacist at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, has also worked in hospitals both with and without armed guards. He currently works in a health system that allows security guards to carry guns. He noted that the emergency department frequently has law enforcement officers present for a variety of reasons, in addition to the armed security. "Personally, I never thought of my safety being any different with or without armed security guards," Dr. Cocchio said. Beth Lofgren, PharmD, BCPS, who has practiced in home health, long-term care, and hospital pharmacy, said she currently works in a health system that has security guards whose guns are in plain view. "I feel much safer knowing that armed guards are located on our campus," Dr. Lofgren said. A 2015 Healthcare Crime Report released by the International Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation suggested that violent crime in hospitals is on the rise. According to the report, the violent crime rate per 100 hospital beds increased from 2 in 2012 to 2.8 in 2014.
Bridging Pharmacy Automation and EMRs
Drug Topics (03/10/16) Vecchione, Anthony
Amid rising consolidation of hospitals and health systems, hospital pharmacy directors must now address interoperability between pharmacy automation and electronic medical records (EMRs). Challenges facing pharmacy directors include connectivity and standardization issues, a shortage of resources, and funding problems. At Southampton Hospital in South Hampton, N.Y., for instance, the hospital's old legacy computer system was not able to transfer information to a new EMR, according to Jerard West, PharmD, director of Pharmacy. As a result, predefined common orders had to be built from scratch using a 1,600-medication item master. West adds that the pharmacy department also had to design its system to incorporate current workflow practices, perform a Pyxis conversion to the new EMR, implement bar-coding technology, and assist with order set development for the medical staff. Dave Swenson at CareFusion says the company's enterprise approach is to allow health systems to standardize using a single formulary and to manage users across a health system instead of on a hospital-specific basis. Rich Berner at Allscripts' Sunrise business unit says medication management is crucial because it can help reduce errors, provide savings, and prevent fraud. Aesynt's Kraig McEwen estimates that when multiple hospitals merge, "most health systems need to take 20 percent of their cost structure out over the next several years just to remain solvent, so standardization is one of the mechanisms they use to help become more efficient."
Local Pharmacy Partnership to Prevent Pediatric Asthma Reutilization in a Satellite Hospital
Pediatrics (03/16/16) Sauers-Ford, Hadley S.; Moore, Jennifer L.; Guiot, Amy B.
A recent study investigated whether a partnership with community pharmacies could help reduce pediatric asthma reutilization (readmissions and emergency revisits) when hospital resources are limited. In this case, the satellite hospital lacked an outpatient pharmacy on site, so the researchers teamed up with community pharmacies, aiming to reduce asthma reutilization by providing medications in-hand at discharge. The median percentage of asthma patients who received medications in-hand rose from 0% to 82% during the study period. Expanding the medication in-hand program to all patients was a key factor, the researchers note, but other changes include expanding the team to evening stakeholders, narrowing the number of community partners, and developing electronic tools to help key processes. Following the intervention, the mean percentage of asthma patients who were discharged from the satellite hospital who had a readmission or emergency department revisit within 90 days dropped to 11% from 18%. The authors report, "When hospital resources are limited, community pharmacies are a potential partner, and providing access to medications in-hand at hospital discharge can reduce asthma reutilization."
IU to Offer One of the First Data Science Courses to Use Real Clinical Trial Data
IU Newsroom (03/24/16)
Indiana University (IU) will partner with Eli Lilly to offer one of the first data sciences courses in the U.S. to use real-world clinical trial data. "Our goal is for students to gain a better understanding of the overall drug development process, and specifically the human clinical trial phases," says Eli Lilly clinical data associate Sara Bigelow. "This includes gaining knowledge on the data side of the process--where the data comes from, where it goes, how it's used, and why it's so important not only to clinical trial research but also the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. Another key takeaway will be awareness about the privacy process involved in working with patient data." The IU course will be offered as a four-week summer class starting May 2 via the data science master's degree program at the IU School of Informatics and Computing. The trial data will employ anonymized information collected from human subjects during the safe testing of potential new pharmaceuticals. Students enrolled in the new course will have an opportunity to gain hands-on instruction in understanding, refining, and analyzing real-world data of the type used by drug companies in making major business decisions on drug development.
EHR 'Gaps' Hinder Patient Medication Adherence
FierceEMR (03/24/2016) Hirsch, Marla Durben
Electronic health records (EHRs) and health IT are not improving patient medication adherence, according to a new report in JMIR Medical Informatics. Non-adherence can cost the health care industry large amounts of money, and EHRs have been considered as a possible solution. They can use certain tools to help improve adherence and better engage patients. But the report indicated four "gaps" that are stymieing efforts. First, interoperability is underdeveloped and does not allow patients to connect self-monitoring data to a doctor's EHR. Second, inconsistencies in data definitions make it difficult to determine the validity and efficiency of data sources. Third, National Drug Codes are not yet standardized in EHRs. And fourth, medication management therapy is not handled particularly well by EHRs. To fix the issues, the report outlined a system-based view of medication use, management, and patient adherence. Interoperablity should be improved and data definitions should be standardized. Doing so can create a collaborative environment that would benefit patients, physicians, pharmacists, and all others involved in the adherence process.
Hospitals Dealing With Drug Price Increases
Washington Post (03/14/16) Dennis, Brady
Hospitals nationwide are being forced to address higher drug costs. The increases often involved brand-name drugs with little or no competition as well as commonly used generics around for decades. "There's been a huge consolidation of these generic companies ... everybody is buying everybody else," says Gerard Anderson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "If there’s no competition, the prices go up. We are seeing a lot of [drug] shortages, and also price increases. That shouldn't happen, but it is." Jeff Rosner, senior director of pharmacy sourcing and purchasing at the Cleveland Clinic, says the "challenge is, you don't have a crystal ball." His organization last year faced an unexpected increase of more than $8 million after the prices of two heart therapies surged. Rosner says it is increasingly difficult to anticipate how much the institution will spend on the myriad drugs it buys annually. Hospital officials insist that even when sudden price increases occur, patients receive access to the medicines they need. However, the unpredictable increases wedge their institutions financially, as they cannot immediately pass on the cost if a drug gets more expensive because reimbursement rates for certain procedures already have been set by Medicare and private insurers. That means sharply higher prices can lead to losses.
New Naloxone Training Program for Pharmacists Takes Aim at Opioid Epidemic
Newswise (03/29/16)
The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) has partnered with the Erie County Department of Health and the Harm Reduction Coalition to create an online education program for dispensing naloxone. The free course trains community pharmacists about dispensing naloxone without a prescription to the public, including those at risk for opioid abuse, their friends, and families. "This program is a mechanism for getting the antidote out to reduce the number of deaths," says Edward Bednarczyk, PharmD, chair of the SPPS Department of Pharmacy Practice. "Rather than distributing the medication through police stations, schools, and hospitals, pharmacies provide the community with an instant, ready-made network for distributing medicine."
Mississippi Database Tracks Prescription Drug Abusers
Jackson Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi) (02/29/16) Fitzgerald, Robin
In Mississippi, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) is helping pharmacists, physicians, and law enforcement to combat the abuse of legal narcotics. Pharmacists were first to begin using the database of prescription drug records in 2005 and are the only profession legally obligated to enter information into it. At least once daily, they input details about prescriptions they have filled—data that can then help identify anyone who may be fraudulently obtaining drugs to feed an addiction or to sell on the street. Gulfport pharmacist Larry Knox, for example, contacts prescribing doctors if the PMP indicates that a person is already receiving the same medication from other providers or from multiple pharmacies. Doctors, similarly, will see the same data when mining the system themselves to check a new patient's prescription history. Prescription orders originating from outside of Mississippi also raise red flags, but the database can access records from most neighboring states. While a valuable resource for nabbing violators of prescription drug laws, the PMP also takes steps to avoid misuse of the system. Pharmacists who reach out to prescribers about suspicious orders or customers must take care not to trip federal privacy laws, and criminal investigators are prohibited from running checks unless the target is a person of interest in an active case.
May 2016
Boehringer Ingelheim
Bristol-Myers Squibb
GNYHA Services, Inc.
Grifols USA
H. D. Smith
Omnicell, Inc.
Pharmatek Systems
PharMEDium Services
Safecor Health
Silvergate Pharmaceuticals
The Medicines Company

To be visibly engaged in the enhancement of healthcare through professional development of our members in the practice of pharmacy.

Follow us on Twitter at @njshp or tag us in your posts using the hashtag #njshp

New Jersey Society of Health-System Pharmacists
760 Alexander Rd
P.O. Box 1
Princeton, NJ 08543-0001
(609) 936-2205

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About ASHP
ASHP is a 35,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP is the only national organization of hospital and health-system pharmacists and has a long history of improving medication use and enhancing patient safety.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
7272 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

e-mail link
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2016 ASHP Summer Meetings & Exhibition
6/11/16 - 6/15/16
Baltimore, MD
June 11–15, 2016
National Pharmacy Preceptors Conference
8/11/16 - 8/13/16
Washington Hilton, Washington D.C.,
August 11-13, 2016
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