HEALTH

H.D. Smith veteran Joe Conda tapped for NACDS Pratt Award at pharmacy conference

BY Jim Frederick

SAN DIEGO —The National Association of Chain Drug Stores tapped wholesale and pharmaceutical industry veteran Joe Conda for its highest honor, the Harold W. Pratt Award, to close out its 2010 Pharmacy and Technology Conference here.

The award, named for longtime Walgreens pharmacy leader Harold Pratt, was given in recognition of Conda’s four decades of leadership in pharmacy, according to NACDS. The honor was established in 1985 by the NACDS board to recognize individuals “whose activities have contributed to the promotion, recognition and improvement of the practice of pharmacy within the chain drug industry,” according to the organization.

Conda is SVP strategic planning for pharmaceutical wholesaler H.D. Smith, charged with managing the company’s strategic development process, translating opportunities into measurable objectives and assisting senior executive leadership with long-term planning. Prior to joining H.D. Smith, Conda consulted for pharmaceutical, consumer packaging and medical technology companies.

Previously, he served as president of Owens Illinois Healthcare Packaging, and also served in sales and marketing capacities at Brockway.

“We are pleased to honor Joe’s 40 years of dedicated service to the pharmacy industry by bestowing upon him the Harold W. Pratt Award,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, who honored Conda at the annual pharmacy conference’s final reception and dinner Aug. 31. “Joe has spent his time building relationships and building strategy. He has forged relationships among many groups that benefited not only his company, but also the industry. He has helped shape pharmacy into what it has become today, and helped to create the momentum that will continue to enhance pharmacy’s role in healthcare delivery.”

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Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet introduces CalciOs

BY Allison Cerra

VIENNA, Va. Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet has expanded its offerings to include calcium-fortified cookies designed to treat occasional heartburn.

CalciOs cookies are vanilla-flavored cookies, each one providing 30% of the daily value of dietary calcium, Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet said. The cookies contain calcium carbonate, designed to treat heartburn relief. CalciOs also are free of artificial colors and preservatives.

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Pharmacies should get out of tobacco-selling, into smoking-cessation game

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that San Francisco’s board of supervisors gave preliminary approval to ban tobacco sales at all retailers that operate pharmacies, including mass merchants and grocers, is a step in the right direction, because if drug stores are going to be banned from selling them, then all retail pharmacy outlets should be banned. However, there’s an even bigger picture to consider.

(THE NEWS: Report: San Francisco supervisors OK tobacco sales ban at pharmacies. For the full story, click here)

As many dollars as pharmacy retailers made selling cigarettes, there is much more to be gained in medication therapy management, and there is a significant opportunity for retail pharmacy to have a greater stake in the future of health care.

Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable disease, illness and death worldwide, according to the American Lung Association. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly by "secondhand" smoke.

Furthermore, smoking-related healthcare expenditures are a major drain on the U.S. healthcare system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct healthcare expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.

Clearly, there’s a positive role that pharmacists can play in smoking cessation. To further support this, a recently published study on the "effect of a pharmacist-managed smoking-cessation clinic on quit rates" found that pharmacists can play a vital role in smoking cessation, especially in a group setting, as they can reach more people within the same time frame.

The study found that at three months and six months, 47.6% and 52.4% of patients reported being smoke-free, respectively. The study was conducted on patients that had participated in the pharmacist-managed Smoking Cessation Group Clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Participants received structured group counseling on various topics associated with cessation.

It also should be noted that in August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare coverage for seniors trying to quit smoking was expanded to include everyone on Medicare.

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