The past 12 months have been one of change, growth and successes for the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists. These continued the positive achievements of the association during the 90th anniversary year of 2013.

January 2014 saw the introduction of  a new logo for the AAHP that was the result of a collaborative effort on the part of members and the Board. The winner of the AAHP’s logo design contest was submitted on behalf of a member company that, in return, received two free AAHP webinar registrations.

The new logo was immediately used for the membership certificates and was first introduced to the public as the major graphic element of our new AAHP website (www.theaahp.org) which debuted in February.  The content of the former association website became only a small part of the newly designed website.  The new website has almost three times as many web pages of articles and resources. In addition, the website address itself is a more accurate reflection of the goals, membership and intentions of the association than the former address.

The year has also been one of focused activity by the Business Development Committee, in conjunction with JP Moery Associates.  These efforts, along with the increased exposure of the AAHP through it’s website have yielded more membership growth in the past 12 months that I can remember in any similar time frame.  We end 2014 with 5 new Voting members, 1 new Affiliate member, as well as 5 Associate members who have joined the AAHP.  One more Corporate membership application was also received too late to be acted upon yet could launch the new year with a head start on continued growth.

As the AAHP continues to grow, it became obvious our meetings would also need to adapt to the changing needs of the membership.  In both membership meetings of 2014, the focus shifted to special presentations and away from committee reports.  These were received well and will provide the foundation for the upcoming membership meetings.  Plans are already underway for a new and different event in conjunction with the March 2015 meeting.

The Board began the membership Engagement and Support Program (ESP) in the second half of 2104.  All members are being contacted by Board members in the latter part of the year, or the beginning of 2015. When contacted, please be sure to set aside 15-30 minutes of time to speak with the Board liaison; this is an important opportunity for the Board to receive input from each member, as well as a chance for members to contribute to the ongoing successes of the association.

The Education Committee hosted 3 webinars during the year. In addition to the very well attended webinar on Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Updates 2014, two other webinars focused on marketing elements, both of which provided important firsts for the association.  The AAHP invested in the Mintel report on Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies on the state of the natural products and homeopathic market; out of this grew the first collaborative webinar for the AAHP.  Mintel provided a speaker and webinar content for our membership, and the price was purposely kept very low (just to cover the actual costs of presenting the webinar through our new partner, BeaconLive).  Out of this effort, the association learned we can offer helpful guidance to Mintel so their future market research can be even more valuable to the association and our membership.  The Board was also able to use the information in the report to make more accurate estimates of the size of the overall homeopathic market as well as the portion represented by our AAHP members.

The second market webinar was also a product of a collaboration with IRI, another market research firm. Originally conceived as an extension of the first market webinar, this was spun off as a stand-alone event due to a mixture of scheduling and other pragmatic issues.  Both market research webinars have provided the AAHP with helpful insights into steps we can take in future to provide increasingly rich and useful content for our members.

Legislative and Capitol Hill accomplishments were reported by Pete Evich of van Scoyoc Associates in our last newsletter.  As we move into 2015, the AAHP will continue its work to educate members of Congress regarding Homeopathic medicines. These efforts will be even more important with the retirement of Senator Harkin and the change of Senate composition as a result of the recent elections.  The AAHP will be considering a repeat of the Legislative Luncheon, possibly in conjunction with the September members’ meeting (during ExpoEast). Please pencil this into your calendars. Such events creates a valuable opportunity for members to meet their legislators during a period in which positive attention is being created regarding homeopathic medicines.

— Eric L. Foxman, R.Ph., Secretary