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Childhood obesity rates drop in 19 states

BY Jason Owen

WASHINGTON — Data released this week by federal health officials showed that between 2008 and 2011, the obesity rates of low-income preschoolers declined in 19-of-43 states and territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

The report, "Progress on Childhood Obesity," says one-in-eight preschoolers are obese and that children who are obese or overweight as preschoolers are five times as likely to be obese or overweight as adults compared with children who have a normal weight.

According to the report, "Obesity rates in low-income preschoolers, after decades of rising, began to level off from 2003 through 2008 and now are showing small declines in many states. However, too many preschoolers are obese. State and local officials can play a big part in reducing obesity among preschoolers."

The report recommends several actions state and local officials can pursue to help further reduce the problem among the nation’s young:

  • Create partnerships with community members such as civic leaders and child care providers to make community changes that promote healthy eating and active living.
  • Make it easier for families with children to buy healthy, affordable foods and beverages in their neighborhood.
  • Help provide access to safe, free drinking water in places such as community parks, recreation areas, child care centers, and schools.
  • Help local schools open up gyms, playgrounds, and sports fields during non-school hours so more children can safely play.
  • Help child care providers use best practices for improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and decreasing computer and television time.

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Helping independents compete in specialty pharmacy, Cardinal Health launches new suite of services at RBC 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — By now, even a quick look at drug companies’ product pipelines and patient demographics should make it clear that specialty drugs are where it’s at.

According to pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, the market for drugs used to treat complex, rare and serious conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, autoimmune disorders and rare genetic diseases is set to grow by 67% by the end of 2015.

With that in mind, Cardinal Health announced Friday the launch of the Specialty Pharmacy Alliance, a new suite of services designed to make it easier for community pharmacies to improve patients’ access to specialty drugs and adherence to them. Specialty drugs usually require specialized handling, dispensing, administration and patient counseling, and adherence to prescribed therapies is critical for patients. The medications are often described as high-cost and high-touch because of the clinical and financial complexities of the therapies. That means specialty pharmacy is a lot of work not just for patients, but also for the pharmacies serving them.

"Recognizing that very few in this room have the desire, capital and risk tolerance to create a specialty pharmacy, Cardinal Health has endeavored to provide an alternative," Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Segment president for U.S. pharmaceutical distribution Jon Giacomin said in a speech Friday at Cardinal’s Retail Business Conference in Seattle. "At RBC, we are introducing a specialty drug solution called Cardinal Health Specialty Pharmacy Alliance. Contracting with Specialty Pharmacy Alliance gives you the ability to dispense specialty prescriptions in those cases where you are eligible to purchase the medication."

Cardinal Health does this through its Maryland-based, URAC-accredited specialty pharmacy, OncoSource Rx. It’s staffed by certified pharmacists and technicians, every day of the year, around the clock, and the services it offers are available to any retail pharmacy in the United States. The pharmacy’s team can manage prior authorization and co-pay assistance to help patients navigate the process of approval by their pharmacy benefit manager; dispense specialty drugs and adjudicate related claims, including dispensing drugs available only through limited-distribution networks but not through retail pharmacies; help pharmacies fulfill patient prescriptions at the local level; provide individualized patient care coordination, including training on self-administration and management of complex adherence guidelines; and work with the patient, physician and PBM to order and process refills.

"Specialty Pharmacy Alliance aims to enhance the relationship between patients and their community pharmacies," Giacomin said. "Our goal is to make it easier for retail pharmacies to provide their patients with convenient access to specialty medications and related support while also reinforcing their role as their community’s most accessible, most trusted local healthcare resource."

To keep up with all the news from Cardinal Health RBC 2013, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Cardinal-Health-Retail-Business-Conference-2013.


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J.ROACHE says:
Aug-16-2013 11:38 am

I am an independent specialty pharmacy in Southern California and a significant size customer of Cardinal Health. I have never heard of the Specialty Pharmacy Alliance. How do I join and begin enjoying the benefits of this new service provided by my primary wholesaler?

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The Original Brownie Brittle founder to appear on Lifetime’s new ‘Supermarket Superstar’ TV show

BY Jason Owen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — This summer, Sheila G. Mains, founder and CEO of Brownie Brittle LLC, and creator of Sheila G’s Original Brownie Brittle snacks, will join Lifetime Network as she makes a guest appearance on its all-new reality series "Supermarket Superstar" (10:30pm EDT).

Each episode will follow three home cooks who believe they have the next great product that deserves to hit supermarket shelves. On Thursday, August 15th, Mains will appear as a special guest mentor to these aspiring entrepreneurs. The home cooks will pitch their food products to a panel of industry experts for that once-in-a-lifetime chance to have their creation launched in grocery stores across the nation.

"I’m thrilled to hear pitches for exciting new gourmet food product ideas from the contestants on this season’s Supermarket Superstar," said Mains. "I’ve been in their shoes, growing my brownie business from our start in my home kitchen to our eventual success with Brownie Brittle snacks on store shelves around the world."

Supermarket Superstar gives home cooks the chance at fulfilling their dream of having their food product distributed nationwide. The show’s contestants have sacrificed a lot to take part in this unique experience and only a home cook’s product will end up winning the competition. Behind every great recipe is a great story just like that of Mains.

Mains started her brownie company in 1992 after losing her executive position with an industrial advertising agency. Refusing to be just another Friday afternoon casualty, Mains embarked on her "Plan B (Brownie)." Armed with her passion for sweet treats and scrumptious samples, Mains began selling her brownies to local corporations and retail stores. In 1994, Mains’ brownies were discovered by one of the executive chefs at a major theme park.

When the economy took a downturn in 2009, Mains found herself in need of another "Plan B (Brownie)" or in this case "Plan BB (Brownie Brittle)." Americans were no longer saving money for their next theme park vacation; they were instead trying to save their homes. So, Mains took her love of the crisp brownie edges to market.

Using the wisdom from her brownie business and Brownie Brittle snack brand, Mains will coach the contestants by offering tips and tricks that are unique to the specialty food production world. The winner of each episode will win $10,000 cash and $100,000 worth of product development, and the season finale winner’s products will hit shelves at a major grocer nationwide.

Since April of 2011, Sheila G’s Original Brownie Brittle snack has been available on thousands of stores shelves in multiple countries and has been decorated with numerous awards. The top two awards include "The Best New Snack Product of 2012" from the National Confectionery Sales Association and finalist in the Sweets & Snacks Expo’s 2012 "Most Innovative Products Award."  Available in chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, salted caramel and toffee crunch flavors, Brownie Brittle snacks are available at major retailers.


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