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The Washington Post prints NACDS letter on Rx drug abuse, access

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — A letter to the editor written by National Association of Chain Drug Stores President and CEO Steve Anderson, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to curbing prescription drug abuse and diversion and preserving patient access to prescription pain medication was published in The Washington Post.  

Anderson’s letter was written in response to a recent opinion column, titled “The Legal Drug Epidemic.”  
 
The opinion column discussed the evolution of the “epidemic” of prescription abuse of opioid pain medications. The piece suggests that more regulation to combat the abuse problem is the answer, stating, “It appears that reducing the country’s most troubling drug-related public health problem depends on more, and more intelligent, regulation, not less.”
 
In NACDS’ letter to the editor, Anderson emphasized that the real solution is a collaborative approach that takes into consideration the complexity of this problem. The letter cites NACDS’ support for bipartisan federal legislation in the U.S. Senate and House, titled the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015 (S. 483 and H.R. 471). The bills seek to bring together key law enforcement, government agencies, health care and other stakeholders to develop a framework that will help legitimate patients access their necessary medications, and work to address drug abuse, addiction and diversion.  
 

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ShopRite teams up with J&J to launch in-store Diabetes Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

FLEMINGTON, N.J. — In line with ShopRite’s Live Right initiative, which is all about personalizing the health and wellness experience for its customers, the grocer has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to create a Diabetes Center at its Flemington, N.J., location.

With the new Diabetes Center, Wakefern’s ShopRite and Johnson & Johnson are striving to care for the customer as a whole, with a focus on reinforcing all aspects of diabetic care from monitoring and nutrition management to medication, education and total body care, explained Kimberly Gallene, category manager in HBC, and Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness at Wakefern.

Opened on Feb. 25, the Diabetes Center includes more than 100 items across seven categories, including pharmacy. It is strategically located next to the pharmacy and the dietitian's office so that store health professionals are easily accessible to answer specific questions that customers may have.

The Flemington ShopRite marks the first location to feature the Center, but the company plans to implement it in additional stores in the near future.

According to Gallene and Menza, ShopRite selected the Flemington store for the launch given its robust health and wellness program with the dietician and pharmacists working together to meet customers’ needs.

To create the space, ShopRite partnered with J&J on its product and pharmaceutical side of the business. Utilizing J&J’s professional expertise, research and resources — combined with ShopRite’s knowledge of the customer and community — the grocer created a space that aims to be convenient, inviting and educational.

In addition to products, the destination delivers education in the form of signage, brochures and an onsite tablet that links directly to the ShopRite.com/diabetes web page for additional information.

In addition to the Diabetes Center, ShopRite also works to address the specific healthcare needs of those shoppers with diabetes through one-on-one counseling and group classes geared toward diabetes prevention and management.

 

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Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance to honor CVS Health’s Helena Foulkes

BY Antoinette Alexander

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance will honor Helena Foulkes, president of CVS/pharmacy and EVP of CVS Health, at the organization's 14th Annual Comedy for a Cure in April.

The event will take place on April 12 at the Globe Theater in Universal City, Calif. Over the past 13 years, this event has raised nearly $4 million to support TS Alliance research efforts and support programs for people with tuberous sclerosis complex.

CVS Health first got involved in Comedy for a Cure in 2005 and has continued to support the event through generous sponsorships.

"Helena has served on the honorary committee of Comedy for a Cure since 2012 and has been instrumental in TS Alliance government advocacy efforts by garnering Congressional support for the appropriation for TSC research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program budget," stated Kari Luther Rosbeck, TS Alliance president and CEO.

In addition, since FDA approval of Sabril (vigabatrin) in 2009, CVS Health has served as one-of-four specialty pharmacies that distribute the medication based on very strict safety requirements.

"Under Helena's leadership, CVS Health has gone above and beyond to ensure the needs of children and adults with TSC are met through timely medication delivery and by working tirelessly with the TSC community and insurance companies to mediate any issues with coverage," Rosbeck stated.

TSC is a multisystem genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in vital organs, primarily the brain, heart, eyes, kidneys, lungs and skin. It is also the leading genetic cause of both autism and epilepsy. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States suffer from the disease, and it has an estimated incidence of one in 6,000 live births. More than 1 million people worldwide have TSC.

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