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Raising the professional practice bar, one federal health campaign at a time

BY Jim Frederick

Pharmacists got another opportunity this month to show their skills and help ease the healthcare system’s growing financial crisis and resource shortage. Will it move the needle on true health reform and the expanding pharmacy practice model?

On Sept. 5, the independent pharmacy community got word that its chief advocacy group, the National Community Pharmacists Association, will take part in a major new preventive care program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pharmacy-focused campaign, called "Team Up. Pressure Down." enlists community pharmacists in a program to help hypertensive patients more effectively manage and control their high blood pressure.

The campaign, part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts initiative co-led by the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The feds are supporting pharmacists who participate and counsel hypertensive Americans with patient education materials and other resources.

It’s no secret that cash-strapped public and private health plan payers are increasingly looking to chain and independent pharmacies and retail-based clinics to fill the gap in cost-effective, accessible community-based health care. Jeff Kang, SVP health-and-wellness services and solutions for Walgreens, argues that pharmacists are the nation’s most underutilized health resource. But as isuch nfluential health stakeholders as the HHS and the CDC more heavily rely on the contributions those pharmacists can make to a health system in dire need of new, cost-saving solutions and improved patient access to health resources, the longstanding gap between pharmacy and other healthcare entities in this country is finally beginning to close.

The CDC’s "Team Up" alliance is one program bridging that gap, but there are plenty of others. The federal government’s growing recognition of the contributions that pharmacists and retail clinicians can bring to a reforming U.S. healthcare system got another big boost last month when HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Sebelius was there to highlight new federal benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries, including a free annual wellness visit and a wide variety of preventive tests and screenings, most at no cost to patients.

"CVS Caremark and our other pharmacy partners are helping its customers make informed healthcare decisions," Sebelius said. "These partnerships will help people with Medicare learn more about new preventive services, such as mammograms, and the new annual wellness visit that are available at no charge for everyone with Medicare."

The nation’s leading health official toured the store and clinic, met with CVS leaders and patients, and even had her blood pressure checked by MinuteClinic staff.

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Eucerin Professional Repair lotion earns Good Housekeeping Seal

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Eucerin announced one of the products in its Repair line has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal.

The brand said its Professional Repair lotion, which features an advanced formula enhanced with gluco-glycerol that moisturizes for more than 24 hours and alleviates extremely dry skin, has earned the seal, a promise to consumers that a product performs as claimed and represents a two-year, limited warranty from Good Housekeeping, which will replace or refund a product that proves to be defective within two years of purchase.

"Earning the Good Housekeeping Seal is a true accomplishment," Eucerin VP marketing Magnus Jonsson said. "We are proud to be associated with an institution that is dedicated to highlighting products and companies that consumers can trust. In a world where shopping the beauty aisle can be a challenging and confusing task, we are pleased to have a seal that helps set Eucerin apart."

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P&G celebrates the London 2012 Paralympic Games

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON — Procter & Gamble, a worldwide Olympic partner, is celebrating the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and is recognizing the performances delivered by the Canadian Paralympic Team.

P&G Canada sponsored Canadian Paralympic athlete Josh Cassidy, whose inspiring efforts during the 2012 Games highlighted his role as an ambassador for both P&G and all Canadian Paralympic athletes. Cassidy represented Canada in four events, including the Men’s 800m — T54, where he finished in fifth place.

Through its sponsorship of Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, P&G Canada is also celebrating the unsung heroes who have stood behind them on their journey to the 2012 Games: their moms. By way of a $500,000 commitment, P&G’s Thank You Mom campaign honored the moms behind our Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, by helping them get to London to see their children compete on the world’s biggest stage.

In addition to the sponsorship and financial commitment to moms, P&G extended its support to families of Paralympic athletes during their time in London by offering exclusive access to the P&G Salon in Wella Studio between Aug. 29 and 31. The salon offered a range of complimentary services, including haircut, color, blow-dry or styling services, skin care with makeup and patriotic manicures provided by P&G brands, including Gillette, Pantene, CoverGirl and Clairol. Athletes were treated to a similar salon in the Athlete Village, along with a dental clinic with services provided by Crest and Oral-B. During this time, 86 people visited the P&G Salon.

The P&G Thank You Mom campaign is the biggest in P&G’s 175-year history. It’s behind the company’s pledge to raise $25 million for youth sports programs around the world, something moms have said would be a great way to thank them. P&G is the first Worldwide Olympic Partner to recognize the role of moms and families in an athlete’s success, and will continue to celebrate their contributions through the next four Olympic Games in global partnership with IOC.

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