PHARMACY

AARP Web site offers users health information tools

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Users of AARP’s Web site now have access to health tools that provide consumers with health information, AARP announced Thursday.

The tools are designed to help users understand health symptoms and conditions, as well as find doctors and hospitals.

“Online tools like this truly empower those who may be seeking health information for themselves and family caregivers to more easily navigate today’s healthcare options,” said Nataki Clark, AARP’s director of online marketing. “Consumers can take advantage of these resources in order to maintain their independence as they age and live the most vibrant lives possible.”

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PHARMACY

AstraZeneca adopts HealthHonors medication incentive program

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWELL, Mass. Patients will soon get reminders to take their medications as prescribed from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

HealthHonors announced Thursday that AstraZeneca had adopted its Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement platform, a patient incentive program that uses intermittent reinforcement schedules to motivate patients to take their medications as prescribed.

Studies show that patients fail to take more than half of the 3.5 billion annual dispensed prescriptions as prescribed. This creates increased costs to the United States health-care system of more than $100 billion, as well as 125,000 deaths, accounting for 10 percent of all hospitalizations. A randomized study using HealthHonors’ program, however, found that patients who used it were 33 percent more likely to adhere to their prescription regimens.

“AstraZeneca is committed to finding innovative ways to help people lead healthier lives, and we believe the Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement technology can help deliver on this goal,” said Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s vice president of marketing and sales operations.

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NACDS supports removal of e-pedigree legislation from bill

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling legislation to mandate electronic drug pedigrees unnecessary and doubts the bill will make it beyond a House committee.

NACDS vice president of government affairs Paul Kelly said that the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2008, sponsored by Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer and Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will not likely pass as a stand-alone bill. Efforts by Buyer and Matheson to attach the bill to the FDA Globalization Act have likewise not met success.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, supports the FDA Globalization Act, which requires electronic pedigrees for drug ingredients but not finished drugs, the FDA reported.

“We remain very pleased that Chairman Dingell has decided not to include an electronic pedigree requirement, and more importantly the track-and-trace requirement, in that bill,” Kelly said.

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