Simple Skincare campaign highlights impact of city living on skin’s health

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever’s Simple Skincare range of facial products has kicked off the “Kind to City Skin” — a global initiative designed to help women understand the impact that city living — both environmental and lifestyle-related factors — can have on their faces.

While most women are already aware of skin-irritating behaviors to avoid, such as excessive sun exposure or a high-sugar diet, a new survey reveals that women in the top 40 cities nationwide don’t realize the wear and tear their everyday lifestyle may be having on the health and appearance of their skin.

In launching “Kind to City Skin,” Simple created a provocative time-lapse video and is providing information, tools and a range of products to help women’s city skin thrive.

The Simple brand’s time-lapse video dramatically depicts the potential effects city living can have on a woman’s face in just 14 days. Simple will unveil the video on billboards in select cities worldwide, starting Monday with New York (Times Square).

While the skin damage in the video was created using makeup and special effects, the dramatization is grounded in insights, expertise and research, led by Simple advisory board member and board certified dermatologist Debra Luftman and Unilever scientists, the company stated.

“Women across the country — in cities big and small — know they need be proactive with their skin health, but they don’t always realize how their daily physical environment and lifestyle-driven habits can make their skin sensitive,” said Dawn Hedgepeth, marketing director, Simple Skincare. “We wanted to issue a wake-up call to women everywhere with a visual that dramatizes the need to be kind to city skin with Simple. We are also hosting events in cities nationwide so women can learn how to care for their skin from the inside out with a holistic approach.”

Simple, in partnership with go-to lifestyle destination, will be hosting interactive events in the following cities (exact locations and times will be available on the site):

  • May 17th: Boston
  • June 1st: Cincinnati
  • June 7th: Chicago
  • June 14th: Minneapolis
  • June 21st: Dallas, TX
  • June 28th: San Francisco, Calif.
  • July 12th: Los Angeles



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NCL names winners of the third annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The National Consumers League on Monday announced the winners of the third annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge for health profession students. This month-long competition engaged students and faculty across healthcare disciplines in developing creative ideas for raising awareness about a critical public health issue: medication adherence. This year’s awardees are Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Touro University California College of Pharmacy, Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy and University of Wisconsin — Madison School of Pharmacy.

“This was the second year we challenged students to work in collaborative teams of future health professionals who interact with patients — the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and others,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “This more comprehensive approach will ultimately result in patients hearing from multiple voices encouraging them to take their medication as directed.”

The 2014 Medication Adherence Team Challenge is part of the national Script Your Future public awareness campaign coordinated by NCL. The campaign includes more than 135 public and private stakeholder organizations, including Challenge sponsors — the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the American Medical Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Student teams from pharmacy, medicine, nursing and many other health professions worked side by side on campuses and in local communities using innovative solutions to reach thousands of consumers to raise awareness using Script Your Future materials. This year, students also submitted entries in the categories of “Health Disparities Outreach” and “Creative Inter-Professional Team Event.” Coordinators also established, new this year, the award for “Effective Communication and Media Outreach.”

“The Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge has been an innovative method for our future healthcare professionals to engage with their local communities,” said Lucinda Maine, EVP and CEO at AACP. “The levels of communication and types of events held in these communities provide essential information and strategies for patients to improve their medication adherence and ultimately their health outcomes.”  

More than 2,200 future healthcare professionals held 300 events in 26 states and the District of Columbia, counseling more than 9,300 patients and reaching more than 6 million consumers nationwide.

“It is vital for patients to take their medication as directed in order to achieve optimal health outcomes,” said AMA president Ardis Hoven. “Educating patients through community outreach helps improve the conversations happening in doctors’ offices across the country and helps patients avoid adverse drug reactions and unnecessary hospitalizations. The Script Your Future challenge presents an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals-in-training to improve public health.”

“The involvement of students and faculty in the effort to boost medication adherence is incredibly important,” said NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “The Medication Adherence Team Challenge establishes this issue as a top priority for the next generation of health professionals and inspires them to advance this goal within their own communities. The winners are showing the tremendous power that healthcare professionals can have on advancing patient care through medication adherence. We hope that is a lesson they will carry with them throughout their careers and that will inspire others to do the same.”


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Q&A: Turning to technology with Kristi Rudkin of Walgreens

BY Jim Frederick

Following her appearance at the 2nd Annual World Congress Summit to Improve Adherence & Enhance Patient Engagement in Philadelphia, Kristi Rudkin, senior director of product development for Walgreens, spoke with DSN about the company’s efforts to boost patients’ adherence rates. Here are excerpts from that interview:

DSN: What’s your overall impression of the conference? How committed are the participants to improving adherence and patient engagement?

Kristi Rudkin: It was about collaboration, and you could tell there was a path forward from last year’s conference. The detail and depth of the conversation — and what has been learned and tried over the last year — is impressive. I think as an industry we are moving toward being able to solve a good percentage of the adherence problem.

DSN: Adherence dovetails with so many things going on now in pharmacy. Are the health system and community pharmacy on the same page regarding goals like engaging patients and improving adherence?

Rudkin: Yes, I do think many of the stakeholders were on the same page, and much of the discussion was on how we do that collaboratively.
For me, one takeaway from the conference was that … it really will take a village of providers to help solve this adherence problem, with participation from pharmacy providers, health plans and prescribers working together to help solve this problem.

DSN: Are health information technology, electronic health records, e-prescribing, data mining, mobile-app refill reminders and other technologies providing new windows into patient behavior and aiding Walgreens in its effort to improve patient adherence rates?

Rudkin: I definitely believe that. Data mining is critical to understanding patient behavior, and the many ways we can reach people these days through technology — whether a mobile app reminder or by using our systems to inform the pharmacist about which patients are at risk — gives them more information about the patient at the pharmacy.

Part of what the data helps us understand … is how patients perform on adherence over time.

Also, e-prescribing has given us more insight into the problem of primary nonadherence, where the patient doesn’t pick up that prescription. If the prescription is coming right from the prescriber to the pharmacy, the pharmacy is at least aware that the patient should be getting this medicine, and can intervene.

DSN: In a case like that, what happens? Does the Walgreens central call center or a local pharmacist follow up?

Rudkin: It’s kind of a triage. The technicians make the initial call when a prescription has been in the pharmacy for about a week. The technicians can handle a lot of things, and sometimes it could just be that the patient says they’ve gotten samples from the doctor. But if the tech gets the impression that there’s something more going on, they will transfer the call to the pharmacist to intervene.

DSN: Has Walgreens considered adding dashboard technology or some other form of data access that pharmacists can pull up to give them a real-time read on individual patients’ adherence record? Or is that too much additional responsibility to put on the pharmacist?

Rudkin: That’s a good question, and I don’t think the industry has the answer to that yet. If we can use the systems corporately to tell the pharmacist that Patient A is nonadherent, is that useful information, and can it give the pharmacist a better look into where the patient is in their therapy journey? At this point, that’s been our primary focus. So we’re considering [dashboard technology], but we’re trying to leverage our technology to pinpoint those patients for our pharmacists, so they know who they have to intervene with. It’s not a decision they need to make or spend a lot of time thinking about. We try to do that for them.

DSN: Where is Walgreens in terms of moving ahead with a medication synchronization program?

Rudkin: We did a proof of concept in 2013, where we tested it on a very small scale. Now we’re looking to expand that to the pilot stage so we can understand where we can create efficiencies in the process, and make sure we can refine it so we can consider it on a larger scale.


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