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Innovation awarded $49 million Navy contract

BY Alaric DeArment

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y.  — Pharmacy automation manufacturer Innovation will supply pharmacy automation technology to the U.S. Navy, under a new deal between the two worth up to $49 million.

Under a five-year indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract, Innovation will supply Navy-operated high-volume sites and outpatient pharmacies around the world. Innovation is known for its PharmASSIST line of products, and the Navy said the company was the only one to fully meet the technical requirements of its published generic functional systems requirement, or GFSR. The contract calls for central acquisition and management that will allow Navy outpatient pharmacies to implement a standardized pharmacy automation system throughout the life of the contract; Navy hospitals previously acquired pharmacy automation systems individually.

"Innovation is pleased that the U.S. Navy has awarded us this significant contract to upgrade their pharmacies’ prescription fulfillment processes and quality control," Innovation CEO Mary Reno said. "We look forward to this opportunity to assist Navy pharmacies in achieving their goal of standardized workflow and dispensing platforms. Most importantly, our various technologies will help Navy pharmacies reach the specific quality objectives that they require to ensure the utmost in patient safety for our service men and women."

Innovation said the the main objectives of the Navy initiative are to replace current "end-of-life" pharmacy automation equipment and provide a more standardized process flow for many of the naval outpatient pharmacies; improve the quality of dispensing by reducing the opportunities for errors; increase the volume capability while reducing the wait time for patients; and reduce operating costs related to improved inventory management, efficient staff utilization and increased security.


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PrescribeWellness launches flu shot drive

BY Alaric DeArment

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — A company that runs a cloud-based communications system for use by healthcare providers, family and others and designed to improve health care and outcomes is launching a nationwide flu shot drive.

PrescribeWellness announced Wednesday the launch of the "A Million More" flu-shot initiative, with the goal of increasing the influenza vaccination rate by 1 million. The company said the drive’s core message was that people should get flu shots for their family, community and to protect those at risk, such as children and the elderly, even if they are young, healthy and don’t feel at risk for serious illness.

"The flu is dangerous, threatens lives and costs the American economy billions of dollars each year," PrescribeWellness CEO Al Babbington said. "The flu is responsible for approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths in the United States each year, yet only 46% of the population gets flu shot immunizations."

The company said the drive would rally support from civic and religious leaders and healthcare professionals, and it has formed partnerships with several state pharmacy associations that have enrolled 300 pharmacies, with the goal of enrolling 1,000 before the peak of the flu season.

"We support this campaign because it demonstrates the healthcare services that pharmacists can provide beyond safety dispensing medication," California Pharmacists Association CEO Jon Roth said. "We think it is important for pharmacists to have access to a program that highlights their role in the community."


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Unilever’s Simple brand, Makers kick off search for ‘Next Makers’

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Unilever’s Simple facial skin care brand has teamed up with Makers, a multiplatinum video experience from AOL and PBS that honors trailblazing women, to launch a nationwide search to find women in local communities who will become recognized as “Next Makers.”

For the next several weeks, the public may nominate themselves or women in their own lives who have made a remarkable impact at a local level, are viewed as role models and inspire people around them to take action.

Candidates for Next Makers will be considered based on accomplishments large and small, as well as their leadership, activism and positive social impact. Six women from across the country will ultimately be selected to tell their stories in short videos that will appear on Makers.com, alongside videos from Supreme Court justices, secretaries of state and CEOs, as well as athletes, activists and entertainers.

Simple will join Makers in saluting these women by awarding each Next Maker with a $10,000 grant. The Next Makers will be flown to New York City to attend a dinner hosted by Makers and Simple and film their stories with the Makers filmmaking team.

“We are proud to present Next Makers to celebrate women whose authenticity, ideals and pioneering spirit inspire others every day,” stated Alison Clark, director of skin care for Unilever U.S. “Simple is a new kind of facial skin care committed to educating women that great skin care is inherently connected to overall healthy lifestyle — nurturing the physical and the emotional. This partnership celebrates the women whose physical, intellectual and emotional strength have opened doors, opened minds and inspired change.”

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