Independent Thoughts

The Voice of Independent Community and Compounding Pharmacists 

The Alliance is directed by independent community pharmacists and is not obligated or tied to one single buying group or wholesaler. We are working to pass substantive legislation that makes a difference in your small business and community. 

November 22, 2019

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, Independent Thoughts will return on Friday, December 6.


Alliance News 

Alliance to Pay TPA Dues for Current Members

Again this year the Alliance Board has voted to pay Alliance members’ annual dues to Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA). Alliance members in good standing will have their dues paid to TPA in January 2020.

If you receive an invoice from TPA and believe you are an active Alliance member, please contact Ashley Bishop at [email protected]g to confirm your dues will be paid before paying the invoice.

Alliance Supports Will Douglas for Texas House

Alliance member Will Douglas, pharmacist and owner of Crimsom Care Pharmacy Group in Dallas, is running for the Texas House of Representatives. He is challenging Democrat Rhetta Bowers in House District 113 in hopes of regaining the Republican seat.

He is quoted in the Dallas Morning News as saying, “I grew up in a blue-collar family that lived in a mobile home in a rural community. I paid my way through school, and worked hard to manage and now own a small business. I know the importance of hard work and conservative Texas values.”

He is calling Alliance members asking for their financial support to help him achieve his goal of stopping any Republican primary opposition winning the Republican nomination and ultimately winning the race in November 2020.

He is supported by Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Rodney Anderson who says, “He is a strong candidate, and I’m excited about his candidacy.”

Alliance members are encouraged to support Will and help him become the only pharmacist in the Texas House of Representatives since Chuck Hopson.

UNT Precepting Students Looking to Work with Pharmacies

Faculty from the University of North Texas Health Science Center recently reached out to the Alliance to say the school is looking for pharmacies, inside and outside of North Texas, where precepting students can gain needed experience and on-site education.

Types of experiences include shadowing (10 hours), IPPE Community in the summer (3 weeks), the Patient Care Process IPPE (6 Thursdays), the traditional Community APPE (6 weeks) and the elective Compounding APPE (6 weeks).   

Pharmacists who are not already preceptors registered with the TSBP need to complete 3 hours of preceptor related CE, which can be done on the NCPA website, and then complete a preceptor application with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP).  Those already registered with TSBP can immediately work on connecting with the school. 

In addition, the school’s NCPA chapter is often looking for lunch speakers, if any Alliance members are interested.

To connect with the school, please contact Jennifer Fix, a professor at the UNT System College of Pharmacy. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or by phone at (817) 735-0639.

Agency News

Amerigroup Changes MAC Pricing on Medicaid PDL 

MAC pricing on Amerigroup’s Medicaid preferred drug list was updated on October 29. Ensure you are using the correct NDC when filling prescriptions.

If you are receiving below cost reimbursements for CVS Caremark claims, you should file a MAC Appeal using this link.

Drug Utilization Review Board Summary Available

The Texas Drug Utilization Review Board held its quarterly meeting October 25 to make recommendations about outpatient prescription drugs in the Medicaid program. A summary is available here. It includes a summary of clinical prior authorization and preferred drug list recommendations and the preferred drug list class review schedule for the next meeting.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 24, 2020, at the Robert D. Moreton Building. Meeting dates and instructions for submitting written materials to the board and publicly testifying before the board are available on the Texas Vendor Drug Program website.

National News

Share Your Thoughts on Performance-based Pharmacy Payment Models

From NCPA, performance-based pharmacy payment models have become increasingly common the last several years. If you're a pharmacy owner, you are invited to participate in a research study from the University of North Carolina exploring your experiences with and opinions on performance-based pharmacy payment models. The survey will take about 15 minutes. If you choose to take the survey, you can enter a drawing to receive one of 10 $100 gift cards. If you're interested in learning more about the survey, please follow this link

Top Reasons Your Pharmacy Needs a Mobile App

Digital Pharmacist reports, 1 in 5 American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users. This means their smartphones are their primary means of online access at home.

Health providers need to be able to deliver on their patients’ demands in order to keep their business afloat and keep their customers coming back. Learn the top reasons why patients want your pharmacy to have a mobile app.

Read more here.

What Section 179 Expensing Means for Your Business

NFIB reports, many small business owners are familiar with some of the tax deductions that can help you save money at tax time. But did you know that in 2018, Congress approved an expansion of the Section 179 tax deduction for small business equipment purchases? The Section 179 deduction, was recently expanded to the $1 million level and made permanent. This tax break is intended to make it more affordable for small companies to buy business equipment, such as office furniture, vehicles, computers, machinery and other tangible capital investments, by allowing businesses to deduct up to $1 million per year in qualifying equipment purchases.

Section 179 has been around for several years, but the levels and availability of this tax deduction had been fluctuating. When it was first introduced, Section 179 deductions had an annual limit of just $10,000. Congress kept raising the limit year after year, but then in January 2015, the limit dropped from $500,000 to $25,000. When Congress passed the PATH Act of 2015 in December 2015, they returned the deduction limit to $500,000. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017 and Congress changed the annual limit to $1 million starting in tax year 2018.

Read more here

FDA To Publish Importation Proposed Rule in January, Per Reg Agenda

Inside Health Policy reports, the Trump administration’s highly anticipated regulatory proposal to allow drug importation from Canada will be published in January, according to FDA’s fall 2019 regulatory agenda. The proposal to allow U.S. wholesalers and pharmacists to import prescription drugs from Canada under certain circumstances is part of the administration’s two-track drug importation plan.

The first pathway under the importation plan, which was announced in July, relies on an existing provision in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that allows for states, wholesalers and pharmacists to import prescription drugs from Canada as long as HHS certifies they are safe and save consumers money. That track requires HHS and FDA to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to allow states, wholesalers or pharmacists to submit demonstration plans to HHS detailing how they would safely import drugs.

Trump and other administration officials have indicated they are close to allowing Florida to import drugs. The proposed rule listing included in the regulatory agenda on Wednesday focuses on allowing pharmacists and wholesalers to import drugs.

California Carving Out Pharmacy Benefits and Going FFS

The State of California, under a directive from Governor Gavin Newsom, is “carving out” the pharmacy benefit for Medi-Cal beneficiaries from managed-care plans and transitioning to a fee-for-service (FFS) program, moving 13 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries to a new pharmacy program by January 2021.

Read more here.

FDA Warns Dollar Tree About Distributing Adulterated Drugs from China

Inside Health Policy reports, FDA sent Greenbrier International Inc. (Dollar Tree) a warning letter for selling potentially harmful over-the-counter (OTC) foreign drugs, some of which were imported from China. The November 14 warning letter came after FDA drug center chief Janet Woodcock recently urged Congress to address gaps in oversight of foreign pharmaceutical ingredients used in prescription and OTC drugs sold in the United States.

FDA says the raw ingredients in the drugs were not tested according to the FDA’s standards for quality. FDA expects Dollar Tree to provide a plan to ensure the company does not continue to sell contaminated drugs. This plan calls for an evaluation of manufacturers and suppliers and a full reconciliation of any of the adulterated drugs still on shelves or in warehouses.



  • November 30: Small Business Saturday


New PBM One-Pager Available for Patients

The Alliance team has created a handout about the harmful practices of PBMs for you to print and distribute to patients at your pharmacy. You can find and print the handout here.


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 Your Staff

Audra L. Conwell, CAE
Executive Director/CEO
(512) 413-4088

Ashley Bishop, CPhT
Membership/ Sponsor Relations Director

Honorable Jaime Capelo
Legislative Consultant

Robert Culley
Legislative Consultant

Jason Embry
New West Communications



Help Support Our PAC

We need your HELP building our Political Action Committee (PAC) funds! As we move into the campaign season, it is critical to support the Independent Pharmacists PAC (IPRX PAC). We have several events planned to provide financial support and education to pharmacy and small-business friendly candidates, and you can help make those efforts stronger. Contribute Now!

Remember PAC contributions should be personal and not from an incorporated business.



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Independent Thoughts is the 
e-newsletter of the Alliance of Independent Pharmacists of Texas. 


P.O. Box 170323 | Austin, TX 78717 | (512) 260-7986  |