HEALTH

Alaska becomes 11th state to restrict DXM sales to adults

BY Michael Johnsen
JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska recently became the 11th state to help prevent the growing abuse threat posed by products containing dextromethorphan by restricting the sale of products containing DXM to Alaskans over the age of 18, or under 18 with a licensed practitioner’s prescription.
 
“Thank you to my colleagues for passing this bill to protect Alaska teens, the largest risk group for these powerful medicines,” stated Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, and the House Majority Leader, when the bill passed through the Alaska House earlier this year. “When used correctly, medicines with DXM are safe; high doses can lead to some nasty outcomes, like hallucinations, blurred visions and loss of motor control. We need to keep our kids safe. That’s how HB125 can help.”
 
Leader Millett referenced a 2013 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Monitoring Our Future) that reported 4% of 8th to 12th graders, teenagers, have intentionally consumed excessive amounts of cough medicine.
 
"CHPA thanks [Alaska] Gov. Bill Walker for signing the bill into law and House Majority Leader Charisse Millett and Sen. Mia Costello for shepherding the bill through the legislative process," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Associatoin. "Alaska will join states across the country that have recognized that limiting teen access to DXM is a proven way to prevent abuse. CHPA has long supported state efforts to curb teen OTC cough medicine abuse and has worked to increase parental awareness through its StopMedicineAbuse.org campaign," he said. "We know that this legislation will inform parents of this problem, while ensuring access for the millions of families who responsibly use products containing DXM to treat common cough symptoms."
 
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Clarion Brands survey finds 16% of women with UTI infections turn to OTC solution

BY Michael Johnsen
TREVOSE, Pa. – According to a survey released Thursday by Clarion Brands, makers of Cystex, about 60% of women will contract a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives. And of that 60%, approximately 40% will have another. 
 
To put that into perspective, UTIs account for more than 8 million doctor visits each year, making it the second most common type of infection in the body. Yet despite the prevalence of UTIs, the survey found that among women ages 18-54, half of women believe having a UTI would be embarrassing.
 
“The fact that half of women think a UTI is embarrassing and a large number feel judged for having one is simply not right given that millions of us will contract the infection at least once,” stated Jennifer Moyer, VP marketing and sales at Clarion Brands. “By educating women about UTIs and how they are really caused, we hope to normalize the infection and stop the myths from persisting.”
 
“UTIs are caused by a variety of different reasons and there shouldn’t be any shame associated with contracting one,” stated Yvonne Bohn, Cystex spokesperson. “The embarrassment that this survey confirms is unwarranted because UTIs are so common – and they are already painful enough.”
 
The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll among 622 U.S. women ages 18-54, also found that 2 in 5 (41%) of women indicated that they believe people are judgmental of women who have a UTI.
 
Almost all women who have previously had a UTI (99%) agree that they want to take a UTI head on when they think they have one by taking some form of action. Specifically, 39% say their first step would be to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician and 16% say their first step would be to take an over-the-counter product to relieve the pain and stop the infection. 
 
“The only way to treat a UTI is through a doctor-prescribed antibiotic, but there are ways you can ease the pain and prevent the infection from getting worse while you await an appointment, such as taking an OTC product like Cystex Urinary Pain Relief Tablets,” Bohn said. “UTI symptoms typically go away within days of proper treatment with doctor-prescribed antibiotics, and it is important to take the entire course of antibiotics even if symptoms have improved to be sure to eradicate all of the bacteria in the urinary tract.”
 
 
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Weis Markets strengthens diabetes offering through Omnis Health

BY Michael Johnsen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Omnis Health recently announced that Weis Markets has agreed to add its line of Embrace products to their blood glucose monitoring planogram, including the EmbracePRO system, the EmbraceEVO system, and the EmbraceEVO Complete Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Kit.
 
To combat the recent reduction in competitive bidding, Omnis Health has launched the EmbracePRO into the retail pharmacy chain as a viable solution to the ever-changing reimbursement landscape for diabetes testing, the company noted. 
 
“Once previously available only to healthcare professionals, the EmbracePRO will help upgrade the diabetes category at Weis Markets," stated Cathy Pereira, EVP global sales and marketing, Omnis Health. "It addresses everyone’s needs. Value-conscious patients will benefit from a low-cost system that delivers the accurate, reliable results demanded by healthcare professionals. And at its acquisition cost, it provides an opportunity for retail pharmacy to maintain margins.” 
 
Included in the offering, the EmbraceEVO Complete Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Kit represents a diabetes category first and includes a nine-week supply of high-quality testing supplies. The kit features the company’s EmbraceEVO compact meter and includes 250 test strips, 300 lancets and a lancing device, among other testing accessories. 
 
Pharmacies adding the Omnis Health Embrace portfolio to their planograms will have access to Embrace Better Care, a continuum of care program that provides pharmacies the ability to develop a closer, more proactive connection with their customers with diabetes that was featured in the May ‘Diabetes in America’ supplement within USA Today. Members of the Embrace Better Care program have instant online access to information to encourage a healthy diet, safely exercise and understand how to maintain their glucose levels. 
 
In addition, they’ll have access to pharmacy-specific, money-saving coupons for Embrace brand test strips and ancillary diabetes management products. 
 
At the heart of Embrace Better Care program is the free EmbraceIt app. EmbraceIt helps create an even more robust customer connection by putting enhanced tools and resources in the palms of the customers’ hands. With the geo location and push notifications built into the app it creates an effective way to drive the customer back to the pharmacy where they previously purchased their Embrace brand of products.
 
“Retailers are recognizing that Omnis Health has emerged as a value-segment leader in the diabetes category,” Pereira said. “As retail pricing in the category continues to rise while at the same time insurance co-pays increase and high deductible plans become more prevalent, the need for a high-performance, low-cost product is critical. As we add even more value with programs like Embrace Better Care and the EmbraceIt app, it becomes an easy decision to add our products to the planogram.” 
 
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