• 18 Jul 2019 9:54 AM | Deleted user

    Author:  Hunter Ragan, PharmD Candidate 2020; SIUE School of Pharmacy
    Mentor: Sarah Cook PharmD, BCPS; SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – St. Charles


    Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States, with approximately 610,000 deaths due to CVD per year.1  Patients with hyperlipidemia are at roughly twice the risk of developing CVD compared to those with normal cholesterol levels.2  Over 95 million adults aged 20 or older in the United States have hyperlipidemia with total cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dL.3 

    Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors are the newest class of cholesterol-lowering medications and have been shown to reduce LDL-C by up to 70%.  There are currently two PCSK9 inhibitors approved by the FDA: alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha).  They are fully human monoclonal antibodies that bind in a 1:1 ratio to circulating PCSK9, which normally binds to low-density lipoprotein receptors (LDLR) on the surface of hepatocytes and promotes their degradation.  LDLR are the primary receptors responsible for removing LDL-C from the blood.  Thus, PCSK9 inhibitors increase clearance of LDL-C from the blood by increasing the number of LDLR on hepatocytes.4,5

    Alirocumab (Praluent)

    Alirocumab was the first FDA-approved PCSK9 inhibitor in July 2015 with an indication of primary hyperlipidemia; an additional indication of secondary prevention of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and unstable angina (UA) requiring hospitalization was recently added in April 2019.6  The ODYSSEY Phase III Program which led to alirocumab’s initial FDA approval consisted of multiple studies enrolling more than 23,000 patients.  These studies showed statistically significant improvement in LDL-C levels, but CVD benefit was not assessed in these trials.  The ODYSSEY OUTCOMES trial was undertaken to assess the impact of alirocumab on CVD.7

    The ODYSSEY OUTCOMES trial was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that consisted of more than 18,000 patients in 57 countries.  Eligible patients were 40 years of age or older with elevated LDL-C (≥70 mg/dL) or elevated non-HDL-C (≥100 mg/dL) despite high-intensity or maximally tolerated statin therapy that experienced acute coronary syndrome (ACS) within 1-12 months prior to enrollment.  The primary end point was a composite of death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal MI, fatal or nonfatal ischemic stroke, and UA requiring hospitalization. The targeted LDL-C value was 25-50 mg/dL and median follow up was 2.8 years.  Baseline median LDL-C was 87 mg/dL in both treatment and placebo groups, and alirocumab resulted in 54.7% lower LDL-C at 2 years compared to placebo.  Alirocumab also resulted in a 15% reduction in the composite primary endpoint compared to placebo (95% CI 0.78-0.93; p=0.0003).  Additionally, alirocumab was associated with a 15% reduction in the secondary endpoint of all-cause mortality compared to placebo, with an incidence of 3.5% in the alirocumab group and 4.1% in the placebo group (95% CI 0.73-0.98; p=0.026). However, the difference in mortality due to coronary heart disease alone was not found to be statistically significant.  Subgroup analysis of the ODYSSEY OUTCOMES trial found that patients with baseline LDL-C values higher than 100 mg/dL experienced a greater benefit with alirocumab.  Additionally, patients achieving LDL-C levels of approximately 30 mg/dL at 4 months of treatment experienced lower all-cause mortality rates.8,9

    Alirocumab’s most common adverse effect seen in clinical trials was injection site reactions; flu-like symptoms, cough, and myalgias were also reported (all at rates < 10%).  Neutralizing antidrug antibodies to alirocumab were noted in clinical trials at a rate of approximately 1%, with even fewer patients having loss of efficacy due to their presence.10  A safety analysis of 5 placebo-controlled trials studying alirocumab found no statistical difference in new-onset of diabetes or worsening of diabetes, which was consistent with results seen in ODYSSEY OUTCOMES.  The most common side effects noted in this study were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory infections, and injection site reactions.11

    Evolocumab (Repatha)

    Evolocumab was approved in August 2015 for primary hyperlipidemia, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), and heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH); an additional indication of secondary risk reduction after MI, stroke, and coronary revascularization was approved in December 2017.12  Similar to the phase III trials leading to alirocumab’s initial FDA approval, studies of evolocumab showed significant reduction of LDL-C (approximately 54-77% reduction at 12 weeks compared to placebo) but did not assess clinical endpoints related directly to CVD morbidity or mortality.13 The Further Cardiovascular Outcomes Research with PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects with Elevated Risk (FOURIER) trial assessed the impact of evolocumab on CVD, and was the first study to look at the impact of PCSK9 inhibitors on CVD outcomes.

    The FOURIER trial was a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving over 27,000 patients in 49 countries.  Eligible patients were between 40-85 years of age with clinically evident ASCVD with elevated LDL-C (≥70 mg/dL) or elevated non-HDL-C (≥100 mg/dL) despite maximally tolerated statin therapy (at least atorvastatin 20 mg daily or its equivalent) with or without ezetimibe. Patients with prevalent diabetes were excluded at the start of the trial. The primary endpoint was the composite of CV death, MI, stroke, hospitalization for UA, or coronary revascularization.  After a median follow-up of 2.2 years, the primary endpoint was experienced in 9.8% of the evolocumab group and in 11.3% of the placebo group (HR 0.85; 95%CI 0.79-0.92).  No significant difference in all-cause mortality or mortality due to coronary heart disease alone was noted. Both treatment and placebo groups had a median LCL-C of 92 mg/dL at baseline, and at 48 weeks, LDL-C was reduced to a median of 30 mg/dL in the evolocumab group.14  A secondary analysis of the FOURIER trial found that event rates for the primary outcome were lowest in patients who achieved the lowest LDL-C and highest in those with the highest LDL-C.15  The authors concluded that high-risk CVD patients may benefit from lowering LDL-C levels below current goals.14 

    The most commonly reported adverse effect from evolocumab is nasopharyngitis; additional side effects include injection site reactions, diabetes, and flu-like symptoms, and rarely neurocognitive effects.10  In the FOURIER trial, the number of patients with new-onset diabetes, neurocognitive effects, and muscle-related events were numerically higher, but these were not statistically significant.14  Additionally, an analysis of multiple placebo-controlled trials of evolocumab did not find the presence of anti-evolocumab antibodies in any of the trials analyzed.16

    Current Guideline Recommendations

    The 2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol from the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and others recommend high-intensity (or maximally tolerated) statin therapy as first line medication therapy in patients with clinical ASCVD (Class I recommendation).  In patients with LCL-C ≥ 70 mg/dL despite statin therapy, the addition of ezetimibe is reasonable (Class IIa recommendation for very high risk individuals, Class IIb recommendation for not very high risk individuals).  If LDL-C ≥ 70 mg/dL or non-HDL-C ≥ 100 mg/dL despite both therapies, a PCSK9 inhibitor may be reasonable in patients at very high risk (Class IIa recommendation).   PCSK9 inhibitors can also be considered prior to ezetimibe, but this is not preferred (Class I recommendation).  Very high risk individuals have multiple ASCVD events or 1 ASCVD event plus multiple other high risk conditions. PCSK9 inhibitors should also be considered in patients with HeFH when LDL-C ≥ 100 mg/dL despite treatment with a maximally tolerated statin and ezetimibe (Class IIb recommendation) as well as in patients with baseline LCL-C ≥ 220 mg/dL with an LDL-C ≥ 130 mg/dL despite being on a maximally tolerated statin and ezetimibe (Class IIb recommendation).  These guidelines do acknowledge that the cost-effectiveness of PCSK9 inhibitors is not well defined, particularly in patients without clinical ASCVD using PCSK9 inhibitors for primary prevention of CVD.17

    The 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease only mention the use of statins for cholesterol management based on a patient’s ASCVD risk score and risk enhancers such as family history, LDL-C > 160 mg/dL, chronic kidney disease, and others.18  However, these recommendations may change in the future based on the results of the VESALIUS-CV trial which was announced in March 2019.  This study will enroll a minimum of 13,000 patients from various countries and will evaluate primary prevention of CV events in patients with high CVD risk but no prior MI or stroke.  It will last a minimum of four years or until a sufficient number of patients experience the primary composite outcome of time to CVD death, MI, or ischemic stroke.  It will also evaluate time to CVD death, MI, ischemic stroke, or any ischemia driven arterial revascularization.19


    Currently, PCSK9 inhibitors’ primary place in therapy is for secondary prevention of CVD in patients with LDL-C ≥ 70 mg/dL or non-HDL-C ≥ 100 mg/dL despite a maximally tolerated statin and ezetimibe therapy and for LDL-C lowering in patients with severe primary hyperlipidemia.  The FOURIER and ODYSSEY trials have shown promise with their use in preventing secondary ASCVD events.  Alirocumab also showed a decrease in all-cause mortality while evolocumab did not, which could potentially be due to the higher-risk population in ODYSSEY OUTCOMES compared to FOURIER.  Previous phase III trials of both PCSK9 inhibitors have already established their effectiveness in lowering LDL-C in patients with primary hyperlipidemia, but further trials are needed to establish their effectiveness for primary prevention of CVD.  Further research is also needed to establish the ideal LDL-C target.

    Overall, PCSK9 inhibitor’s clinical benefits related to lowering LDL-C and secondary prevention of CVD are evident, and their adverse events noted in clinical trials are minimal.  Long-term safety data is remains unknown due to their novelty.  Additionally, cost concerns and cost-effectiveness are still unclear, although the manufacturers have reduced pricing since their initial release to promote their use and garner more insurance approval.  Manufacturer websites can be consulted to find further information on payment assistance options that are available.


    1. Heart Disease Facts & Statistics | cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Published October 9, 2018. Accessed June 13, 2019.
    2. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2017 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association | Circulation. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000485?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&fbclid=IwAR3b93ou2NpHcmRM89PAYg5Edxya4i23Ho81PXUzba_rm6_nQE0FdlBLygY. Accessed June 13, 2019.
    3. CDC. High Cholesterol Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm. Published February 6, 2019. Accessed June 13, 2019.
    4. Learn About PCSK9 Inhibitor Mechanism of Action | Repatha® (evolocumab). https://www.repathahcp.com/about-repatha/. Accessed June 9, 2019.
    5. Mechanism of Action | PRALUENT® (alirocumab) Injection. home. https://www.praluenthcp.com/dosing-and-administration/mechanism-of-action. Accessed June 9, 2019.
    6. FDA approves Praluent® (alirocumab) to prevent heart attack, stroke and unstable angina requiring hospitalization. http://www.news.sanofi.us/2019-04-26-FDA-approves-Praluent-R-alirocumab-to-prevent-heart-attack-stroke-and-unstable-angina-requiring-hospitalization. Accessed June 9, 2019.
    7. Sanofi and Regeneron Announce FDA Approval of Praluent® (alirocumab) Injection, the First PCSK9 Inhibitor in the U.S., for the Treatment of High LDL Cholesterol in Adult Patients - Jul 24, 2015. http://www.news.sanofi.us/2015-07-24-Sanofi-and-Regeneron-Announce-FDA-Approval-of-Praluent-alirocumab-Injection-the-First-PCSK9-Inhibitor-in-the-U-S-for-the-Treatment-of-High-LDL-Cholesterol-in-Adult-Patients?fbclid=IwAR0tm70_yDB7VL5Opt2XrTc8jGQBZ1rl_2o0V9f6WkggrKibSdu5kpDcPyQ. Accessed June 26, 2019.
    8. Schwartz GG, Steg PG, Szarek M, et al. Alirocumab and Cardiovascular Outcomes after Acute Coronary Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(22):2097-2107.
    9. Steg Philippe Gabriel, Szarek Michael, Bhatt Deepak L., et al. Effect of Alirocumab on Mortality After Acute Coronary Syndromes: An Analysis of the ODYSSEY OUTCOMES Randomized Clinical Trial. Circulation. 0(0).
    10. Lexicomp Online, Lexi-Drugs, Hudson, Ohio: Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. Accessed June 13, 2019.
    11. Ginsberg HN, Farnier M, Robinson JG, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Alirocumab in Individuals with Diabetes Mellitus: Pooled Analyses from Five Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Studies. Diabetes Ther Res Treat Educ Diabetes Relat Disord. 2018;9(3):1317-1334.
    12. FDA Approves Amgens Repatha evolocumab To Prevent Heart Attack And Stroke. https://www.amgen.com/media/news-releases/2017/12/fda-approves-amgens-repatha-evolocumab-to-prevent-heart-attack-and-stroke/. Accessed June 13, 2019.
    13. Amgen - Investors - Press Release. http://investors.amgen.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=61656&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2082837&fbclid=IwAR26MNAZQei9vrbMOv3rlvl65U6DAJ9OYcKDYr4qtky2nKGvTD7uCdde1hA. Accessed June 26, 2019.
    14. Sabatine MS, Giugliano RP, Keech AC, et al. Evolocumab and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(18):1713-1722.
    15. Giugliano RP, Pedersen TR, Park J, et al. Clinical efficacy and safety of achieving very low LDL-cholesterol concentrations with the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab: a prespecified secondary analysis of the FOURIER trial. Lancet 2017b;390:1962-71.
    16. Toth Peter P., Descamps Olivier, Genest Jacques, et al. Pooled Safety Analysis of Evolocumab in Over 6000 Patients From Double-Blind and Open-Label Extension Studies. Circulation. 2017;135(19):1819-1831.
    17. Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, et al. 2018 AHA/ACC/AACVPR/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. November 2018:25709.
    18. Arnett Donna K., Blumenthal Roger S., Albert Michelle A., et al. 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 0(0):CIR.0000000000000678.
    19. Amgen Announces New Four Year Outcomes Study To Examine Long Term Effects Of Repatha evolocumab In High Risk Cardiovascular Disease CVD Patients Without Prior Heart Attack Or Stroke. https://www.amgen.com/media/news-releases/2019/03/amgen-announces-new-fouryear-outcomes-study-to-examine-longterm-effects-of-repatha-evolocumab-in-highrisk-cardiovascular-disease-cvd-patients-without-prior-heart-attack-or-stroke/. Accessed June 9, 2019.

  • 18 Jul 2019 9:43 AM | Deleted user
    Author: Jesse Smith, 2021 Pharm.D. Candidate; St. Louis College of Pharmacy
    Mentor: Laura Challen, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS, BCACP; Associate Professor, St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    Impact of Cardiovascular Disease

    According to the Center for Disease Control, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths.1  This means as pharmacists we will encounter patients on a daily basis that are not only at risk for CVD, but suffer from the condition as well.  Understanding primary preventative steps we can recommend as medication experts is imperative to combating this deadly disease.

    Aspirin’s role in primary prevention
    One of the leading medications used for CVD primary prevention in the last decade has been aspirin.  Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes irreversibly, which ultimately leads to the inhibition of platelet aggregation.  This has a positive benefit in combating heart disease by decreasing the risk of cardiovascular events.  Although benefits exist, aspirin is not without its risks.  Aspirin has been shown to increase risk of bleeding, including increasing risk of hemorrhagic stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding.  Because of these risks, the use of aspirin in the primary prevention of CVD has been narrowed to include only select adults 40 to 70 years of age who are at higher Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) risk, but not at increased bleeding risk.2

    Literature Review

    There have been several important trials looking at the use of aspirin in the primary prevention of CVD in the last few years.  Several of which were used when formulating the 2019 the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.
    In the study “Effects of Aspirin for Primary Prevention in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus”, it was found that aspirin was successful in preventing vascular events in people with diabetes with no evidence of CVD at the beginning of the trial, but also caused severe bleeding events of a similar magnitude.

    In the study “Use of aspirin to reduce risk of initial vascular events in patients at moderate risk of cardiovascular disease (ARRIVE): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”, it was found that aspirin was no more effective in preventing adverse cardiovascular events among moderate-risk patients than placebo.

    The ”Effect of Aspirin on Cardiovascular Events and Bleeding in the Healthy Elderly”, it was found that there was a much higher risk of major hemorrhage in patients who were 70 years or older taking aspirin for primary prevention of CVD, and did not result in significantly lower risk of CVD than placebo. 

    Current Guideline Recommendations
    Prior guidelines have indicated aspirin for a wider population with the 2012 American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) guidelines recommending low dose aspirin in all adults greater than 50 years of age, while the more recent 2016 United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines recommending low dose aspirin in patients 50-69 with > 10% 10-year ASCVD risk.6,7  However, there has been increasing evidence to show that aspirins widespread use across all patients is not advisable.  The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association has published their 2019 recommendations for the use of aspirin as primary prevention of CVD as follows.2

    ^= Higher ASCVD risk2:

    • Family history of premature ASCVD (males, age <55 y; females, age <65 y)
    • Primary hypercholesterolemia (LDL-C, 160–189 mg/dL [4.1–4.8 mmol/L]; non–HDL-C 190–219 mg/dL [4.9–5.6 mmol/L])*
    • Metabolic syndrome (increased waist circumference [by ethnically appropriate cutpoints], Elevated triglycerides [>150 mg/dL, nonfasting], elevated blood pressure, elevated glucose, and low HDL-C [<40 mg/dL in men; <50 mg/dL in women] are factors; a tally of 3 makes the diagnosis)
    • Chronic kidney disease (eGFR 15–59 mL/min/1.73 m2 with or without albuminuria; not treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation)
    • Chronic inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis, RA, lupus, or HIV/AIDS
    • History of premature menopause (before age 40 y) and history of pregnancy-associated conditions that increase later ASCVD risk, such as preeclampsia
    • High-risk race/ethnicity (e.g., South Asian ancestry)
    • Lipids/biomarkers: associated with increased ASCVD risk
    • Persistently elevated* primary hypertriglyceridemia (≥175 mg/dL, nonfasting)
    • If measured:
    • Elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (≥2.0 mg/L)
    • Elevated Lp(a): A relative indication for its measurement is family history of premature ASCVD. An Lp(a) ≥50 mg/dL or ≥125 nmol/L constitutes a risk-enhancing factor, especially at higher levels of Lp(a).
    • Elevated apoB (≥130 mg/dL): A relative indication for its measurement would be triglyceride ≥200 mg/dL. A level ≥130 mg/dL corresponds to an LDL-C >160 mg/dL and constitutes a risk-enhancing factor
    • ABI (<0.9)

    ¥ = increased bleeding risk2:
    Those considered an increased risk of bleeding include but are not limited to: a history of previous gastrointestinal bleeding or peptic ulcer disease or bleeding at other sites, age >70 years, thrombocytopenia, coagulopathy, CKD, and concurrent use of other medications that increase bleeding risk, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, direct oral anticoagulants, and warfarin

    Other methods of primary prevention
    Although the use of aspirin in the primary prevention of CVD is a complex topic that is situation based, the 2019 ACC/AHA guidelines states nonpharmacological recommendations are recommended for all populations.  The guidelines state a healthy lifestyle is the most important way to prevent many types of CVD.2  Eating a healthy diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and minimizes refined carbohydrates, sweetened beverages, and processed meats, while maintaining an adequate lifestyle is key in preventing CVD.2  In addition, smoking cessation for patients who smoke and the recommendation of physical activity (150 minutes per week of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity physical activity) have been shown as beneficial in the primary prevention of CVD.2

    Both pharmacological and nonpharmacological methods can be utilized to combat CVD depending on the patient.  It’s our roles as pharmacists to not only understand the current guidelines in the primary prevention of CVD, but also track the progress of these guidelines in the future.  By staying on top of the current guidelines we can ensure the best care possible for the patients we serve.


    1. Heart Disease Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Published November 28, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2019.
    2. Arnett DK, Blumenthal RS, Albert MA, Buroker AB, Goldberger ZD, Hahn EJ, Himmelfarb CD, Khera A, Lloyd-Jones D, McEvoy JW, Michos ED, Miedema MD, Munoz D, Smith SC Jr, Virani SS, Williams KA Sr, Yeboah J, Ziaeian B. 2019 ACC/AHA guideline on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. Mar 2019, 26029; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.03.010
    3. Bowman L, Mafham M. et al. Effects of Aspirin for Primary Prevention in Persons with Diabetes Mellitus. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018;379(16):1529-1539. doi:10.1056/nejmoa1804988
    4. Gaziano MJ, Brotons C, Coppolecchia R. et al. Use of aspirin to reduce risk of initial vascular events in patients at moderate risk of cardiovascular disease (ARRIVE): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. 2018;392(10152):1036-1046. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31924-X
    5. McNeil JJ, Wolfe R, Woods RL et al. Effect of Aspirin on Cardiovascular Events and Bleeding in the Healthy Elderly. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2018;379:1509-1518. doi:DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1805819
    6. Vandvik PO, Lincoff AM, Gore JM et al. Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. CHEST Journal. 2012;141(2):637S-668S. doi:DOI: https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.11-2306
    7. Final Recommendation Statement: Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Colorectal Cancer: Preventive Medication. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/aspirin-to-prevent-cardiovascular-disease-and-cancer Published April 2016. Accessed June 3, 2019.
  • 18 Jul 2019 9:37 AM | Deleted user

    Author: Diane McClaskey, RPh, BCPS; UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU

    Do you ever feel like you are swimming in acronyms when you are precepting pharmacy students?  Does this look like you?

    Today we are going to discuss the latest addition to our alphabet soup, EPA!  An EPA is an entrustable professional activity, and are utilized across Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy to ensure consistency in new pharmacy graduates to perform core tasks.  Please allow me to explain further. 

    In 2016, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy tasked their Academic Affairs Committee to identify activities that all pharmacy graduates should be able to perform without direct supervision upon graduation from an accredited college/school of pharmacy.  To be included, each EPA was evaluated to ensure:

    • The EPA can be identified as a unit of professional practice or descriptors of work, further defined as a specific task or responsibility that trainees are entrusted to perform without direct supervision after attaining sufficient competence; and
    • The EPA must be independently executable, observable, and measureable in their process and outcome.

    These EPAs serve as a baseline for all types of practice settings, not a ceiling, and are independent of practice setting.  For each element and supporting task, three key assumptions must be present.  These include:  professionalism, self-awareness, and communication.

    Let’s take a deeper look into the core EPA statements that describe what it is to be ‘practice-ready’ and ‘team-ready’.  First, the statements were categorized by the role of the pharmacist within the activity.  The six roles (domains) include:

    • Patient Care Provider
    • Interprofessional Team Member
    • Population Health Promoter
    • Information Master
    • Practice Manager
    • Self-Developer

    With respect to the patient care provider domain, the activities encompass the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process (we like to call it ‘The Wheel’!).


    Example supporting tasks within this role include:

    • Collect a medication history from a patient or caregiver
    • Determine a patient’s medication adherence
    • Perform a comprehensive medication review for a patient
    • Select monitoring parameters to determine the therapeutic and adverse effect related to the treatment plan
    • Educate a patient on appropriate use of a new medication, device, or self-monitoring test
    • Evaluate monitoring parameters to determine the therapeutic and adverse effects related to the treatment plan

    The next EPA is the ability for a new pharmacy graduate to collaborate as a member of an interprofessional team.  Example supporting tasks include:  communicating a patient’s medication-related problem(s) to another health professional, contributing medication-related expertise to the team’s work, and using consensus building strategies to develop a shared plan of action.

    For population health promoter domain, what do you think of right away?  Probably vaccines and the impact that pharmacists have, and you are correct!  Other EPAs within this domain include:  screening assessments, minimizing adverse drug events and medication errors, and maximizing appropriate use of medications. 

    The ability to educate patients and other healthcare professionals regarding the appropriate use of medications is identified as one of the EPAs included in the information master role of a new pharmacy graduate.  The ability to utilize evidence-based information is also contained within the information master domain.

    The next domain is that of a practice manager.  The EPAs identified within this role include the ability to fulfill a medication order, and to oversee the pharmacy operations for an assigned work shift.  Supporting tasks can include:

    • Assist in training pharmacy technicians and other support staff
    • Maintaining the pharmacy inventory
    • Interpret quality and productivity indicators using continuous improvement quality techniques
    • Managing medication contraindications and drug interactions
    • Assist a patient to acquire medication(s) through support programs

    The last role that new pharmacy graduates should possess is that of developing a continuous professional development plan.  An example supporting task is performing a self-evaluation to identify professional strengths and weaknesses.

    As you can see, EPAs are daily pharmacist functions that any one of us complete routinely, and can provide you guidance as you precept students on rotations.  Knowing and understanding of these EPAs and suggested tasks will allow for students to have multiple and repeated opportunities to practice and achieve competency. 

    Time to break out the crackers and enjoy that alphabet soup! 
  • 18 Jul 2019 9:19 AM | Deleted user

    Adham Mohamed, PharmD and Timothy Berry, PharmD, BCPS
    Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City


    1. List piperacillin-tazobactam’s antimicrobial spectrum
    2. List piperacillin-tazobactam’s FDA approved indications and guideline recommendations
    3. Describe the use of piperacillin-tazobactam in the United States
    4. Discuss the use of piperacillin-tazobactam in the treatment of extended spectrum β -lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria
    5. Discuss the risk of acute kidney injury with the combined use of piperacillin-tazobactam plus vancomycin

    Piperacillin-tazobactam (PTZ) is a combination of an expanded spectrum anti-pseudomonal penicillin and a β-lactamase inhibitor which protects piperacillin from degradation by β-lactamases produced by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Morganella catarrhalis.1,2

    PTZ is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of intra-abdominal infections (IAI), uncomplicated and complicated skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), female pelvic infections, community-acquired pneumonia, and nosocomial pneumonia.3

    PTZ provides coverage against a wide variety of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms (table 1).3 PTZ also exerts activity against some anaerobic bacteria (e.g. Bacteroides fragilis).3

    The 2016 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for the treatment of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP)and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) suggest the use of PTZ in combination with non-β-lactam antipseudomonal agents for the treatment of VAP and suggested the use of PTZ for the treatment of HAP.4 The 2014 IDSA guidelines for the treatment of SSTI recommended PTZ in combination with anti-methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) antimicrobials for the empiric treatment of severe infections such as; necrotizing fasciitis, clostridial gas gangrene or myonecrosis, SSTIs during an episode of fever and neutropenia and cellulitis in severely compromised patients.5 The 2010 IDSA guidelines for the treatment of IAI also suggested the use of PTZ for the treatment of high-risk community acquired IAI or healthcare-associated IAI.6 The aforementioned HAP/VAP and SSTI guidelines suggested PTZ among a variety of other agents, however, PTZ always appears on the top of the list of suggested empiric antimicrobials.4,5

    Based on the factors mentioned earlier, PTZ became a very common empiric first-line antimicrobial agent for critically ill patients. A 2011 survey of 183 US hospitals looking at the prevalence of antimicrobial medication use in acute care hospitals found that PTZ was the second most common antibiotic used to treat infections in critically ill patients, making up 25.6% of all antimicrobial medications given. This survey also showed that PTZ is one of the top antimicrobial used to treat infection in non-critically ill patients.7 The survey also showed that vancomycin is the most commonly used antimicrobial in critically ill patients, which reflects a widespread practice of prescribing a combination of PTZ and vancomycin empirically to treat infections in critically ill patients.7

    Critical care clinicians often prefer using PTZ as a first line empiric antibiotic as it provides broad coverage against gram-positive and gram-negative organisms, especially in patients with risk factors for multi-drug resistant organisms.

    Recently, there has been a growing concern with the empiric use of PTZ as a first-line antimicrobial for the treatment of infections in critically ill patients. These concerns include the increased incidence of extended-spectrum β -lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria and PTZ’s inferiority in treating infections caused by these bacteria and the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) with PTZ and vancomycin combination therapy.

    PTZ and ESBL-Producing Bacteria

    Antibiotic-resistant infections are a growing challenge; causing two million infections per year which results in 23,000 deaths per year.8 The Center for Disease Control (CDC) categorizes ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae as a serious threat.8 ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae cause 26,000 infections per year, which results in 1700 deaths.8 Infections with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae have a 57% higher mortality rate and increased healthcare cost by 40,000 USD.8 The prevalence of ESBL-producing bacteria is rising worldwide.9 CTX-M, TEM, and SHV are the major ESBL enzymes, and CTX-M is the most prevalent type globaly.9,10

    As we see an increase in the incidence of infections caused by ESBL-producing bacteria in critically ill patients, PTZ may not be the best option to treat ESBL-producing bacteria, namely bacteremia. Carbapenems remain the drug of choice to treat ESBL-producing bacteria.

    A retrospective cohort study in 37 hospitals from 12 countries compared β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations (BLBLIs) to carbapenems in patients with clinically significant bloodstream infection due to ESBL or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.11 The study had two cohorts; empiric therapy cohort (ETC) and targeted therapy cohort (TTC). The ETC had 170 patients in BLBLIs group, and 195 patients in the carbapenem group with 65% in the BLBLIs group receiving PTZ. In the TTC, 92 patients received BLBLIs, while 509 patients received carbapenem; 83% of the patients in the BLBLI group received PTZ.11

    There was no difference in the primary outcome of 30 days mortality in both cohorts In the ETC, the BLBLI group had 17.6% mortality compared to 20% in the carbapenem group (P = 0.6) and in the TTC, mortality in BLBLI group was 13.9% vs. 9.8% in the carbapenem group (P = 0.28).11

    Ng et al. conducted a single-center, retrospective, cohort study that included 151 patients with E. coli and K. pneumoniae ESBL bacteremia. There were 94 patients in the PTZ group and 57 patients in the carbapenem group. The authors did not find a difference in the primary endpoint of 30 days mortality between the two groups (PTZ 30.9% vs. carbapenem 29.8%, P = 0.89). The authors observed a statistically significant higher incidence of multi-drug resistant and fungal infections in the carbapenem arm (PTZ 7.4% vs. carbapenem 24.6%, P<0.01) and relapsed bacteremia (PTZ 3.2 % vs. carbapenem 15.8%, P = 0.05).12

    A retrospective study by Tamma et al. included 213 patients with ESBL bacteremia who received empiric PTZ or a carbapenem and received carbapenem as definitive therapy after blood cultures. In this study, the empiric PTZ group had a higher 14 day mortality after the first positive blood culture with empiric PTZ (17% vs. 8%). After adjusting for covariates, empiric PTZ had a 1.92 times increased risk of death (95% CI, 1.07–3.45; P = 0.03).13

    Recently the MERINO trial was published, which was the first randomized control trial to compare PTZ vs. meropenem as a definitive therapy of bloodstream infection caused by ESBL-producing E. coli or Klebsiella spp resistant to ceftriaxone but susceptible to PTZ. The MERINO trial was a multicenter, open-label, parallel group, randomized clinical trial. It was conducted in 26 hospitals in 9 countries. This was a non-inferiority trial, and the primary endpoint was all-cause mortality at 30 days after randomization.14

    The MERINO trial was terminated early after enrolling 391 patients (PTZ, n= 196 and meropenem, n=195). The 30 days all-cause mortality in the PTZ group was significantly higher compared to the meropenem group (12.3% vs 3.7%) [risk difference, 8.6% (1-sided 97.5% CI, −∞ to 14.5%); P = 0.90 for non-inferiority]14. The authors concluded the PTZ was inferior to meropenem in the treatment of ESBL producing E. coli or Klebsiella spp. resistant to ceftriaxone but susceptible to PTZ.14

    PTZ and Vancomycin-Induced AKI

    Acute kidney injury (AKI) incidence in critically ill patients ranges from 22% to 57%.15,16 AKI presents several challenges as well as higher mortality in critically ill patients.15,16 As mentioned earlier, vancomycin and PTZ are the first and second most commonly used antibiotics in critically ill patients.7 If combining PTZ and vancomycin creates an additional risk for developing AKI in critically ill patients, then we may need to re-evaluate our initial empiric antibiotic strategies in critically ill patients. 

    A meta-analysis was conducted by Luther et al. of 15 studies and 17 abstracts that evaluated the risk of AKI with PTZ plus vancomycin compared to other antibiotic combinations (vancomycin monotherapy, vancomycin plus cefepime or carbapenem, or PTZ monotherapy).17 This meta-analysis included 24,799 adult patients. The PTZ plus vancomycin group had a 22.2% incidence of AKI, which was significantly higher than the incidence in all the other combinations (12.9%) (P<0.0001). It is important to note that only 968 patients of 24,799 patients (3.9%) were critically ill.17 

    Buckley et al. conducted a retrospective cohort study that included 333 critically ill patients. The authors compared the incidence of AKI with PTZ plus vancomycin compared to cefepime plus vancomycin.18 The incidence of AKI was not different between the two groups; 19.5% in the PTZ plus vancomycin group compared to 17.3% in cefepime plus vancomycin group (P=0.61). However, there was a significant increase in need of renal replacement therapy in the PTZ plus vancomycin group (10%) compared to cefepime plus vancomycin group (3.8%) (P=0.04).18

    A single-center, retrospective cohort study compared the incidence of AKI in PTZ plus vancomycin to cefepime plus vancomycin and meropenem plus vancomycin.19 This study included 2,492 critically ill patients. The incidence of AKI was 39.3% for PTZ plus vancomycin, 24.2% for cefepime plus vancomycin, and 23.5% for meropenem plus vancomycin (P<0.0001 for all 3 comparisons).19 The authors conducted a multivariate analysis which showed the PTZ plus vancomycin combination was an independent predictor of AKI (OR 2.161; 95% CI, 1.62-2.833).19

    On the other hand, a single-center retrospective cohort study compared the incidence of AKI in PTZ plus vancomycin to cefepime plus vancomycin and meropenem plus vancomycin in critically ill patients receiving short courses of the combination antibiotics (24-72 hours).20 This study included 3,299 critically ill patients. The authors did not observe a difference in the incidence of AKI between the groups.20 Adjusted OR for PTZ plus vancomycin compared to cefepime plus vancomycin was 1.11 (95% CI, 0.85 - 1.45) and adjusted OR for PTZ plus vancomycin compared meropenem plus vancomycin was 1.04 (95% CI, 0.71 - 1.42).20 This study showed a lower risk of AKI if PTZ was used for less than 3 days. However, the current recommendation is to treat bacteremia for 7-14 days, which can put patients at risk if clinicians were reluctant to de-escalate early.

    Where we go from here?

    It is time to rethink the practice of blanket coverage of every critically ill patient with PTZ. We should individualize empiric antimicrobial therapy based on patient history, site of infection, and MDR pathogens risk factors.

    The use of PTZ should be reserved for situations where anaerobic coverage is needed, such as diabetic foot infections or complicated intra-abdominal infection. Historically, anaerobic coverage was considered a cornerstone in the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. However, studies have shown that the pathogenesis of aspiration pneumonia has shifted from anaerobic to aerobic pathogens.21 Anaerobic coverage may be still needed in patients with poor dental health21. These findings raise the question, do we still need to use PTZ in pneumonia?

    Based on the current evidence, it seems that there is an association between PTZ plus vancomycin and the risk of AKI. The data in critically ill patients is still conflicting — a prospective study in critically ill patients is needed to determine the causality.

    PTZ is an excellent antibiotic and still offer excellent coverage in situations when broad gram-negative and anaerobic coverage is needed, but other alternatives can be used when it comes to pneumonia, SSTIs, or blood-stream infections.

    Alternatives to PTZ include ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, or ampicillin/sulbactam for severe community acquired pneumonia and ceftazidime, or cefepime for HAP/VAP.4

    As the incidence and prevalence of multi-drug resistance are increasing worldwide, we as critical care clinicians need to take steps to ensure the appropriate use of all antimicrobials, not just PTZ. The following are suggested measures to improve appropriate antimicrobial use:

    • Appropriate initial selection based on patient’s risk factors for MDR pathogens and suspected infection
    • Optimize pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic parameters to ensure adequate dosing
    • The utilization of rapid microbiologic diagnostics to identify pathogens and de-escalate empiric antimicrobials.


    1. Bryson HM, Brogden RN. Piperacillin/tazobactam. A review of its antibacterial activity, pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic potential. Drugs. 1994;47(3):506-35.
    2. Perry CM, Markham A. Piperacillin/tazobactam: an updated review of its use in the treatment of bacterial infections. Drugs. 1999;57(5):805-43.
    3. Zosyn® (piperacillin/tazobactam) [prescribing information]. Philadelphia, PA: Wyeth Pharmaceuticals LLC; November 2018.
    4. Kalil AC, Metersky ML, Klompas M, et al. Management of Adults With Hospital-acquired and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia: 2016 Clinical Practice Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;63(5):e61-e111.
    5. Stevens DL, Bisno AL, Chambers HF, et al. Practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of skin and soft tissue infections: 2014 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;59(2):e10-52.
    6. Solomkin JS, Mazuski JE, Bradley JS, et al. Diagnosis and management of complicated intra-abdominal infection in adults and children: guidelines by the Surgical Infection Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(2):133-64.
    7. Magill SS, Edwards JR, Beldavs ZG, Dumyati G, Janelle SJ, Kainer MA, Lynfield R, Nadle J, Neuhauser MM, Ray SM, Richards K, Rodriguez R, Thompson DL, Fridkin SK; Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use Prevalence Survey Team. Prevalence of antimicrobial use in US acute care hospitals, May - September 2011. JAMA. 2014 Oct 8;312(14):1438-46.
    8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance (accessed 10/17/18).
    9. Bevan ER, Jones AM, Hawkey PM. Global epidemiology of CTX-M β-lactamases: temporal and geographical shifts in genotype. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017;72(8):2145-2155.
    10. Chandramohan L, Revell PA. Prevalence and molecular characterization of extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in a pediatric patient population. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012;56(9):4765-70.
    11. Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez B, Pérez-Galera S, Salamanca E, et al. A multinational, preregistered cohort study of β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations for treatment of bloodstream infections due to extended-spectrum-β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2016; 60:4159–69.
    12. Ng TM, Khong WX, Harris PN, et al. Empiric piperacillin-tazobactam versus carbapenems in the treatment of bacteraemia due to extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. PLoS One. 2016; 1:e0153696.
    13. Tamma PD, Han JH, Rock C, et al. ; Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group Carbapenem therapy is associated with improved survival compared with piperacillin-tazobactam for patients with extended-spectrum β-lactamase bacteremia. Clin Infect Dis. 2015; 60:1319–25.
    14. Harris PNA, Tambyah PA, Lye DC, et al. Effect of Piperacillin-Tazobactam vs Meropenem on 30-Day Mortality for Patients With E coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae Bloodstream Infection and Ceftriaxone Resistance: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018;320(10):984-994
    15. Mandelbaum T, Scott DJ, Lee J, et al. Outcome of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury using the Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria. Crit Care Med. 2011;39(12):2659-64.
    16. Thakar CV, Christianson A, Freyberg R, Almenoff P, Render ML. Incidence and outcomes of acute kidney injury in intensive care units: a Veterans Administration study. Crit Care Med. 2009;37(9):2552-8.
    17. Luther MK, Timbrook TT, Caffrey AR, Dosa D, Lodise TP, Laplante KL. Vancomycin Plus Piperacillin-Tazobactam and Acute Kidney Injury in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Crit Care Med. 2018;46(1):12-20.
    18. Buckley MS, Hartsock NC, Berry AJ, et al. Comparison of acute kidney injury risk associated with vancomycin and concomitant piperacillin/tazobactam or cefepime in the intensive care unit. J Crit Care. 2018;48:32-38.
    19. Blevins AM, Lashinsky JN, Mccammon C, Kollef M, Micek S, Juang P. Incidence of Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients Receiving Vancomycin with Concomitant Piperacillin-Tazobactam, Cefepime, or Meropenem. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019;63(5) epub ahead of print.
    20. Schreier DJ, Kashani KB, Sakhuja A, et al. Incidence of acute kidney injury among critically ill patients with brief empiric use of anti-pseudomonal beta-lactams with vancomycin. Clin Infect Dis. 2018;68(9):1456–62.
    21. Mandell LA, Niederman MS. Aspiration Pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(7):651-663.

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  • 18 Jul 2019 9:16 AM | Deleted user

    UMKC’s SSHP chapter had a productive spring semester! In January, we kicked off the semester with a new event. KSHP and KU School of Pharmacy invited us to join their Pharmacy Forecast Workshop. Students learned about emerging healthcare trends and future opportunities of pharmacy practice. Time was also spent working in groups to discuss current practice problems and solutions.

    All three campuses stayed busy hosting events. In February, our Columbia campus once again teamed up with MMSHP and the Ronald McDonald House. They helped prepare meals for patients and families receiving care at the Women’s and Children's Hospital, and collected pull tabs to raise money for the house. Our Columbia and Springfield campuses each held a “Vial of Life” event, in which patients were assisted in filling out a list of their medications for handy access during an emergency. Columbia members did this at the VA Hospital, while Springfield members did this at a Fearless Aging Expo. It was a great time serving the local community through these events.

    We held our monthly general meetings throughout the semester with visiting speakers to share their experiences working as health-system pharmacists. One noteworthy speaker we had was Diana L. Dabdub, the Director of the Pharmacy Student Forum at ASHP. She presented on Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) and empowered our students to play a role in improving patient outcomes in acute and ambulatory care settings. As pharmacy students, we want to help our current and future patients achieve optimal health outcomes by ensuring medication use is safe and effective. One way we can do this is by learning about practice advancement opportunities now. For many of the attendees, this was their first time hearing of PAI and enjoyed learning how they could make a difference.

    During the week of final exams, our SSHP chapter educated our students on well-being and resilience through the power of social media. SSHP posted in each class’s Facebook page about ASHP’s initiative to promote resilience in pharmacy students. Education topics included positive thinking, setting goals, creatively solving problems, and much more.

    This summer, the executive team is busy gearing up for our main events that happen in the fall semester. Residency program directors should be on the lookout for their invitation to attend Residency Roundtable, which will take place at each UMKC campus: Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield. Our clinical skills competition and membership drive will also be taking place this coming fall.

    We are thankful for your involvement with SSHP and wish you the best! All three campuses are excited to start the new school year in August and are ready to see our chapter grow, serve, and learn.

  • 18 Jul 2019 9:14 AM | Deleted user

    Throughout the Spring Semester of the 2018-2019 academic year, the STLCOP chapter of SSHP focused on expanding its core mission with regards to providing community outreach and health-system service activities, professional development, and networking opportunities for its student members.

    As part of its health-system service initiative, STLCOP SSHP continued its annual fundraising project called Pants with a Purpose. This fundraising event was publicized to STLCOP students and faculty, in which for every pair of sweatpants purchased, another pair would be donated to the St. Patrick’s Center for the Homeless. Other essential items and basic necessities were also donated to help improve the health of the less fortunate in the St. Louis community.  Through this community outreach event, the chapter was able to raise and donate about $500 in clothing and household needs. Blankets for Cancer Patients was another health-system service and volunteer opportunity for students to make blankets for oncology patients at Siteman Cancer Center.  Cancer Care Packages was another well-received, recurring event held towards the end of the semester where students were able to put together care packages and hand-deliver them to patients at Siteman Cancer Center. This provided students, who haven’t already done so already, with the opportunity to tour Siteman’s outpatient infusion center and learn about oncology pharmacy from the pharmacists who worked there.

    As part of the Community Outreach Initiative, STLCOP SSHP held a series of vaccination clinics and training sessions for students who wanted to practice administering vaccines. These clinics were held across various Shop N’ Save and Walgreens pharmacies throughout the greater St. Louis area, and students were given the opportunity to promote the importance of yearly flu shots and timely vaccinations, such as the Shingrix vaccine for Shingles. Students were thus able to implement what they had learned regarding how to administer vaccinations in a real-life setting, where they were able to interact with patients while doing so and impart their knowledge to the community.

    As part of the chapter’s spring semester initiatives for professional development, STLCOP SSHP held a Residency Preparation Program which included a CV Review event and Mock Interview.  Students were able to have their CV’s and resumes reviewed and critiqued by various faculty members. STLCOP SSHP believes that it is important for students to develop their CV’s and resumes early in their professional years, as it can only benefit them as they may apply to various jobs and internship opportunities throughout their years in pharmacy school. During the Mock Interview Practice Sessions, students were able to partake in a residency, fellowship, or job interview simulation conducted by various pharmacy practice faculty. This gave students the opportunity to sharpen their interviewing skills and know what kind of questions to expect in a potential residency interview. Faculty provided feedback to students and also answered questions regarding their potential career path into different pharmacy specialties.

    STLCOP SSHP also aimed to continue providing students with ample networking opportunities with practicing pharmacists. During the Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) Week in February, the chapter expanded its yearly series of health-system panels by introducing a Networking Roundtable with PGY1/PGY2 Residents. Students were able to network and connect with residents from different programs and hospitals throughout the St. Louis area. This provided students with a unique opportunity to learn about the daily roles and responsibilities of a pharmacy resident, how to best prepare for the residency application process, and what residency programs would typically seek in and expect from their candidates. The chapter also arranged a Clinical Roundtable networking event, where students were able to learn about the daily duties and roles of a clinical pharmacist, the impact that clinical pharmacists make in patient-centered care, and the different pharmacy specialties that students can pursue in pharmacy. The chapter also hosted several panels, seminars, and Lunch N’ Learns, where students were able to hear about interesting and important topics in healthcare such as hypertension management, skin cancer, and home infusion pharmacy. Lastly, the STLCOP SSHP chapter reintroduced our Aseptic Technique Lab for the first time in three years, during which students were given the opportunity to learn how to compound sterile preparations and IV admixtures. 

    Overall, the STLCOP SSHP chapter was successful in introducing new events and expanding upon previously successful ones in light of its new initiatives for community outreach and service, professional development, and networking. The chapter hopes to build upon every aspect in its ultimate goal to introduce and prepare student pharmacists for the residency preparation process that lies ahead, and hopes that it can continue to serve as a resource for students who seek to develop their knowledge and skills as aspiring pharmacists.
  • 18 Jul 2019 9:11 AM | Deleted user

    Wow, I can’t believe we just wrapped up another very busy at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, and yet the new academic year is almost upon us!  Thank you for the opportunity to provide an update, and thank you to all MSHP members who have had a huge impact on the education of UMKC student pharmacists!  Although it would be impossible to describe everything going on, I would like provide a brief update on recent happenings at the school.

    APhA-ASP at UMKC Does it Again!  Well, there they are again in the limelight!  The UMKC chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) once again received a runner-up award in chapter achievement for their division placing them among the top 7 most accomplished chapters in the country!  This continues a long running streak of national placement going back 9 years, including the fact that last year our APhA-ASP chapter was recognized as the top chapter in the country.  This year, our chapter was also recognized as #1 in the nation for Generation Rx, #2 in the nation for Operation Diabetes, and #3 in the nation for Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety.  Awesome!  And, drum roll please, Jordyn Williams won FIRST place in the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition—a UMKC first!

    Other National Student Awards.  Our students received many other national awards.  The National Community Pharmacists Association announced the top three proposals submitted to their Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition.  Congratulations to Aaron Hunsaker, Kayla Shaw, Kayla Copeland, and Dylan Detlor and their faculty mentor Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney for having their business plan proposal chosen as a Top Three proposal out of 193 student entries!  Other national award winners included: Kaitlyn Riggs selected for the 2018 Paul Ambrose Scholars Program of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research; Emily Oliver selected for an APhA Student Leadership Award; and Jackie Bradley selected as 1 of only 10 nation-wide who won the United States Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award.

    Other Important Measures of Student Success.  We love the national attention our students bring to UMKC through all of their many accomplishments and awards.  However, truth be known, there are a few major metrics which trump the awards.  As for graduation, 92.9 % of the students who entered our program in 2015 graduated on time in 2019.  While we do not yet have NAPLEX pass rates from them, we do know that for 2018 graduates—94.4 % of whom graduated on time—93.3 % passed the NAPLEX on first sitting and 97.8 % passed by the end of 2018.  Further, their MPJE pass rate was also 93.3 % compared to 83.7 % national average.  And again, while we do not have full placement data yet for our 2019 graduates, we do know that more than 68% of our 2019 graduates who applied for PGY1 residency training matched.  Of them, 55 students will conduct their residency training at Missouri institutions including Kansas City’s Truman Medical Center, Saint’s Luke’s Hospital, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Research Medical Center, and North Kansas Hospital as well as University Hospital in Columbia and Cox Medical Center and Mercy Hospital in Springfield.  Many also placed at other highly competitive national programs including Duke University, the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Illinois-Chicago, Wake Forest and others across the country.

    Outstanding Faculty Accomplishments in 2018-2019.  The many successes of our students no doubt reflect the outstanding guidance and instruction they receive from our wonderful and accomplished faculty.  In our Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Kun Cheng received notice of award from National Cancer Institute that his grant to develop targeted delivery platform for checkpoint inhibitors, will be funded for the next 5 years at well over $1.75 M.  This was on top of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants in prostate cancer and liver fibrosis.  Dr. Bill Gutheil also received a new NIH grant to study vancomycin-resistant enterococci—wow, we need some new drugs for that for sure!  Dr. Heather Lyons-Burney created and led a proposal from UMKC, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and the Missouri Pharmacy Association that was funded by the Cardinal Health Foundation to provide “train the trainer” best practices for education on appropriate opioid prescribing.  In addition to all that, we have successful board certifications of faculty to report including Drs. Brandi Bowers, Kendall Guthrie, Andy Smith, Eric Wombwell, and Diana Tamer.  Further, I am most happy to report that Dr. Sarah Oprinovich in partnership with Balls Foods led the successful site visit for reaccreditation our ASHP accredited community pharmacy residency program.  Many have recognized the teaching excellence of our faculty including the state as Dr. Jerry Wycoff was recognized with the Governor’s Teaching Award, and Dr. Angela Brownfield was selected as the Missouri Pharmacy Association’s UMKC Faculty Member of the Year.  And, our student pharmacists recognized Drs. Kylie Barnes, Simon Friedman, Tom Johnston, Pete Silverstein, Morgan Sperry, Amanda Stahnke, Karyn Turla, and Eric Wombwell as Teachers of the Year.

    Lucky for us, there are many other accolades that our students, staff, and faculty achieved this year, far too many to list in this update.  If you can make time to come by and see us, we’d be happy to tell you all about it.  You are all welcome to visit the school anytime at our sites in Kansas City, Columbia, and/or Springfield.  We also appreciate your assistance in identifying any students who might be interested in pursuing pharmacy careers.  Just let us know, we love to talk to anyone about our great profession!  Best wishes to everyone in MSHP!!

  • 18 Jul 2019 9:08 AM | Deleted user

    On May 11, St. Louis College of Pharmacy capped off the end of the 2018-19 academic year by celebrating its 151st Commencement. During this year’s ceremony, 253 students were awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy, and 166 students were awarded a Bachelor of Science. These talented and dedicated individuals represent the future of the pharmacy profession, and we were thrilled to recognize their achievements.

    With Commencement now behind us, we are reflecting on an exciting year that was highlighted by growth, leadership and innovation. As the College continues to work toward its vision to be a globally prominent leader in pharmacy and health care education, the 2018-19 academic year saw the establishment of four new health-care focused bachelor’s degrees, which will be implemented this fall as standalone programs.

    Tailored to the demands of the market and the needs of students, the following new programs are specifically designed to provide future students with options and the ability to explore their passions within the context of health care:

    • Bachelor of Arts in Global Health
    • Bachelor of Arts in Medical Humanities with a choice of emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studies or Health Care Communication
    • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

    In addition to the new programs being offered, the College is renaming its existing undergraduate degrees and offering them as a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a choice of emphasis in Health Sciences or Health Humanities. The new name is designed to better represent the coursework contained in the degree program. Meanwhile, the curriculum for our Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program will remain unchanged, and students will continue to have the opportunity to integrate a bachelor’s degree with a Pharm.D. or apply to the Pharm.D. program after completing their prerequisites.

    Through strategic partnerships, we are also creating opportunities for students at the College to pursue graduate education:

    • Integrated Pharm.D. and MBA, offered in partnership with University of Missouri-St. Louis.
    • Integrated “3+2” bachelor’s degree and Master of Science (M.S.) in Occupational Therapy or an integrated “3+3” bachelor’s degree and Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD), offered in partnership with Washington University in St. Louis
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) through a “4+3” pathway with preferred admission consideration, offered in partnership with Washington University in St. Louis
    • Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) pathway with preferred admission consideration, offered through a partnership with AT Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health

    This expansion of our academic offerings comes as the College continues to see extensive growth in its research initiatives. Under the direction of Thomas Burris, Ph.D., FAAAS, FAHA, alumni endowed professor of pharmacology and vice president for research, the College’s Center for Clinical Pharmacology is humming with activity funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

    In recent months, the center has flourished with the addition of seven new faculty and more than 25 postdoctoral research associates, graduate and undergraduate researchers and technical staff members now working in its labs. Burris and the center’s team of researchers are focused on using chemical biology approaches to examine the physiological roles of nuclear hormone receptors and developing drugs targeting them for the treatment of conditions including chronic pain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

    The center unites pharmacists, physicians and researchers who hold academic appointments at both the College and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the many innovative research efforts currently underway continue to pave the way for the center to become a national research leader in pain management and personalized approaches to medication therapy.

    We are also thrilled to note that the 2018-19 academic year was highlighted by a wide range of recognition for members of the College community.

    • Besu Teshome, Pharm.D., BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy specialist in internal medicine at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, was named the 2019 MSHP Preceptor of the Year.
    • Gloria Grice, Pharm.D., FNAP, BCPS, assistant dean for curriculum and assessment and director of experiential education and professor of pharmacy practice, along with a task force of five other experiential education leaders from across the U.S., received the Award of Excellence in Experiential Education from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Grice and her team were recognized for their efforts to develop a definition of intentional interprofessional experiential education in pharmacy curricula.
    • Suzanne Bollmeier, Pharm.D. '01, BCPS, AE-C, FCCP, professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and Andrew Crannage, Pharm.D. '09, BCPS, FCCP, associate professor of pharmacy practice at the College, recently achieved Fellowship in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.
    • This spring, P3 student Sydney Tu was elected national president-elect of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists Executive Committee. Tu is the first student pharmacist from the College to hold the office.
    • Last fall, Erica Crannage, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Nicole Gattas, Pharm.D., FAPhA, BCPS, associate professor of pharmacy practice and assistant director of community and ambulatory care in the Office of Experiential Education, were the recipients of a pair of awards during the Missouri Pharmacy Association Excellence Awards. Crannage was named Faculty Member of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the practice of pharmacy, while Gattas was recognized with the 2018 Generation Rx Champion Award demonstrating excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention.

    This is truly an exciting time at St. Louis College of Pharmacy!  I invite you to visit campus soon for a first-hand look at the many wonderful things underway as the College continues its work to prepare students for expert practice and leadership in pharmacy and health care education, interprofessional patient-centered care and collaborative research.

  • 18 Jul 2019 9:03 AM | Deleted user

    The Membership Committee is pleased to share some of the results from the 2019 MSHP Annual Survey.  This year 52 members responded to the survey.

    Reasons for Being Involved

    Networking was again selected by respondents as the primary reason for involvement in MSHP.

    Top three reasons for being involved in MSHP:

    1.       Networking

    2.       Professional Development

    3.       Affiliate chapter activities and Continuing Education

    MSHP meetings and CE, advocacy, and leadership opportunities were also frequently ranked by responders as top three membership benefits.

    Organization Activities

    Overall, responders felt that MSHP is doing a good job fulfilling most organization activities.

    Most important MSHP activities per responders:

    1.       Advocating for me and the profession of pharmacy at the state level

    2.       Delivering high quality education

    3.       Promoting the health-system pharmacy to the general public

    4.       Communicating key health-system pharmacy issues to members

    MSHP activities which the organization is best fulfilling:

    1.       Providing opportunities of organizational involvement

    2.       Producing a high quality newsletter

    3.       Providing leadership opportunities

    4.       Delivering high quality education

    Moving Forward

    Top Priorities for Coming Year:

    1.       Legislative Issues

    2.       Education/Programming

    3.       Membership Involvement

    Top Areas for Improvement:

    1.       Offer more local/regional programming

    2.       Offer more social functions and networking opportunities

    3.       Increase communication and programming around legislative issues

    The majority of members indicated that they feel they receive a good value for their membership dues.

    We want to thank all the members that took the time to fill out the survey. These results will be used during the next strategic planning meeting to guide organization initiatives.

    We are excited about all the changes that have been happening within MSHP over the past year and look forward to continuing to improve your membership experience!

  • 18 Jul 2019 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    Under the leadership of President Tony Huke, MSHP experienced another successful year!  The Board of Directors, which also included President-elect Alex Oschman, past-President Jeremy Hampton, secretary Elaine Ogden, and treasurer Davina Dell-Steinbeck, began the year by developing a strategic plan and worked diligently throughout the year to carry it out.  Key accomplishments included:

    • Inducting the first officers of Southeast Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SEMSHP).
    • Renewed collaboration with the Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA), most notably collaborating to host a joint fall conference in 2018.  This collaboration will continue with the fall conference in St. Louis in 2019!  (Visit https://www.morx.com/conference for more info!)
    • Hosting a contest for a new MSHP logo that better reflected the society.  The new logo was revealed at the MSHP Midyear Reception!
    • Lobbying on behalf of the membership in key legislative decisions regarding the profession.  MSHP partnered with various groups, including MPA and the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA), to work towards further enhancing technician roles within Missouri.  Mid-level practitioner status was also a focus of MSHP’s legislative efforts.
    • Development of a New Practitioner Workgroup to further engage and involve this large portion of MSHP’s membership. 
    • Improved communication with the membership, including an enhanced social media presence.
    • Expanded CE opportunities, including multiple technician-centered CE webinars and an extended window for newsletter CE.

    The various MSHP committees and the R&E Foundation were also hard at work throughout the year.  Below are highlights of their accomplishments:

    Membership Committee

    2018-2019 Chair: Ashley Evans

    Each year, the MSHP Membership Committee is charged with assessing and addressing the needs of current and prospective members. The 2018-2019 committee utilized two cycles of Membership Surveys to assist in these efforts. A focus of the committee was increasing engagement of student and new practitioner members. Multiple initiatives including membership drives with the area Student Societies of Health-System Pharmacy, new graduate membership discounts, and conversion of the Resident Workgroup to a New Practitioner Workgroup helped facilitate growth in these areas. Finally, the committee helped members celebrate the organization’s new logo by providing branded tumblers for all members attending the MSHP Spring Meeting. There are several initiatives in progress that the 2019-2020 MSHP Membership Committee will continue to move forward to help meet the needs of all members!

    Public Policy Committee

    2018-2019 Chair:  Sarah Cox

    This year, MSHP Public Policy Committee tackled several policy issues. The major tasks that were tackled are outlined below:

    • In November, citizens of Missouri voted to pass a policy that would legalize medical marijuana. The Public Policy Committee has discussed policy needs that health-systems may have and are currently researching policies that health-systems in other states have implemented.
    • USP 797 draft revisions were released for public comment. The Public Policy Committee developed comments to submit on behalf of MSHP.
    • The 2019 General Assembly had many bills related to pharmacy that would impact health-system pharmacy as a profession. The Public Policy Committee followed these bills closely, lobbied for them on behalf of the membership, and sent regular updates through E-Blasts and the MSHP Newsletter. With all of the support pharmacists provided across the state, including MSHP, there were several successful bills including:
    • Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Procedures - allows the Missouri Board of Pharmacy to enter into voluntary compliance agreements with pharmacists. Specific language can be found on page 82 of the final bill by using this link.
    • Mandatory Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances - mandates that all controlled substances scheduled II through IV be prescribed electronically. There are a few exceptions allowed and pharmacists are not responsible for verifying whether or not written, oral, or faxed prescriptions are appropriate. Specific language can be found on page 24 of the final bill by using this link.
    • Board of Pharmacy Demonstration Projects - allows the Missouri Board of pharmacy to approve, modify, or develop demonstration or pilot projects related to either remote medication dispensing or technology assisted verification. Specific language can be found on page 82 of the final bill by using this link.
    • Tobacco Cessation Prescribing - allows pharmacists to prescribe and dispense “any nicotine replacement therapy product”. Specific language can be found on page 74 of the final bill by using this link.

    It has been a pleasure to serve our MSHP membership and the Public Policy Committee is looking forward to another great year for 2019-2020.

    Communications Committee

    2018-2019 Chair:  Elaine Ogden

    The Communications Committee continued to work on streamlining the format of the eBlast as well as reviewing content that was applicable for the entire MSHP membership.  The committee also assisted with the rebranding efforts related to the new MSHP logo.  MSHP’s social media presence was strengthened by adding an Instagram page as well as increasing content on Facebook.  The committee hopes to expand further with a LinkedIn account next year.  Another focus of the committee was utilizing new ways to highlight the accomplishments of MSHP’s members through eBlasts as well as social media.  If you have comments or suggestions to help the committee improve its efforts in the coming year, please feel free to reach out – we would love to hear them!

    Newsletter Committee

    2018-2019 Chair:  Sarah Cook

    The Newsletter Committee is very appreciative of all of the members, students, and residents that helped to make the past year’s newsletter content so enriching.  In addition to regularly scheduled articles and updates, the six 2018-2019 newsletter issues included:

    • 15 Featured Clinical articles which were written within content areas that were selected based on results of the annual survey
    • 10 CE articles written by pharmacy residents
    • 2 articles focused on transitions of care and 1 article about precepting (with an additional precepting article in this issue) that were solicited based on member interest in these areas
    • 3 Best Practice Spotlight articles regarding antimicrobial stewardship, a long-acting injectable antipsychotic clinic, and inpatient hypoglycemia monitoring plus an additional article for students focusing on how to navigate Phase II of the ASHP match

    A well as coordinating and publishing bi-monthly issues of the MSHP Newsletter, the committee focused largely on increasing accessibility to CE articles by expanding the window for CE credit for each article from 2 months to 6 months and working with the Communications Committee and Website Committee to enhance visibility and access to CE articles.

    The Newsletter Committee would like to thank all who have contributed over the past year and looks forward to providing more high-quality content in the future!

    Education and Programming Committee

    2018-2019 Chair:  Elizabeth Englin

    This year the Education & Programming Committee was able to support and provide educational opportunities to our members through various meetings. In September 2018, MSHP supported the Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in Branson, Missouri and MSHP members had the opportunity to present their novel practices at the Innovative Practices Roundtable Session. Also in the fall, Education & Programming Committee members began to plan the spring annual meeting in collaboration with Illinois Council for Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). In March, MSHP members were able to attend the 2019 Annual Conference (MSHP/ICHP) in Collinsville, Illinois which was a great success! The meeting was filled with content on the forefront of clinical pharmacy practice, networking and celebrating the achievements of MSHP members, leaders and volunteers.

    Website Committee

    2018-2019 Chair:  Kat Burnett

    The website committee was busy throughout the year!  Major projects for the MSHP website that were undertaken included:

    • Creating a landing page for CE articles.
    • Identifying and removing non-functional links.
    • Compiling previous board member and committee chair biographies with plans to add to website.
    • Working towards having a member-only section of the website.

    ­Research and Education Foundation

    2018-2019 Chair: Jackie Harris

    The MSHP R&E Foundation’s activities for the past year included:

    • Creating a Poster Presentation submission form.  Form clearly outlined poster presentation categories and included an option for presenters to check which day they would like to present their poster. 
    • Revising poster judging criteria.
    • Updating Best Residency Project Award scoring criteria.
    • Developing a submission form for members to submit their recent publications.  Goal was set for R&E to highlight a recent publication from our members in each Newsletter issue in the upcoming year and to have a section on website highlighting publication citations. 
    • Updating MSHP R&E Foundation website with current board members and recent Foundation award winners. 
    • Awarding winners of the Missouri pharmacy schools’ clinical skill competitions (Aliie Oxford, Alexander Spillars, Kaily Kurzweil, Michelle Sproat) during the MSHP Midyear reception.
    • Selecting and recognizing the award winners for the Thomas J. Garrison Award (Amy Sipe), Best Practice Award (Journey McCarty), Best Residency Project Award (Haleigh Stolte), and Platform Presentations (Alex Meyr, Danica Balbach) at the MSHP Spring Meeting.

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