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What to choose in a one-day visit to the huge show? Here are some highlights of Bruce Kneeland's picks.
Bruce KneelandThis year's NACDS Total Store Expo, recently held in the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, attracted 5,600 of community pharmacy’s most influential practitioners, executives, and suppliers. Part of the appeal of the three-year-old show, a combination of three former NACDS shows, is its ability to provide industry leaders with the tools, information, and relationships necessary for them to succeed in a rapidly changing marketplace.
The show featured eight ACPE-approved continuing education sessions on such topics as telehealth, immunization, smoking cessation, and medication adherence. The session that captured my attention, presented on August 24, was titled “Effects of pharmacist intervention on adherence to long-term medications.”
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Andi ClarkThe two presenters, Jan Pringle, PhD, University of Pittsburg, and Andi Clark, PharmD, Director of Clinical Services, Rite Aid, described a study that trained pharmacists at 34 Tennessee pharmacies in specific intervention techniques the study sponsors believed would be practical and effective.
Participating pharmacists were coached in how to use brief interventions structured around carefully developed motivational interviewing techniques that could be performed in three to five minutes.
According the co-presenters, a critical component of the study design was the documentation it would generate showing that patient-care services can be provided in a traditional retail pharmacy setting under current staffing conditions.
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The study collected and tabulated data from 1,091 patients, all of whom were taking medications for one or more of five common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. They were then randomly assigned to one of four study arms: a group that received brief motivational interventions only; a group that was given a pillbox without intervention; a group that received the intervention and a pill box; and a control group.
Data on each participant’s blood chemistry, self-reported healthcare utilization, psychosocial health, and chronic disease status, constituted the basis for assessment of the clinical benefits of pharmacist interventions.
The study demonstrated with statistical significance that brief pharmacy-based interventions made by trained pharmacy personnel constitute a useful tool to improve medication adherence. The study also established that patients participating in the program had significantly reduced overnight stays in healthcare facilities, a further validation of the cost-containment benefits of pharmacist intervention.
With 5,600 participants on hand and hundreds of trade show booths to visit, the show also provided a number of ways for attendees to interact with vendors and peers.
One exhibit that I found interesting had nothing to sell at this time but wanted to talk with pharmacy managers about how they might best handle the new drug flibanserin (Addyi; recently sold by Sprout Pharmaceuticals to Valeant), recently approved by FDA to boost low sexual desire in otherwise healthy women. It was approved with a Risk Evaluation Medication Strategy (REMS) program and will require each pharmacy to demonstrate that it can meet the requirement before gaining access to the drug.
The huge show floor, a combination of NACDS’ former Supply Chain & Logistics Conference, its Marketplace Conference, and its Pharmacy and Technology Conference, now includes vendors of technology, prescription medications, and front-end products, as well as a number of companies that provide marketing, management, and other services designed to enhance the success of retail pharmacy.
While walking the show floor, I spoke with executives from large chains, drug wholesalers, and innovative technology firms. Although the show is geared to chain drugstores, I was able to meet with Jack Walker, RPh, and Dirk White, RPh, who own independent pharmacies in Moab, Utah, and Sitka, Alaska. White said that even though his is not a chain drugstore, he comes to this event because it gives him a chance to interact with others who are finding new and better ways to succeed.
Elder Bruce Kneeland is a retired industry consultant living in the Denver area. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.