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American College of Preventive Medicine certifies RediClinic’s Weigh Forward program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON and HOUSTON — The American College of Preventive Medicine has certified RediClinic’s Weigh Forward weight/lifestyle management program as meeting evidence-based standards for healthy weight loss. This is the first time in ACPM’s nearly 60-year history that the organization has certified a third-party program, and it signifies the launch of its new certification program.
 


“The American College of Preventive Medicine has supported the practice of preventive medicine in many ways over the years, and recognizing third-party programs that meet quality and effectiveness standards for physicians, their patients and consumers is a new way for us to pursue this mission,” said ACPM’s executive director Michael Barry. “It was logical to begin our certification initiative with weight management programs since obesity is one of the nation’s most critical and challenging public health issues, and Weigh Forward went through a rigorous evaluation process to gain our certification.”
 


The certification program allows organizations to apply to certify that their program meets ACPM’s evidence-based standards for health promotion and weight management. Programs are reviewed for both content and individual process elements, placing emphasis on health improvement. The criteria for evaluation focus on weight loss strategies, medical monitoring, weight maintenance and patient support. Organizations that have received ACPM certification for their weight management program will be able to market the product as such to potential customers. And, for the first time, consumers will have the ability to seek the certification seal when assessing their options to create and support a healthy lifestyle. 
 


RediClinic has offered Weigh Forward at 30 Texas-based RediClinics since 2011. Weigh Forward is now being licensed to other providers who want a turn-key weight/lifestyle management solution for their practice or clinic. The 10-week program combines 15-minute visits with a healthcare professional with access to an online platform that supports both the clinician and the patient. According to RediClinic, it has proven successful in helping patients lose 1 or 2 pounds per week, while significantly improving their cardio-metabolic health.
 


The Weigh Forward program has four key components: a medical component, which includes an initial physical exam, lab tests at the beginning and end of the program, and regular biometric monitoring; a proprietary behavior modification component, which identifies each patient’s individual barriers to success and offers proven strategies for overcoming them; a diet/nutrition component, which includes five meal plans (including a diabetic plan) and more than 500 low-calorie recipes; and a physical activity component, which features customized fitness-improvement regimens for each patient.
 


“Weigh Forward is a uniquely comprehensive and effective program, and we are honored that the American College of Preventive Medicine has recognized this through its newly created certification program,” said RediClinic’s CEO Web Golinkin. “We have created a program that all healthcare professionals can use to help their patients achieve sustained weight loss and health gains, and we hope that ACPM’s certification will assure potential licensees that our program meets the highest professional standards.”

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Woolite introduces new formula

BY Ryan Chavis

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Woolite, a brand from Reckitt Benckiser, announced the launch of Woolite Everyday with Fiber-Flex technology. The new detergent formula helps protect clothes from fading and maintains the shape of the fabric and the fiber elasticity, the company said.

"We know that protection during the cleaning process is very important to keep your favorite everyday clothes from fading, shrinking and stretching," said Ben Crawley, brand manager for Woolite USA. "Leveraging our expertise in the protection of delicates, we are excited to introduce Woolite Everyday with Fiber-Flex technology that extends the protection and care in the wash to all everyday clothes and not just delicates. Woolite will help preserve the love affair a consumer has for her favorite clothes for up to 20 washes."

The new detergent, available in Sparkling Fresh scent, can be purchased at mass and grocery stores nationwide beginning this month for $8.87 for a 50-fl. oz. bottle and $13.97 for a 100-fl. oz. bottle.

 

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NCPA members convene for 46th Annual NCPA Conference on National Legislation and Government Affairs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The 46th Annual NCPA Conference on National Legislation and Government Affairs kicked off Wednesday on Capitol Hill, bringing together hundreds of members of the National Community Pharmacists Association to discuss critical community pharmacy issues with members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as government officials and political insiders.

This year’s two-day event attracted about 400 members. The attendance is the highest it has been in the past three years, and is a reflection of the pressing issues facing independent community pharmacies.

In a conference call Wednesday morning with media, B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the NCPA, outlined the four key issues its members will be discussing during the event.

One of the biggest concerns, and a top priority for NCPA, is the limitation that independent community pharmacies have to be at the table in Medicare Part D’s preferred networks.

“Our members are disproportionately in rural and underserved areas, and they serve as sort of the canary in the coal mine when it comes to some of the policy changes with Part D and, as such, they are under a lot of pressure and stress by not being allowed to be included in these networks,” Hoey said.

Hoey added that NCPA is endorsing the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act (H.R. 4577) and said the bipartisan legislation is a critical first step toward more patient choice and allowing competition. The bill would allow “any willing pharmacy” in medically underserved areas to participate in the Medicare Part D drug plan networks, including the plan’s discounted or preferred networks.

A second priority is price discrepancies among PBMs, and Hoey said that NCPA is supporting legislation (H.R. 4437) that would require PBMs to update their generic drug reimbursements on a timely basis to reflect real-world costs.

“Prices are going up for generic products, but the payment rates are staying the same, and it is as simple as that. … So, our members are being put in a situation where they are having to dispense products sometimes for hundreds of dollars below their actual cost of the product,” Hoey said.

A third area of focus during the conference is expanded scope of services provided by pharmacists.

“Many community pharmacists have the training and expertise to play a larger role in providing basic health services. We’ve seen increased utilization of health services in the first quarter of this year, and we are also seeing a shortage of primary care practitioners. Pharmacists can help assist with this shortage,” Hoey said. He noted that pharmacists can help fill the gap by providing such care as wellness screenings, chronic disease management, immunizations and proper medication management.

In light of this, NCPA is supporting and working to advance legislation (H.R. 4490) to recognize and reimburse pharmacists for providing such care, Hoey said.

Members also will be discussing the difficulty that community pharmacies are experiencing when it comes to obtaining controlled substances for patients with legitimate health needs.

“It is becoming clear that too many patients are becoming collateral damage in the war against prescription drug abuse. We will continue to support what we believe are more balanced strategies, such as prescriber education and the development of prescription drug monitoring programs,” Hoey said during the call.

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