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Walgreens combats drug abuse with installation of medication disposal kiosks across California

BY Michael Johnsen
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens on Friday announced that it has installed 50 safe medication disposal kiosks in Walgreens drug stores across California, representing the first of two programs in California to combat drug abuse.
 
“By making safe medication disposal kiosks available in select California stores and expanding to other states this year, Walgreens is taking an important first step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country,” stated Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens. “As a pharmacy, we are committed to playing a role in what must be a comprehensive solution to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse.”
 
To kick off the launch of the safe medication disposal program in California, Walgreens will host a series of events with local lawmakers working to fight the drug abuse crisis in the state leading up to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 30. U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, representing California’s 23rd congressional district and State Assembly Member Shannon Grove will participate in an event Friday in Bakersfield.
 
“Our country is facing an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and opioid overdoses. In our community, more than 160 people over the past six years have been sent to the emergency room for opioid overdoses," McCarthy said. "Addiction tears apart families, it uproots communities and it deprives Americans from grasping their dreams and opportunities. In Congress I have worked with my colleagues to prepare legislation to support local communities and to supplement the efforts of local law enforcement and pharmacies as they work together to roll back this epidemic. To successfully achieve this, we need strong community partners. Walgreens is at the forefront of curbing drug diversion through its safe disposal program, and I’m proud that our community will be among the early beneficiaries.”
 
Walgreens also is working to make naloxone, a potentially lifesaving opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription from an individual’s physician at California pharmacies. The medication is currently available with a prescription in California and can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.
 
“In addition to making it easier and safer for Californians to drop off their unwanted, unused or expired medications in our participating stores, we’re also working to expand access to naloxone in this state and others,” said Roberto Valencia, Walgreens operations VP for the Western Region. “Together, these programs will go a long way to help address the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and heroin overdose.”
 
In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington D.C. in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations. Since its announcement, naloxone has been made available without a prescription in more than 1,300 Walgreens pharmacies throughout the states of Alabama, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
 
When implementation of the program is complete, naloxone will be available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens nearly 8,200 stores.
 
The installation of safe medication disposal kiosks in California is part of a nationwide effort and is expected to be completed at more than 500 Walgreens locations later this year. The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies will be available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most of these locations) and will offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.
 
Walgreens also continues to participate in DEA sponsored National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, serving as a collection point in communities for law enforcement to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal.
 
 
 

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GNP president announces retirement, ABC names successor

BY Michael Johnsen
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Friday announced that David Neu, EVP retail strategy and president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, will retire in the summer of 2016. Neu has served AmerisourceBergen for more than 30 years in an array of leadership roles including heading the AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. During his tenure with the company, Neu has passionately championed the value of independent community pharmacy to the health and pharmaceutical industry. Neu’s leadership extends beyond AmerisourceBergen to numerous industry organizations including his appointment as Board of Directors Chairman for the Healthcare Distribution Management Association in 2012 and his election to the board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in 2015.
 
“Our company will continue to be inspired by Dave, and his legacy will be AmerisourceBergen’s unwavering focus on providing innovative and impactful support to community pharmacists,” stated Steven Collis, AmerisourceBergen’s chairman, president and CEO. “Dave has been a true friend and mentor to many including me. He has inspired so many of us with his tremendous energy, dedication to our customers and an approachable manner that has motivated associates at every level of our organization.”
 
Brian Nightengale, president of Xcenda will immediately assume the role of president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy.
 
 
Nightengale has more than 20 years of experience with Xcenda, a part of AmerisourceBergen, leading efforts to demonstrate the value of pharmaceutical products while improving patient access to medications. As an original Xcenda employee, Nightengale played a key role in growing the company from a startup to a global leader in commercialization support for innovative medical treatments. Prior to joining Xcenda, Nightengale served as an assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where he is currently a member of the National Board of Advisors.
 
“In today’s healthcare landscape, independent pharmacists are seeking partners who can help grow their business and their ability to meet the needs of patients in communities across the country,” commented Robert Mauch, president of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. “Brian’s pharmacy background, deep understanding of the payer environment and clinical and commercial expertise will offer exciting new perspective for Good Neighbor Pharmacy and will enable us to honor Dave’s legacy by building the capabilities and solutions we need to support independent community pharmacists.”
 

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New natural cleaning product brand launches at Target

BY Gina Acosta

VANCOUVER — A new brand is seeking to capitalize on the increasing popularity of natural and non-toxic cleaning products.

Canadian brand Live for Tomorrow has signed an agreement to make its kitchen, laundry and hand soap products available in the U.S.A. Freshly launched on a national scale via Target.com, Live for Tomorrow's natural and non-toxic products are also available in over 867 stores across the country via Target's current spring wellness program.

Live for Tomorrow products are packaged in streamlined aluminium bottles and topped with an easy-to-use pump. The products are formulated using only plant and mineral based ingredients, including 100% pure essential oils for their fragrances like the popular lavender, grapefruit and rosemary orange blossom scents. 

The products are also:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Biodegradable
  • Septic system safe
  • EcoLogo compliant
  • Vegan
  • Leaping Bunny approved
  • Have no: sodium lauryl sulphate, chlorine, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, and no known carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins listed by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, or the European Union's REACH.

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