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Small groups of people can have a really huge impact - Larry Page

Larry Page is the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet which exemplifies how small groups can change the world. CPNP may be small, but we can and have had a huge impact. Thanks to our members who shared the challenges they faced, their concerns for their patients, the information they obtained, and the solutions that they developed, CPNP was ahead of the curve on the Clozapine REMS Program. 

Our FAQs were among the easiest to find resources available prior to the Clozapine REMS launch and the REMS Program recognized their importance by even offering to help us update them. The input and concerns we received from members resulted in the development of a specific strategy to approach Clozapine REMS at our CPNP Board meeting in November. That strategy was subsequently embraced by those we worked with at the American Psychiatric Association and American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Following our meetings with the FDA, they reiterated to practitioners that the medical needs of patients were a priority that should not be negatively impacted by the REMS program. These efforts also helped the FDA understand the potential issues involved in implementing required portions of the REMS Program in November. Subsequently, they have been pushed back indefinitely. 

At this point in time, FDA and the REMS Program continue to evaluate their next steps and discuss the program. CPNP has offered the expertise of its members to assist in this effort and is discussing a process with the FDA for offering this assistance. In the interim, the FDA asks that all clinicians continue to work with the REMS Program while all of the changes are being considered. They continue to emphasize that the needs of patients are the first priority. Small groups of people have had a large impact.

Another area of intense activity in recent months has been substance use disorders. As noted later in this issue, our naloxone guide has been distributed widely. It has informed many and caused others to take notice of our leadership in this area. We are all appreciative of the efforts of our Substance Abuse Task Force. Small groups of people have had a large impact.

Last year, CPNP spearheaded a campaign to address the impact on our patients and systems of care of the first draft of USP Chapter 800 – Hazardous Medications. USP took notice of the volume and quantity of our comments. Other organizations like the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) used our template letter to formulate their response. The changes in the second draft weren’t perfect, but it was better and reflected many of our concerns. The final version of Chapter 800 is due for release in February with implementation not due until July 2018 to give ample time to address issues such as those we raised. Small groups of people have had a large impact.

This issue also features an article by Carey Potter updating us on our governmental affairs efforts. In this arena, we are still hopeful that small groups of people can have a really huge impact.

Thank you all for your efforts and your impact! Have a wonderful holiday season!

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