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Panel advocates letting Canadian pharmacists prescribe some drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO — A new action plan and panel discussion aim to improve Canada’s healthcare system and save $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years at various levels of government.

The plan, "9,000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare," outlines five initiatives, including allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines and prescribe medications for minor ailments. The title refers to the number of community pharmacies in Canada.

The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores also organized a panel that included Shoppers Drug Mart president and CEO Domenic Pilla, Rexall Pharma Plus CEO Frank Scorpiniti and Apotex president Jeff Watson.

"Through this effort, we have identified billions of dollars in healthcare savings that can be achieved through public policy changes alone," Pilla said. "The opportunities identified will ultimately help to improve patient outcomes and the patient experience."

Watson described what the CACDS called the benefits of increasing pharmacists’ scope of practice.

"Let’s let pharmacists do what they’ve been trained to do," Watson said. "Allowing pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor aliments and administer vaccines gets people the help they need faster and frees up emergency rooms and doctors’ offices for those who need them."

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Ahold USA donates $500,000 to fund for Boston terrorist attack victims

BY Alaric DeArment

QUINCY, Mass. — Ahold USA and its Stop & Shop banner have donated half a million dollars to a charitable organization set up to aid victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Boston.

The company announced the donation of $500,000 to The One Fund Boston, formed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

"Words cannot express the tragedy that took place at the Boston Marathon," Stop & Shop New England Division president Joe Kelley said. "We mourn with all of of those who were affected."

According to published reports, authorities had named two suspects in the case, brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, both originally from Chechnya, a region of the Caucasus Mountains in Russia long torn by civil war. As of noon Friday, the older suspect had been shot and killed, while the younger one was at large amid a citywide manhunt that resulted in Boston and much of the surrounding area being shut down.

 

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R.MURRAY says:
Apr-22-2013 10:20 am

The donation is admirable, however, who really gets the lion's share of the funds? Assign someone from within your organization to monitor that generation amount in an effort to insure that some volunteer corp head does not earn more that is given to those in need. Statistically this pattern is pervasive in far to many volunteer or charitable organizations. Thank you very much.

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More registered dietitians engaging consumers in the aisles. Are personal trainers next?

BY Michael Johnsen

One-third of supermarkets have a dietitian walking their aisles, according to a recent report published by Advertising Age. And almost 9-in-10 grocers have a dietitian housed in their corporate suites. 

Is it any wonder? There’s a natural synergy between pharmacy and food stores that grocers have been looking to tap in one form or another over the past decade. But now, especially as health systems and large employers become more savvy around the benefits a healthier workforce will have to their bottom lines, this is likely to transform from a supermarket patient’s best-kept-secret into a must-have service. 

Because if the doctor tells a hypertensive they need to cut the salt out of their diets, what better resource for more information than a pharmacist in a retail food outlet? They can help manage the disease state — hypertension, diabetes — while their resident dietitian handles the healthier diet portion of the better health plan.

Publix just last month announced a pilot featuring paid consultations with a registered dietitian. Leading that program is University of Florida alumnus Jamie Stolarz, a licensed registered dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Florida Dietetic Association and Tampa Dietetic Association.  

If anyone ever figures out how to fold a gym and personal trainer into the supermarket setting, they’ll have the perfect trifecta of healthcare and lifestyle solutions. 

Sound far-fetched? Maybe not. Earlier this month, Texas-based H-E-B awarded $18,000 to contestants participating in the grocer’s annual H-E-B Slim Down Showdown. Contestants are not only schooled on better eating as part of the program, but better fitness, too. The result: The 25 contestants in this year’s showdown lost more than 700 pounds, collectively.

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