Texas Pharmacist Joe Harmison Receives Prescription Drug Safety Award



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San Diego, CA (October 14, 2012) Joseph H. Harmison, DPh, owner of Harmison Pharmacies in Arlington, TX, was named the winner of the 2012 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Prescription Drug Safety Award. Sponsored by Purdue Pharma, L.P., the award recognizes pharmacists who have reached out in their communities to provide education on the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards associated with their misuse. He received the award on Sunday, October 14 during NCPA's First General Session at NCPA's 114th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition held from October 13-17 in San Diego.

"By testifying before Congress twice this year, Joe Harmison has literally been the public face and voice in independent community pharmacies' efforts to combat prescription drug abuse," said Lonny Wilson, DPh, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Oklahoma City, OK. "Thus, he is a very deserving recipient of this distinction. Joe does a remarkable job of explaining how independent community pharmacies and NCPA are helping to stem the tide of this epidemic, while also offering pragmatic and effective solutions for making more substantial progress."

Harmison served a one-year term as NCPA president from October 2009 to October 2010, during which he also placed an emphasis on the grassroots advocacy efforts of NCPA members and pushed for reforming the pharmacy benefit management industry. He is a 1970 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. Harmison went into pharmacy ownership in 1985. His pharmacies are both surgical centers. Harmison is also former president of the Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA), and still a very active member, as is the case with NCPA.

Harmison testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing on "Prescription Drug Diversion: Combatting the Scourge" on March 1. Then he testified before the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing, "Responding to the Prescription Drug Epidemic Abuse" on July 18. On both occasions Harmison offered an analysis of how the prescription drug problem has exploded; described the importance of pharmacist intervention whenever possible; discussed several programs NCPA has implemented to help its members prevent pharmacy crimes and dispose of prescription drugs safely; and explained the happy medium of coordinated, smart and practical polices that could be implemented going forward.

"We are very pleased to be associated with recognizing a stalwart like Joe Harmison, who brings a unique and seasoned perspective to ensuring that prescription drugs are used in a proper and therapeutic manner," said Steve Seid, Executive Director of National Accounts & Trade Relations for Purdue. "Pharmacists are on the front lines of health care and are the last person a patient typically sees before taking a prescription drug, so their insight into how to limit its misuse is wise to heed."

Purdue Pharma L.P. and its associated U.S. companies are privately-held pharmaceutical companies known for pioneering research on persistent pain. Headquartered in Stamford, CT, Purdue is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. Additional information about Purdue can be found at www.purduepharma.com.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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