Recent tragedies caused by compounding pharmacies have caused Boards of Pharmacies and other regulators to enact more stringent regulations for both sterile and nonsterile compounding pharmacies. On January 28, 2017, over 80 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists gathered at WesternU in Pomona, California to hear presentations on the latest California State Board of Pharmacy regulations. Tony Park, PharmD, JD, Attorney At Law, California Pharmacy Lawyers and faculty member at WesternU College of Pharmacy and several other pharmacy schools spoke first. Dr Park was followed by Christine Acosta, PharmD, Supervisory Inspector, California State Board of Pharmacy. After lunch, the two speakers were joined by Virginia Herold, Executive Officer of the California State Board of Pharmacy for a two hour panel discussion. The six hour continuing education program was presented by the WesternU College of Pharmacy and generated rave reviews from the audience.
The OCSHP held their 34th Annual Leadership Breakfast on January 27, 2017 at Chapman University College of Pharmacy in Irvine, CA. During the breakfast, a number of pharmaceutical companies participated in the exhibit program. The program was moderated by Loriann DeMartini, Chief Executive Officer of CSHP. The speakers and their topics were: Dr Jonathan Ly Tran "Advanced Practice Pharmacist", Dr Martin Torres "Transitions in Care" and Dr. Ronald Jordan "The Evolving Pharmacy Curriculum". The presentations were followed by a panel discussion. The breakfast was well attended by Orange County Pharmacists and a number of students mainly from Chapman and WesternU.
On January 25, 2017, Guy Ito, PharmD from Kaiser gave a presentation on why he loves home infusion pharmacy. The lecture is part of the Noon Professional Development elective course. A couple of reflections written by students taking the course are posted below:
Reflection #1: Yan (LeeAnn) Leung, PharmD Candidate 2020
The seminar today titled “The Best Gig in Pharmacy ‘What’s HIP and Happening’” was presented by Dr. Guy Ito, a home-infusion specialist. Dr. Ito talked about how much he loves home infusion pharmacy at Kaiser. He revealed the keys to success, which is as simple as showing up, doing more than expected, no drama, and valuing your technicians, at work which is extremely applicable in any field. Home infusion pharmacy is very personalized where we as pharmacists can oversee the treatment of the patients in a setting completely different setting. I have never looked elsewhere besides transplant pharmacy so I really think that home infusion is a great field from what I hear from Dr. Ito that the turnover rate is nearly none. But overall, I learned a lot of life lessons about being generous and random acts of kindness at my workplace to know people and to take on projects. This will help a lot when I am in the field.
Reflection #2: Jane Kim, PharmD Candidate 2020
Dr. Guy Ito spoke a little bit about home infusion pharmacy and also gave us pointers on how to be successful in life and at work. Home infusion pharmacy is rewarding in that you get to follow patients and see them get better. Patients these days pay more for health care, a lot of out-of-pocket before insurance even kicks in. However, patients either do not have to pay a single money out-of-pocket or only have to pay a clinical copay of about $50 which is much cheaper than having patients in the hospital. Along with this information, I learned how to be a successful person. When in the work field we need to be reliable people who show up to work on time, do more than expected of us, avoid any drama, and value the people around us. In order to be successful in life we need to know how money works, we need to be generous, we need to pay it forward, and we need to be kind to others by doing random acts of kindness. Not only did I learn what home infusion pharmacy is about but most importantly I learned how to be successful, not just money-wise but as a person and pharmacist. I will definitely use what I learned, both in life and once I get back into the work field.
Keith Yoshizuka, PharmD, MBA, JD, FCSHP, spoke on "Opportunities as an Expert Witness in Forensic Toxicology" to the Noon Seminar Elective series on January 11, 2017. Dr. Yoshizuka is Assistant Dean of Administration and Chair of Social, Behavioral & Administrative Sciences at Touro University, California.
The lecture lunch was sponsored by the NCPA Student Chapter. A couple of reflections written by student taking the class are posted below:
Reflection #1: Taraneh Ziaeianhosseinian, PharmD Candidate 2020
This seminar was about how to become an expert witness in order to provide testimony in trial. In a case, we have to have this ability to evaluate a critical situation and have educational and training experiences. The testimony should be relevant and reliable. The main important thing that we should mention is that we shouldn’t use big words because the juries might be have low educational background and we have to explain what the issue means and how the information might help them to make a decision. In addition, we have to make connection with the jury and try not to impress them with our knowledge. However, this is not always easy when describing clinical pharmacology and the metabolism of drugs but we should try our best to explain materials in a way that a 12-year-old child can also understand them.
Reflection #2: Yuliya Rutsouskaya, PharmD Candidate 2020
Dr. Keith Yoshikzuka has presented a very interesting and informative lecture on “Legal Consulting: How to be an expert witness."
Dr Keith Yoshikzuka emphasize how important to have a experience in order to be an expert. Residency is helpful but not necessary to become such an expert.
The lecturer also talk bout what happened to the drug after the body dies. The autopsy is usually conducted within 7 days after the death. This fact has to be taken in consideration because after death the drugs in the body tends to redistribute.
In order to testify at trial, a person needs an education and experience in order to present relevant and reliable information. If an expert testifies the most important thing is to explain the results in lay language because the jury most likely consists of people without scientific knowledge. Besides that, in order to help jury to make a decision in your favor is to tell a story, display confidence but not arrogance, maintaining the eye contact. The explanation has to be concise and simplified. Overall, I consider this profession is to be very interesting and I would like to explore it more in the future.
As part of the Noon Elective Seminar seroes, Dr. Michael Rigas gave a presentation on his company, KabaFusion and his career path. He was accompanied by two clerkship students, Johnny Zhou from UCSD and Ronald Vo from USC. His daughter, a second year dental student at WesternU also attended.
A couple of reflections written by student pharmacist taking the course are posted below:
Ji Eun Lee, PharmD Candidate 2020
On January 4th, Dr. Michael Rigas, a Chief Clinical Officer from KabaFusion, had a seminar called “specialty infusion pharmacy and its impact on healthcare reform.” KabaFusion is a full service infusion pharmacy found in 2010 that manages patients’ acute or chronic therapy at home and in ambulatory infusion sites. It provides a patient-focused infusion therapy with commitment to successful clinical outcomes and to work proactively with patients, physicians, and payors. Its goal is to provide comprehensive support before, during, and after infusion therapy. Kabafusion provides service to about 1,500 patients in 34 states and operates infusion pharmacies in seven states: CA, TX, MA, IL, NJ, FL, and PA. And it is contracted with all major health plans in these states.
In order to have a pharmacy like Kabafusion, it needs to have contracts and pharmacy licenses, permits, and certificates. So Dr. Michael Rigas describes his pharmacy as a combination of both business and clinical practice. He also talked about how his pharmacy deals with insurance and Medicare and he also briefly went over how to get a reimbursement.
Although he spent most of time talking about business aspect of his pharmacy, he also shared his career history. From his seminar, I have learned about a new type of pharmacy but I have also learned a lesson from his career history. The lesson is that each job is a great experience, meaning that each job built on the past experience and relationship as they are related to solving a problem or improving ongoing goals.
Jane Kim, PharmD Candidate 2020
Dr. Rigas is the owner of KabaFusion, which is a patient-focused, full-service infusion therapy pharmacy that was founded in 2010 and now has 6 pharmacies. They manage patients’ therapy both at home and in ambulatory infusion sites. KabaFusion’s mission statement is “We are guided by our commitment to successful clinical outcomes and dedicated to working proactively with patients, physicians and payors to provide comprehensive support before,during and after infusion therapy.” There are financial challenges that they face due to variance in reimbursement rates from the government and third party payors, which can lead to patients sometimes having to pay out-of-pocket for these high-cost therapies that they can’t afford to pay for. This will then lead to increase LOS and readmissions into hospitals. Therefore, HealthCare Reform is forcing development of strategies to manage infused and biologic therapies to prevent such issues. I am amazed by how much care KabaFusion has for each patient and the effort they putin to helping them, even with the challenges they face. I want to be able to be a pharmacist thathas that same heart and mentality. This was a new learned area of pharmacy, which I maypossibly consider in the future.