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Remembering Len DeMino

BY Rob Eder

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — The industry has lost a true “patriot of pharmacy practice” in longtime industry veteran Leonard “Len” DeMino, who passed away on Sept. 16. DeMino was 81.

“The growth and success of the profession of pharmacy — and where it stands today in our American society and in healthcare delivery — is the result of it standing on the shoulders of giants. In every sense of the word, Len is one of those giants,” National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson noted. “We will continue to see that in the future of pharmacy because we have all benefitted from the passion, commitment and love of Len for not only the profession of pharmacy, but the people that it serves. Len DeMino was a humanitarian who devoted himself to the promotion of human welfare and the advancement of pharmacy. Len embodied everything good about our nation and our industry.”

DeMino — who served the chain pharmacy industry for more than 50 years — first joined NACDS as VP pharmacy affairs in June 1989, after more than three decades with the once storied mid-Atlantic regional powerhouse Peoples Drug Stores (acquired by CVS in 1990), where he rose from staff pharmacist to VP. At NACDS, DeMino was a champion on state and national legislative issues, particularly on the third-party reimbursement front.

“NACDS tells the story of pharmacy as the face of neighborhood health care, and Len has lived that message every day as a patriot of pharmacy practice,” Anderson said at the time of DeMino’s official retirement in June 2009 as a senior pharmacy consultant to NACDS.

An early recipient of the NACDS Harold W. Pratt Award in 1988, DeMino also was a recipient of the American Pharmacists Association’s Bowl of Hygeia Award for community service. While at Peoples, DeMino was active in industry affairs, serving as chairman of the Pharmacy Affairs Committee and as the NACDS representative to the Drug Enforcement Administration Pharmacy Working Committee. He also was a past member of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, and was active in the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

DeMino, a pharmacy graduate of George Washington University, also was highly active on the academic front, as an instructor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences at Howard University, and as a member of the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy Advisory Board.

DeMino is survived by his wife, Delores; daughter, Cristina and her husband Steve Finney; son, Joseph and his wife Anita DeMino; and his three grandchildren — Catherine and Michael Finney, and Anna DeMino.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leonard J. DeMino Pharmacy Scholarship Fund, c/o NACDS Foundation, 413 N. Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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BP monitor touts convenience

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The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diagnostics Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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OTC Answers introduces pharmacist-friendly OTC recommendation tool

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE — OTC Answers on Tuesday released its Self+Care Web-based application, a pharmacy-facing over-the-counter recommendation engine. 

“In a busy pharmacy setting the pharmacist struggles to meet prescription demand.  When a customer asks to discuss an over-the-counter product, the result is either a time-consuming assessment or a sudden recommendation that may not take into account the patient’s entire circumstance," stated John Rose, OTC Answers president. "In the first instance the pharmacist is taken out of workflow for five minutes or more. In the second instance the patient may not be getting the best available advice."

OTC Answers developed Self+Care to enable pharmacists to provide the optimal OTC recommendation without disrupting their productivity. 

While developing Self+Care, OTC Answers recognized the application had to accommodate the pharmacist’s need for detail while also streamlining the patient assessment. Complex algorithms were designed such that the patient assessment flows naturally and only relevant questions are asked. 

Self+Care was designed by pharmacists, on behalf of pharmacists, Rose said.  Many prior solutions were designed "by software developers rather than pharmacists — the solutions weren’t sensitive to the needs of a pharmacist in a high volume environment."

Self+Care utilizes a proprietary color-coded interaction scale to clearly indicate an interaction and its severity. If need be the pharmacist can learn more about the interaction by simply clicking on the interaction symbol. Another important requirement was to preserve the pharmacist’s pharmacotherapy discretion. “Self+Care was built to enhance the pharmacist’s OTC knowledge while still enabling the pharmacist to select one or more appropriate active ingredients based on the patient assessment," he said. "Self+Care narrows the active ingredient search but it is the pharmacist that makes the final ingredient and dosage form selections.”

As a web-based application, Self+Care was designed to work with all popular web browsers including Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. The user accesses Self+Care from his or her existing workstation or tablet computer. No additional hardware is required. The application is licensed by retail pharmacies on a subscription basis. The over-the-counter product compliment is refined on behalf of each retail customer prior to deployment.


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