PHARMACY

Comic strip delivers message on diabetes health

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The National Alliance for Hispanic Health and syndicated comic strip are teaming up to address diabetes health, prevention and treatment.

In a series of comic strips that begin June 30, and run in over 200 newspapers, Baldo, a Hispanic teen, will learn that his father has diabetes. Baldo, who thought he brought on his father’s ill-health by worrying him with his antics, comes to his father’s aid with support to help him exercise more, and his sister, Gracie, encourages the family to eat healthier.

“The key to taking charge of diabetes in our community is awareness, diagnosis and treatment. That’s why we are so proud to partner with the Alliance to get the word out on diabetes and what we can all do for good health,” said Baldo co-creator Hector Cantu.

Cantu and co-creator Carlos Castellanos hope the comic, published in both English and Spanish, will encourage readers to call the NAHH’s toll-free Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (866-783-2645 or 866-SU-FAMILIA). Callers can speak to a health promotion adviser in Spanish or English to get a free bilingual booklet on diabetes and answers to their questions, including referral to diabetes services in their community. The toll-free Su Familia helpline will be featured prominently in the last daily strip of the multipart story, which ends July 10.

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation’s foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States, according to the organization. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 15 million each year. For more information, call the Alliance’s Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at (866) 783-2645 or visit www.hispanichealth.org.

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NACDS Marketplace Conference kicks off with Meet the Market format

BY Drug Store News Team

BOSTON It was a cool and crisp day as attendees filed into the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Sunday to take part in the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference annualized Meet the Market format, which this year represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments, including 270 retailers representing some 80 companies.

The Meet the Market format, where smaller and new suppliers are able to secure 10-minute meetings with their category buyers, takes on greater value in a recession economy, where many retailers are cutting more SKUs from their planograms than they’re slicing in, noted Larry Lotridge, NACDS VP conference services. “We know when the economy’s tight you still want to get in front of the retailers,” he said, “because our industry is still selling.”

Lotridge noted one supplier last year negotiated a 100-store test run in Walmart after an initial meeting at Meet the Market. This year, Lotridge said, that supplier is likely to secure full distribution with the mass marketer. “You want to be the company with the product on the shelf,” he said.

And such formats as Meet the Market are opportune to help new or small companies accomplish just that.

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NACDS, NCPA endorse Rep. Mike Ross’ MTM legislation

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two pharmacist organizations announced their support for H.R. 3108, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.

The bill was introduced on June 26, and immediately was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and Committee on Ways and Means, two House committees with jurisdiction over comprehensive healthcare reform legislation.

Pharmacist-provided medication therapy management involves a licensed pharmacist’s work with a patient to review, monitor and identify problems with a patient’s medication plan.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of Rep. Ross as he continues to advocate for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy healthcare reform legislation in Congress,” stated National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Rep. Ross’ bill signifies the importance of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management for improving medication adherence, enhancing patient health and reducing long-term healthcare costs.”

National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts also supported the bill, stating that MTM improves patients’ adherence and their outcomes through the utilization of pharmacists’ expertise. “H.R. 3108 will expand the pool of Medicare Part D patients that can access this valuable service and recognize pharmacists for the savings they provide to the healthcare system,” Roberts said. “We thank Congressman Mike Ross for introducing this bill, and urge other members of the House to support it. We call on the Senate to introduce similar legislation. Ultimately, for healthcare reform to be fully successful, it must include proposals such as this to improve quality while lowering overall costs.”

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