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APhA Annual Meeting and Expo focuses on pharmacists as providers, thought leaders

BY David Salazar
Outgoing APhA president Lawrence “LB’ Brown addresses APhA2016 attendees. 
 
WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association concluded its Annual Meeting and Exposition, APhA2016, on Monday, hosting almost 6,000 pharmacists and pharmacy students in Baltimore, Md. 
 
The meeting’s theme this year, “Expanding Opportunities through Patient Care,” looked at how the pharmacist’s role in the healthcare system is changing. Speakers discussed the pharmacist’s role as providers and their potential to help prevent opioid abuse and misuse. 
 
“It’s been an amazing year working with key decision makers,” outgoing APhA President Lawrence “LB” Brown said, noting that pharmacy is being embraced by nurses and other healthcare professionals as a key part of the healthcare team, citing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ expansion of the Medicare Part D medication therapy management as an example of this. 
 
APhA2016 keynote speaker Dr. Rajiv Shah addressed the opening general session, emphasizing that during his time as a physician, he has learned how valuable pharmacists are on a healthcare team. 
 
“Pharmacists’ expertise matters because the biggest fixable problem today in health care, one that amounts to $300 billion, is medication non-adherence,” Shah explained. “No one in the world has as much medication education as pharmacists.”
 
The second general session speakers focused on pharmacists’ potential as thought leaders. Author Abraham Verghese emphasized the value of one-on-one interactions with patients, and APhA president-elect Kelly Goode focused on pharmacists’ impact on their communities. APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan discussed how far pharmacists have come in providing more value to patients and how far they can go. 
 
“Your touch is essential in making the connection between patient and caregiver,” Menighan. “For many years, pharmacists have been knocking down barriers to patient care services. Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined that today, more than 280,000 pharmacists would be trained immunizers. And the opportunities before pharmacists to deliver patient care services are only growing.”
 
Also at APhA2016, more than 300 delegates discussed, reviewed and approved APhA Policy Review Committee recommendations, as well as the APhA Policy Committee’s report focusing on point-of-care testing, medication optimization services and biologic, biosimilars and interchangeable drug products. 
 
APhA2017 is slated for March 24-27, 2017 in San Francisco.
 
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Jakemans launches new joint care supplement

BY Michael Johnsen
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Jakemans recently announced the U.S. launch of GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids, a natural, plant-based joint care supplement. 
 
“GOPO has been helping joint pain sufferers in other countries for many years,” stated Jonathan Groves, president at Jakemans. “While the number of people experiencing joint problems is increasing, few newer or more effective solutions have been available to them, until now. We are excited to introduce this product to the U.S. market so that people experiencing joint problems – from senior citizens to elite athletes – can care for their joints and continue to enjoy an active lifestyle.”
 
GOPO Rosehip with Galactolipids is made from natural rosehip and contains a high level of GOPO – a key component of the rosehip which may play a role in the care of joints and joint tissues.
 
The product will be available at major U.S. retailers including Vitamin Shoppe in the spring of 2016.
 
 
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Robin Leedy & Associates rebrands as RLA Collective

BY Michael Johnsen
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. –  Robin Leedy & Associates, a premier OTC health and wellness integrated marketing agency, on Tuesday announced the change of its corporate name and brand identity to RLA Collective. 
 
The agency’s rebranding officially marks the evolution of the company from that of a consumer health public relations consultancy to a fully-integrated marketing “collective” specifically focused on health and wellness brands across all channels.
 
"We began as a PR agency 30 years ago, and still continue that service for many clients, but have evolved way beyond that based on client needs and the changing marketing landscape for health and wellness brands,” stated Robin Russo, president RLA Collective. “Our new name – RLA Collective – reflects the true collective of marketing services, expertise, results and vetted industry partners that can fully service brands emerging into or already in drugstores and mass market retailers nationwide.”
 
Though newly-named, it’s business as usual at RLA Collective, with the same level of excellence and professionalism provided to clients for three decades. “Our mission for RLA Collective remains focused and unchanged,” Russo added, “to creatively develop and implement strategic and engaging cost effective, seamless marketing programs for innovative health and wellness brands. For all our clients, it means they are partnering with an agency that is laser focused on health and wellness, including strategy, regulatory oversight, and execution.”
 
 
 
 
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