The Georgia Pharmacy Association

The Georgia Pharmacy Association is the organization for Georgia pharmacy professionals who care about their pharmacy practice, the health of their patients, and their own careers.

GPhA provides legislative and political advocacy, information services and professional development to more than 10,000 Georgia pharmacists. We’re the collective voice for pharmacy in Georgia, and our voice is louder with you as a member.

GPhA Buzz by Andrew Kantor

FDA: Fluoroquinolones should only be used as a last resort in some cases

The antibiotics have some serious side effects. Says the FDA: “[A]n FDA safety review found that both oral and injectable fluroquinolones are associated with disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. These side effects can occur hours to weeks after exposure to fluoroquinolones and may potentially be permanent.”

Andrew Kantor • July 28, 2016

Why don’t labels say what the drugs are for?

In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, some doctors argue that the medication’s purpose ought to be on the label, too. (Sorry, the link only points to an overview of the article. You’ll need a NEJM subscription to read the whole thing.)

Andrew Kantor • July 28, 2016

CMS releases star ratings for hospitals, and hospitals are Not Happy At All

Two Georgia hospitals got five stars. Five got the dreaded one-star rating. And hospitals in general are unhappy.

Quoth Georgia Hospital Association President Earl Rogers: “CMS hospital star rating oversimplifies the complexity of delivering high-quality care and creates more confusion for the health consumer.” Translation: Some of the lower-rated hospitals are the ones who treat the sickest patients.

Follow that first link to see which Georgia hospitals got which ratings. And to search the full list, click here.

Andrew Kantor • July 28, 2016

Registration for our August Navigating Specialty Pharmacy webinar series is underway

If you were with us at Georgia Pharmacy Convention 2016 you might have heard about how specialty pharmacy is a rapidly growing healthcare niche.

We’d like to help you further explore the specialty pharmacy niche with our August series of CPEasy webinars – Navigating Specialty Pharmacy, taught by specialty pharmacist and convention speaker Josh Meeks.

Josh will kick off week one with definitions and a solid overview of the subject of specialty pharmacy, then, in succeeding weeks, look at specialty pharmacy’s role in treating Hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, plaque psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Navigating Specialty Pharmacy takes place on the first three Thursdays of August, at 7:30 PM each day.

The first of the three sessions is offered on August 4. It’s a broad overview of the topic called Specialty Pharmacy and the Specialty Pharmacist’s Role. It costs just $20 and for that you get 1.5 hours of CPE credit.

Because it’s offered online, you can take it at home — in your PJs if you so desire. You can also take Specialty Pharmacy and the Specialty Pharmacist’s Role on demand — starting about a week after the live session.

Click here to register for this first course in the series, or go to to see our full catalogue of CPEasy offerings.


Phil Ratliff • July 28, 2016

Registration for the 23rd Annual Immunize Georgia Conference is now open

Do you need continuing education credits? Do you want to become more efficient in GRITS?

Registration is open for the 23rd Annual Immunize Georgia Conference on Friday, September 9, 2016. The conference will be held at the Wyndham Peachtree Hotel and Conference Center in Peachtree City.

Join our friends at Immunize Georgia to learn the latest recommendations and best practices in immunization services, earn continuing education credits and network with your fellow peers and healthcare practitioners.

The registration rate for pharmacists is $150. There are reduced rates students and the general public. To register, go to

Phil Ratliff • July 28, 2016

Check out this free CPE opportunity from our friends at the National Learning & Action Network: Driving Safer Care

GPhA members, especially those in the Academy of Clinical and Health-System Pharmacists, will want to check out this free CPE opportunity from the National Learning & Action Network.

It’s called Driving Safer Care and it aligns with the CMS Quality Strategy goal of making care safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care. Specifically, the session will focus on how public health safety awareness can contribute to ending harm of antibiotic resistance.

Driving Safer Care features Carole Moss (Nile’s Project), Dr. Jason Newland (St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University), and Melissa Dorsey (CMS). It is being offered as a Webex phone call. It is open to beneficiaries, families, healthcare providers, practitioners, partners, and Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs).

The call takes place on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 3:00-4:00 PM ET. It’s free but registration is required. Just click here to get started. You can see a sneak peek of session content by clicking here.

Phil Ratliff • July 28, 2016

Ferguson scores victory in third congressional district run-off

Former West Point mayor and local dentist Drew Ferguson scored a convincing win over State Senator Mike Crane in yesterday’s Georgia’s third congressional district Republican primary run-off. GPhA had identified Ferguson as the most pharmacy-friendly candidate in the race.

“Last night was a great night for Drew Ferguson, for pharmacists and for Georgia,” said GPhA immediate past president Tommy Whitworth of LaGrange. “In Drew, we’ll have another member of our congressional delegation who understands the pressures on healthcare professions, and who’ll listen to our concerns.”

Republican Ferguson will face Grantville Democrat Angela Pendley in the November general election. The demographics of the west-central Georgia district have made it a stronghold for Republicans in recent congressional elections.

Here’s what the AJC had to say this morning about Ferguson’s victory.

Scott Brunner • July 27, 2016

Drug cartels are more sophisticated than you think

Georgia (and several other states) has banned a couple of synthetic opioids called U-47700 and W-18.Old news. Still, the story behind the drugs is interesting — amusing, even, in a dark way.

The drugs were developed by pharmaceutical companies (Upjohn created U-47700 in the 1970s) for research, but never tested on humans. The companies patented the drugs and published the formulae… which allowed Mexican and Chinese drug cartels to begin synthesizing and selling the drugs.

Andrew Kantor • July 27, 2016

» Click here for more from GPhA Buzz....

Opportunities to Engage by Phil Ratliff

New GPhA members-only webinar on specialty pharmacy goes live on August 4

“Specialty Pharmacy and the Specialty Pharmacist’s Role” – the first of three live webinars on this important healthcare niche – goes live on August 9 at 7:30 PM. Read on….

[Read it!]

July 29, 2016 • Phil Ratliff

OSHA update webinar set for August 9

Pharmacists administering immunizations have to take an annual OSHA update course. Training must be live (in person or via the Web), not via recorded webinar.

That’s why GPhA is offering a repeat live OSHA training session on Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m. We call it, once again, “The Dreaded — But Required — OSHA Update,” and it’s taught, second time ’round, by our own Liza Chapman.

The course is for GPhA members only, and it’s only $20 for the 90-minute program. Besides keeping your immunization practice compliant with OSHA requirements, you’ll earn 1.5 hours of CPE requirement through this course, too.

And you can do all this from the comfort of your own home. Our Go to Training platform is easy to use, especially by those who like getting PDQ OSHA CPE ASAP whilst in PJs.

Sign up now by clicking here. (And find out more — including more about other immunization CPE courses we offer — at

July 29, 2016 • Phil Ratliff

Missed last week’s GRITS registry training? We’re bringing it back this Tuesday!

We’re serving up a second helping of GRITS registry training. Read on to find out more.

[Read it!]

July 25, 2016 • Phil Ratliff

• Expand your practice. Register for Best Practices in Immunizations with Jonathan Marquess

• GRITS sidebars: where the action is and how you can get in on it

• Communication expert Allison Linney’s convention session rescheduled

• Explore How Specialty Pharmacy Can Transform Your Practice

» Click here for more ways to engage with GPhA....