HEALTH

Schering-Plough teams up wih Tekscan

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON Schering-Plough Health Care Products and Tekscan on Thursday announced their partnership to develop a revolutionary new kiosk designed to assess a customer’s feet and recommend the optimal Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic.

The consumer steps up to the kiosk and onto the sensing platform and, within seconds, receives a Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic recommendation based on his or her foot pressure pattern, arch type and foot length. The orthotic, designed with special cushioning and support layers, offloads high-pressure areas with support and comfort in mind.

The Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotics system uses the patented science of Tekscan’s pressure-sensing technology along with sophisticated algorithms to recommend a perfect fit.

Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Kiosks can be found in Meijer, Kroger, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens retail stores in select markets, with further expansion planned.

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NACDS kicks off first annual RxIMPACT Day

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON More than 150 pharmacy advocates from more than 30 states, armed with personal stories about the critical role pharmacy plays in improving patient care and keeping healthcare costs down, conducted meetings with key lawmakers as part of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ inaugural RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill.

In addition to the efforts on the Hill Wednesday, NACDS is embarking on a grassroots letter-writing campaign to members of Congress. NACDS will reach out to more than 20,000 pharmacy advocates, including NACDS members, to encourage them to engage on healthcare reform with their respective elected officials in Washington.

“NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill is the cornerstone event of the association’s newly launched grassroots advocacy program,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS is pleased to welcome pharmacists and other industry advocates from across the country to Washington, D.C., [today]. Pharmacy is the face of neighborhood health care and provides convenient and accessible health care for patients in every state and congressional district. The timing of the healthcare reform debate could not afford a better opportunity for pharmacy to urge lawmakers to include pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies in those discussions.”

To further complement the Hill meetings, and to bolster healthcare reform messages, NACDS also took out a full-page, color advertisement in the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call. The ad provides an additional opportunity to show the value of pharmacies, and how they can help enhance healthcare quality, access and affordability.

Meanwhile, NACDS also bestowed Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., the NACDS Congressional Leadership Award for his commitment to the industry and for being an advocate for issues impacting pharmacy. NACDS instituted the annual award this year to honor a member of Congress who demonstrates leadership on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policy issues. Rep. Ross was the keynote speaker at the event’s welcome dinner.

In response to the event, Drug Store News created a compilation of 10 stories from the print publication meant to profile what retail pharmacy is doing to lead healthcare reform, underwritten by PDX and Rx.com and titled “Community Pharmacy & Public Health: Profiles in Reform,” for members of the House and Senate. Drug Store News presented the guide for the first time at a special breakfast reception Wednesday, June 17, to kick-off the NACDS RxIMPACT Day.

To read the compilation, click here.

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MLB All-Star pitchers team up with Bayer for prostate cancer awareness

BY Michael Johnsen

MORRISTOWN, N.J. MLB All-Star pitchers John Smoltz of the Boston Red Sox and Derek Lowe of the Atlanta Braves have teamed up with Bayer Consumer to join the “One A Day Men’s presents MLB Strikeout Prostate Cancer Challenge” in an effort to raise awareness of prostate cancer, Bayer announced Tuesday.

“Prostate cancer wasn’t something I ever really thought about until I learned how common it is. Now, I want to do all I can to spread the word,” Lowe said. “I know now that there are a number of things men can do to support their prostate health, like going to the doctor for regular check-ups and getting proper screening to detect problems early. Along with a healthy diet, they can also take a multivitamin formulated specifically for men.” 

This is the second year of the Strikeout Prostate Cancer Challenge. During the inaugural 2008 season, the program raised a total of $333,780. Based on that success, One A Day and MLB again will make a $10 donation for every strikeout recorded this season to The Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research.

“Prostate cancer is a disease that will affect 1-in-6 men in their lifetime, and yet we still do not talk about it enough,” said Smoltz. “We are helping men realize the importance of prostate health. I’m looking to strike out as many people as possible for such a good cause.”

To show their commitment to this program, Lowe and Smoltz also are personally donating $10 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation for every strikeout they record during the 2009 season.

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