Dialed into real health reform
This month, DSN published the fifth edition of RxImpact, a special stand-alone report that we produce to help educate lawmakers about the ever-expanding role community pharmacy plays in our nation’s healthcare system. The issues are stuffed into kits that National Association of Chain Drug Store members leave behind with members of Congress during desk-side meetings that are organized by NACDS. In addition, DSN ensures that every member of the Senate and the House of Representatives — and key House staffers — is hand-delivered a copy of RxImpact. Why? We want them to understand your story.
Here is how we framed it for them; following is the column I wrote for this year’s edition:
This year makes 19 years for me as the editor of Drug Store News. Looking back on it all, I have seen a lot change. In many ways, it reminds me of a series of TV commercials that was popular back then — AT&T’s “You Will” ads. Remember those?
“Have you ever borrowed a book from 1,000 miles away,” the voice of Tom Selleck asked. “Have you ever crossed the country without stopping for directions? … You will.”
Today, e-books and GPS are pretty common; but 20 years ago they seemed like science fiction.
The comparisons to the transformation of community pharmacy over that period are remarkable.
Back then, it would have been impossible to imagine getting a flu shot from a pharmacist because pharmacists were not licensed to do so anywhere in the United States. Today, pharmacists in all 50 states can administer flu shots and at least two other vaccinations.
Back then, it would have been hard to imagine being able to receive 80% of your primary care needs in a community pharmacy setting — the retail clinic was very much still just a concept on a dry-erase board. Today, there are more than 2,000 retail clinics in operation, with many more expected in the years ahead.
As the editor of DSN, I have seen the drug store re-emerge not just as a place that dispenses prescriptions, but as the center of health care in neighborhoods all across America.
I frequently tell people that if they could see what I see, if they could see how community pharmacy, in so many examples, is leading the way on lowering healthcare costs, expanding patient access and driving better health outcomes, they would have a pretty good sense of how to fix health care.
Like those AT&T commercials, you may not have thought about what community pharmacy could do to help fix health care. But when you read this, you will.
The digital version of RxImpact is available at DrugStoreNews.com/DigitalEditions. When anyone wants to know more about what community pharmacy can do — and is doing — to improve health care, give them a copy.
DSN/CCA feature retail healthcare webinars
As retail pharmacy increasingly becomes a healthcare destination, new telehealth models are helping to expand both access to care and the scope of care. Telehealth’s role in retail healthcare delivery was explored by MinuteClinic VP medical operations Tobias Barker as part of a six-part Retail Healthcare Webinar series, produced by Drug Store News and the Convenient Care Association.
Beyond telehealth, the series also featured a session on “Chronic Care in Retail Health,” in which Eileen Myers, The Little Clinic’s VP of affiliations and patient centered strategies, outlined strategies for patient-centered care, and understanding and measuring the impact of chronic disease management on business. The series also featured Walgreens Health Care Clinic medical director Dr. Patrick Carroll’s discussion on the opportunities for partnerships in public health; CVS Health VP of enterprise analytics Bob Darin on harnessing big data to drive improved outcomes; and national leader of KPMG’s Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight Larry Kocot, on emerging payment models.
The complete archived webinar series is available for replay at DrugStoreNews.com/webinars.
Brands to rework products containing microbeads
Now that the bipartisan Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was signed into law late last year, many manufacturers have to rework cosmetics and personal-cleansing products by July 1, 2017. The microbeads, used as exfoliants, have been found to slip through water treatment systems, ending up in streams, rivers and larger bodies of water.
One company that doesn’t need to tweak anything is Trilogy, a natural skin care collection sold in the U.S. at Whole Foods, pharmacies, specialty stores and online.
Trilogy’s sales manager for the United States, Corinne Morley, is an expert in not only natural brands, but also frequently speaks about best practices in the production, recycling and waste management of plastic products. “We’ve always believed you don’t have to sacrifice performance for natural,” Morley said, adding that the company was founded to fill a gap for truly natural skin care. “These days, thanks to constant innovation in natural and organic skin care, you can get the same or indeed better results without resorting to synthetics.
As consumers focus more on natural, she thinks they’ll drive changes. “The speed of the movement will be driven by consumer demand. As more consumers become aware of this [danger] the anti-plastic movement will gain momentum,” she said. The emergence of independent natural and organic certifications, such as Natrue and the USDA should also stymie “greenwashing,” which in the past has made it difficult to discern between authentic natural and pseudo natural, she concluded.