HEALTH

CVS Caremark salutes pharmacists

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. October is American Pharmacists Month, and CVS Caremark has announced that it is recognizing its 26,000 pharmacists who provide care to their patients in its retail pharmacies, mail-service pharmacies and specialty pharmacies across the country.

“Whether they are providing flu shots in our 7,100 stores, counseling patients in person or on the phone, or explaining a new specialty drug therapy to a patient, our pharmacists are delivering best-in-class care to their patients every day,” stated Larry Merlo, president and COO of CVS Caremark. “Pharmacy care remains the most cost-effective method of treatment in the healthcare industry, as proper adherence to prescriptions can prevent more expensive outcomes, such as hospitalization or long-term complications from chronic disease. By helping patients stay adherent to their medication therapies, pharmacists play a critical role in lowering overall healthcare costs while improving their patients’ health and well-being,” he added.

CVS Caremark will publicly recognize its pharmacists during October with ads in industry trade publications and on its in-store radio network. The company also will celebrate National Pharmacy Technician Day on Oct. 26 in recognition of the role its 50,000 technicians play in supporting CVS Caremark pharmacists and serving their patients.

In related news, Walgreens also expressed its support for its 27,000 pharmacists in recognition of American Pharmacists Month. The chain addressed its one-on-one patient consultations and expanding immunization programs, as well as its community education programs. Each year since 2008, Walgreens has donated more than $1 million to support initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity at all accredited pharmacy schools nationwide. Through these donations, students get an opportunity to apply their education by better understanding and serving different communities and needs.

“Pharmacists are some of the most trusted healthcare professionals in the nation,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. “With our extensive network of more than 7,500 pharmacies in communities coast to coast, we strive to make sure patients are armed with the knowledge to get the best possible outcomes from their medication. Our pharmacies are staffed with some of the most talented professionals in the industry. They are truly dedicated to providing high-quality pharmacy service, and I’m proud of the support and guidance they offer to millions of patients every day.”

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Drug Store News once again hosts annual Industry Issues Summit, Diabetes Roundtable

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Drug Store News is presenting in November in New York its 12th annual Industry Issues Summit and eighth annual Diabetes Roundtable — a must-attend event that attracts leading industry players and will feature a special celebrity speaker.

This year’s Industry Issues Summit will be held Nov. 30 at the New York Athletic Club, which is located just a stone’s throw away from Central Park. Over the years, the Industry Issues Summit has become a critical industry event, and this year’s gathering will prove to be especially important in light of healthcare reform, the economy and its impact on consumer shopping behavior, and retail pharmacies increasingly taking a proactive role on the frontlines of U.S. health care.

Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” will be the keynote speaker. Kudlow, who for many years served as chief economist for a number of Wall Street firms, will be presenting “Never Sell America Short: Free-Market Capitalism and the American Economy.” Kudlow is a nationally syndicated columnist and also hosts his own blog. He is a contributing editor of National Review magazine, as well as a columnist and economics editor for National Review Online. He is the author of “American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity,” published by Forbes in January 1998. He also serves as CEO of Kudlow & Co., an economic research firm.

“This one-day event will provide unprecedented access to a multiple list of leading-edge retailers from many formats that will enable sponsors a unique opportunity to share in the dialogue about retailer-supplier best practices, alignment strategies and industry growth opportunities. Drug Store News is also pleased to make our Industry Issues Summit and Diabetes Roundtable an annual event that is held every year during ‘NACDS Week’ in New York City, which times nicely with several key committee meetings and highlights with the NACDS Foundation Dinner,” said Wayne Bennett, publisher of The Drug Store News Group.

Retail panelists for this year’s Issues Summit will include top executives from H-E-B, Costco, Max-Wellness, Rite Aid, Wegmans, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Sam’s Club and Ace Hardware.

Retail panelists for the Diabetes Roundtable include top executives from McKesson’s Health Mart, Wegmans, H-E-B, Giant Eagle, AmerisourceBergen, Rite Aid, Kerr Drug and Cardinal Health.

Current sponsors include Pacific World, Takeda, Pharmavite, TABS, Catalina Marketing, Alberto Culver and Nipro Diagnostics.

To register, visit DSNIndustryIssues.com. For more information on sponsoring the Issues Summit and/or Diabetes Roundtable, contact Wayne Bennett at wbennett@drugstorenews.com or call (212) 756-5157.

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NACDS, NCPA praise congressional passage of safe drug-disposal legislation

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two groups representing the nation’s pharmacies lauded the passage of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act by the Senate and House of Representatives.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association announced their support of the bill, which fosters collaboration between pharmacies, consumers and law enforcement for the safe disposal of unused drugs. The National Community Pharmacist Association developed its own voluntary prescription drug-disposal program, called Dispose My Meds.

“Prescription drug abuse is at epic proportions in many parts of the country, and community pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help Americans properly dispose of their expired and unused prescription drugs,” said NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey. “We commend members of Congress from both parties for coming together to approve this important legislation.”

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson noted the organization welcomed "advancing the safe use and safe handling of medications."

“By steering clear of a drug take-back program mandate, Congress wisely prevented unintended consequences that could have undermined the health and safety of the public and of pharmacy personnel,” Anderson said. “NACDS appreciates the work of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Joe Barton, R-Texas; and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to ensure that good public policy won the day on this important issue."

In related news, Walgreens on Thursday announced its first-ever safe drug-disposal program through a collaboration with Sharps Compliance, which has worked with the NCPA on the Dispose My Meds program.

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