HHS unveils National Health Security Strategy
WASHINGTON HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday released The National Health Security Strategy, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy focused on protecting people’s health during a large-scale emergency. The strategy sets priorities for government and nongovernment activities over the next four years.
“As we’ve learned in the response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, responsibility for improving our nation’s ability to address existing and emerging health threats must be broadly shared by everyone – governments, communities, families and individuals,” Sebelius stated. “The National Health Security Strategy is a call to action for each of us, so that every community becomes fully prepared and ready to recover quickly after an emergency.”
Among the initial actions, the federal government is conducting a review to improve the system for developing and delivering countermeasures – medications, vaccines, supplies and equipment for health emergencies; coordinating across government and with communities to identify and prioritize the capabilities, research and investments needed to achieve national health security; and evaluating the impact of these investments.
While the document does not specifically identify retail pharmacy as a healthcare resource in an emergency, Sebelius does call on local and state governments to incorporate the input and capabilities of the private sector into their overall emergency planning.
“The range of those participating and working together in these areas [the development of an effective medical countermeasure to a disaster situation] should be broadened beyond the federal government to include … pharmaceutical developers and academic researchers, the response community, medical and public health providers, and representatives of both the general public and at-risk individuals,” the document read. “Investments should be prioritized to effectively pursue those countermeasures that have the greatest potential to improve national health security, prevent or limit the spread of disease, limit the clinical impact of a health incident and have elements with potential widespread application even in the absence of a catastrophic event.”
Pharmacists, along with other healthcare professionals, are considered a key component of the overall public health workforce during a disaster. The document calls on local disaster coordinators to establish a network of emergency-response volunteers “who will be available to supplement the permanent workforce during a health incident; rapidly activate staff and volunteer personnel for emergency duty (e.g., to administer vaccines or medications at point-of-dispensing sites); provide treatment to the ill and injured at first aid stations, mass care centers, temporary clinics and other healthcare sites; provide staffing to EMS agencies; supplement hospital staff; [and] replace personnel who are unable to do their jobs because they themselves are victims of the incident.”
“Events which threaten the health of the people of this nation could very easily compromise our national security,” Sebelius said. “Whether it’s a pandemic or a premeditated chemical attack, our public health system must be prepared to respond to protect the interests of the American people. In order to be prepared to both respond to an incident and to recover, we need a strong national health system with individuals and families ready to handle the health effects of a disaster.”
Bausch and Lomb unveils new logo
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Global eye health company Bausch and Lomb unveiled its redesigned company logo and icon. Both incorporate hues of the company’s traditional blue and green colors, while introducing the plus (+) symbol to represent the organization’s strong commitment to innovation and partnership with practitioners as a leader in eye health.
“Our new corporate identity reflects the ongoing evolution of Bausch + Lomb as we make strides in growing our business for the benefit of medical practitioners, retail partners, consumers and patients around the world,” said Gerald M. Ostrov, the company’s chairman and CEO. “Based on our strong momentum coming out of last year, as well as a number of planned new product launches and market initiatives over the coming months, we believe that 2010 will be a banner year for the company and the millions of people we’re so fortunate to serve each year.”
The new logo and B+L icon will be phased in by Bausch + Lomb over time, co-existing with the former “pathways” logo for the next 18 to 24 months as product packaging and other materials are updated.
Elations offers joint health aid in powder form
CINCINNATI Elations now offers their patent-pending formula in a powder form for improving joint health, the company announced.
The new powder packets deliver the same recommended levels of glucosamine and chondroitin as the original Elations drink supplement.
Consumer testing showed that 75% of the general population strongly agrees that powder would be good to use on the go and that it’s more absorbable and easier to swallow than pills.
The new Elations powder pack, shipping in February, will be available in two-flavors — cranberry-apple and raspberry white grape. To use, empty contents of one packet into a 20-ounce bottle of water, then shake or mix well. Suggested retail price for the 7-stick box ranges from $6.97 – $7.99.
Elations also introduced a new flavor to its ready-to-drink line — black cherry.