Cardinal pharmacists talk about change and the future of pharmacy
Dovetailing the "Leading Change" theme of this year's Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference, independent pharmacists speak out about what change looks like for their businesses, what the future holds for community pharmacy and how to lead change in their stores and communities.
RBC 2014 urges pharmacists to lead change
WASHINGTON — Nearly 8,000 attendees will converge in Washington, D.C., in July for Cardinal Health’s annual Retail Business Conference, which provides independent pharmacists and pharmacy franchise owners an opportunity to network with and learn from peers, as well as gain new insights into improving business effectiveness and efficiency.
RBC will take place July 23 to 26 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
In light of the changing healthcare landscape and the increased role that pharmacists are playing in the U.S. healthcare system, this year’s event is aptly themed “Leading Change.”
“RBC is the perfect opportunity for independent pharmacy owners to network with their peers and learn new ways they can lead change in health care — the kind of change that will ultimately result in healthier patients, healthier communities, stronger pharmacy businesses and a more productive, cost-effective healthcare system,” said Steve Lawrence, SVP independent sales for Cardinal Health.
Highlights of this year’s RBC include:
• The RBC Opening Session: This year’s RBC Opening Session will feature Mary Matalin and James Carville, who will engage in a candid discussion about today's hot-button political and healthcare issues from both sides of the political aisle. Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. As an author, television and radio host, and widely sought-after political contributor, pundit and public speaker, she is known for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. Among her many roles and accomplishments, she has served under former President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as former President George H.W. Bush's campaign director and most recently was assistant to former President George W. Bush. Her husband, James "The Ragin' Cajun" Carville, is one of America's best-known political consultants. His list of electoral successes shows a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories, and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners. Carville also is a best-selling author, actor, producer, talk show host, speaker and restaurateur;
• Healthcare Roundtable Discussion: As the Affordable Care Act, changing demographics and other drivers continue to transform health care, RBC’s Healthcare Roundtable Discussion will provide attendees with the chance to hear first-hand insights from pharmacy industry leaders about how some of the nation’s most pressing healthcare issues are impacting community pharmacy. This discussion will feature Doug Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association; Theresa Tolle, speaker-elect of the American Pharmacists Association House of Delegates; and Connie Woodburn, SVP government relations for Cardinal Health. These community pharmacy advocates will discuss industry hot topics ranging from narrow insurance networks to the critical importance of pharmacists receiving provider status so they can be reimbursed for delivering healthcare services to patients;
• Innovation Hub: Part of the Cardinal Health showcase on the RBC tradeshow floor, the Innovation Hub will feature touchscreen kiosks and iPads where attendees can learn more about and interact with wearable health technology, health gaming, apps and technology tools that can improve pharmacy practice. It also will serve as a one-stop location where attendees can network with IT exhibitors and pharmacy-focused technology products. Attendees will be able to find facts, statistics, educational information and practical examples of how specific healthcare technology innovations are shaping the ways pharmacists and other healthcare providers interact with and serve patients; and
• Best Practice Competition: During this year’s RBC, Cardinal Health will name three of the nation’s most innovative community pharmacies as winners of its Independent Pharmacy Best Practices Competition. The Best Practice Competition winners were selected for implementing exceptionally creative methods that demonstrate how independent pharmacies can adapt to, and improve patient care in, today’s fast-changing healthcare environment. The annual Best Practice Competition winners are considered industry trendsetters whose successful, real-world models are often adopted by other community pharmacies across the country. This year’s winners excelled in three categories crucial to the success of hometown pharmacies: wellness, retail and business practices. The 2014 Best Practice winners will each direct a $3,500 donation — made by Cardinal Health — to the pharmacy school or pharmacy association of their choice.
In addition to the power-packed lineup of events, the tradeshow will feature a 174,000-sq.-ft. trade exhibit floor highlighting buying opportunities with more than 340 exhibitors. Pharmacists also can access continuing education opportunities, with 60 courses on topics that can help them improve both their clinical and business operations.
General Mills’ new product lineup reflects ‘deep understanding’ of customers
MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills on Monday announced a number of new products set to debut this summer, all of which reflect consumer-driven food trends. With offerings that range from Cheerios Protein cereal to Suddenly Salad made with whole grains, the company's new products were conceived with a keen eye on customer needs.
“Everything we do starts with the consumer in mind, and in Fiscal 2015 we’re applying this consumer first mindset across our portfolio,” said Ken Powell, General Mills Chairman and CEO. “Through a deep understanding of our consumers — what foods they like, where they shop and how they like to cook — we are rapidly addressing their needs with products that offer relevant health news, increased convenience, superior taste and product quality.”
The themes displayed in the new product lineup include:
More than 50% of consumers are looking to pack more protein into their diets, the company said, making protein-rich foods a hot item in U.S. supermarkets. General Mills hopes to meet this demand with Cheerios Protein, Cascadian Farm Protein Granola and new flavors of Yoplait Greek Yogurt.
The company noted that consumers are embracing products with globally inspired flavors. General Mills is offering Old El Paso Nacho Cheese Taco Shells, Progresso Chili and Chex Mix Xtreme — which boasts flavors like Habanero Lime and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.
The company estimates that 30% of consumers are trying to cut back on gluten consumption; it will add to its existing gluten-free portfolio with the addition of Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust, Larabar Renola and Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice Crackers.
Eighty-one percent of consumers are trying to incorporate more whole grains into their diets, the company said. It plans to add Suddenly Grain Salad, Green Giant Steamers and Nature Valley Fruteria to help satisfy this segment.
For consumers looking to sweeten up their days, the company is offering the following decadent additions: Fiber One Streusel, Betty Crocker Hershey’s Premium Dessert Mixes, Pillsbury Melts and Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations.