August 2011

It turns out that certain nutrients, such as the antioxidant vitamins C and E, have the ability to both prevent and repair cellular damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Eating foods that are high in these vitamins on a day that you’ll be out in the sun can actually prevent or lessen the severity of a sunburn! You get the best protection if you have both of these vitamins in your system at the same time–but they are hardly ever found in the same foods. You get vitamin C from tomatoes, red and green peppers, melons, citrus fruit, and broccoli. Vitamin E, on the other hand, is found in avocados, almonds, and sunflower seeds. So remember, protect that gorgeous skin by eating foods high in vitamin C and E before, during, and even after your time in the sun. And, of course, be sure to wear your sunscreen!

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Morrow, Crossdale & Associates Inc.
445 Apple Creek Blvd.
Suite 219
Markham, Ontario
www.morcro.ca
E.G (Ted) Morrow:
ted.morrow@morcro.ca
Paul Crossdale:
paul.crossdale@morcro.ca
Sean Ross:
sean.ross@morcro.ca

Wise and Well: Smart Choices for Healthy Aging

While few people relish the thought of getting older, aging doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love, toss your good looks out the window or sign up for a slew of health problems. Although good genes do play a role, the key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle. To take responsibility for your own well-being and help your body and mind age well:

If You Build It…Team Construction 101

The foundation upon which the team is built is critical to the successes or failure of the group. When the team is not well-organized, prepared and supported, the chances of collapse are significantly higher.  Foster a strong, dynamic team through:

Respect. At the heart of every good team are a group of individuals who respect each other’s ideas, experience and opinions no matter how divergent they are from their own.  Offer team members equal time to speak and ensure everyone remains focused on each person’s input.  As a  people leader, it’s essential to lead by example: remain respectful of everyone’s ideas (no matter how different they are from your own) and avoid talking over others or interrupting.

 

Diversity. While it may seem easier to group like-minded people together, it rarely produces the best results.  Different ideas and viewpoints, though at times more challenging, can shine a light on overlooked issues or ideas and encourage innovation to flourish.

Clear roles, goals, and objectives.  What is the purpose of the team?  What are the individual roles of each team member? What is this work group aiming to achieve?  What are the timelines?  These may seem like obvious questions, but many teams fail because their roles, purpose and ultimate objectives are never clearly defined. Members should have a clear idea of what their role and deliverables will be within the process.  Team goals and objectives should be communicated from the onset or team members should be invited to help establish these during the first meeting.

 

A culture of inclusion.  Keep team members updated, solicit and show appreciation for input, and foster a friendly, respectful atmosphere.  The more each individual feels part of the team, the more motivated they’ll be to help it achieve its goals.

 

The right resources.  Pulling together people who are too inexperienced, overburdened or unprepared for the project creates conditions for failure.  Make sure your team has the adequate tools, resources and manpower to succeed.  Offer training, mentorship or additional help to develop skills necessary to the project and the success of your employees.

 

Smaller teams.  Group that are too large can leave people feeling less invested in the group and therefore, less enthusiastic about contributing to the team’s success.  Generally groups of four to 10 people promote a greater sense of camaraderie and personal responsibility for the teams results.

Setting Up Success.  Before they’re even operating, many teams are set up for failure.  Lack of support, unrealistic or ill-defined expectations and unclear roles can all sabotage even the most promising group of workers.  But by fostering a culture of collaboration, proactively mapping out the team’s goals and swiftly dealing with squabbles when they arise, you can build a team that not only works well together, but encourages employees to forge a new, cohesive path to success.EASING TEAM TENSIONS:  If there’s one certainty about conflict, it’s that it can’t be avoided, particularly when people are working closely together day in and day out.  How it’s handled, however, can greatly affect the team’s experience and project outcome.  Minimize the damage of disputes by:

THINGS TO DO

THINGS NOT TO DO

ü  Acknowledging that conflict exists
  • Personalize the conflict
ü  Getting the full story from the people involved
  • Put team members in a position where they’re pressured to choose sides
ü  Trying to find some common ground on which to build a solution
  • Ignore the problem in hopes that it “goes away”
ü  Creating a team plan – with each team member’s actions clearly outlined – to deal with the issue quickly and appropriately

 

Dealing with biologics in a cost-conscious workplace

Private benefits plan managers can’t deny the impact of biologic drugs on their drug plans. According to Telus Health Solutions 2010 research, biologic drugs represent 14% to 16% of drug spend and 60% of catastrophic claims. However, they account for less than 1% of the total number of claims, according to ESI Canada’s 2009 Drug Trend Report. Biologic drug claims are growing by 14% per year (versus 4% for other drugs) and are expected to account for 33% of drug spend in 2014, according to ESI’s 2010 Drug Trend Report.

On the flip side, biologic drugs provide significant improvement in health outcomes. Treatment with Rituxan cuts deaths in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in half, according to a 2010 article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. And recent studies in Rheumatology and the International Journal of Advances in Rheumatology have demonstrated that an early start with biologics for RA patients results in fewer lost workdays and increased productivity.

So how are biologics different from traditional medications? Biologic drugs are produced from living cells, whereas traditional drugs are produced from chemicals. A traditional drug can be created in any laboratory setting as long as you have the right ingredients and equipment. With biologic drugs, the product is the process. A small difference in the manufacturing process (such as duplicating a production facility in a different country) can significantly affect the nature of biologics and the way they function in the body.

Many plan managers hope that the cost of biologics will decrease when their patents expire and follow-on versions, called subsequent entry biologics (SEBs), enter the market. As a result of their manufacturing complexity, the regulatory approval process in Canada will be significantly different. In general, in order to substitute a generic drug for a brand name drug at the pharmacy counter, Health Canada must declare the drug bio-equivalent, and the provincial regulations must permit the pharmacist to interchange the drug without consulting the physician. With SEBs, the approval process will differ from that of traditional generic drugs. Whereas an application for a traditional generic drug can be abbreviated and requires demonstration of bio-equivalence, a SEB must be submitted as a new drug entity and requires clinical trials. Upon approval, Health Canada will not declare the drug bio-equivalent, and it is likely that pharmacists will not be able to interchange the SEB and the brand name drug.

Because of the complexity in the production process and the requirements for a full submission, clinical trials and review of the production process, it is likely that SEBs will not result in the significantly lower costs that we have seen with traditional generic drugs.

excerpts provided by: Shepell fgi 2008,  Benefits Canada July 2011

 

MC&A – “A Thought to Ponder” –

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

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