HEALTH

Arizona, Texas top Walgreens Flu Index ‘most active’ list for 2015/2016 season

BY Michael Johnsen
DEERFIELD, Ill. – With flu activity winding down in the U.S., Walgreens on Friday announced the top markets and states for flu activity for the season, according to its season-ending Walgreens Flu Index examining aggregate prescription data from Nov. 2015 through mid-April 2016.
 
The states with the highest rates of influenza, according to the Index, were Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
 
Walgreens' top 10 markets with flu activity using aggregate data from Nov. 2015 through mid-April 2016 were: 
 
  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas;
  4. Phoenix (Prescott), Ariz.;
  5. Memphis, Tenn.;
  6. Louisville, Ky.;
  7. Columbus-Tupelo-West Point-Houston, Miss.;
  8. Houston;
  9. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; and
  10. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas. 
 
In addition to the top markets for activity, the season-ending Index also shows the bottom 10, suggesting successful prevention efforts in preparation for, and during flu season in these communities, which experienced the lowest levels of influenza.
 
The 10 markets with the least flu activity using aggregated data were: 
 
  1. Eugene, Ore.;
  2. Pittsburgh;
  3. Toledo, Ohio;
  4. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.;
  5. Portland, Ore.;
  6. Rochester, N.Y.;
  7. Augusta, Ga.- Aiken, S.C.;
  8. Boston, Mass. (Manchester, N.H.);
  9. Cleveland-Akron (Canton), Ohio; and
  10. Bakersfield, Calif.
 
The Walgreens Flu Index provides state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and is compiled using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. With the ability to generate hyper-local data, the Index continues to be instrumental in driving consumer awareness and prevention across the United States, while also serving as a tool for health departments, media and others at the local level.
 
The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.
 
 
 
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Georgia becomes state No. 33 to adopt NPLEx

BY Michael Johnsen
WASHINGTON – Georgia earlier this week became state No. 33 to adopt the real-time, stop-sale technology called the National Precursor Log Exchange, a blocking system used across the country which prevents the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient sometimes used in the production of methamphetamine. 
 
Aside from blocking illegal sales at the pharmacy counter, the NPLEx system provides law enforcement with valuable, real-time data on potential criminal activity. The legislation – sponsored by state Rep. David Clark, R-Buford, and Sen. Renee Unterman, R-45th district – was approved by the Georgia legislature and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 26.
 
Georgia is the last state in the southeast to adopt NPLEx, as all of its neighboring states – South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina – adopted the system in previous years.
 
"CHPA commends the leadership of the Georgia legislature and Gov. Nathan Deal in the adoption of NPLEx and their participation in this successful national effort in the fight against meth," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "We also applaud legislators, law enforcement and pharmacists across all 33 states working together to stop the illegal diversion of PSE, while ensuring that law-abiding citizens continue to have access to these safe and effective nonprescription cold and allergy medicines."
 
The announcement comes on the heels of a recent report from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators showing that so far this year between Jan. 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016, that NPLEx has blocked the illegal sale of 395,394 boxes of medicine containing PSE, keeping 1 million grams of PSE out of the hands of criminals.
 
 
 
 
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Omnis Health pairs pharmacy and diabetes patient through Embrace Better Care Program

BY Michael Johnsen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Omnis Health recently announced the introduction of the Embrace Better Care Program, a program that will help pharmacy partners create closer, more proactive connections with their customers with diabetes by providing easy, instant access to diabetes educational resources and technology. 
 
"The Embrace Better Care Program is more than a loyalty program, it's a continuum of care specifically designed to help our pharmacy partners create a closer connection with their customers with diabetes," stated Cathy Pereira, EVP global sales and marketing. "By providing proactive access to diabetes educational resources, money-saving coupons [and] testing reminders … at the click of a mouse or in the palm of their hand, Embrace Better Care creates an effective way to tether customers to the pharmacies where they purchased their Embrace brand products, while building loyalty to that pharmacy."
 
The program is designed for customers using Omnis Health Embrace brand blood glucose monitoring products and provides instant online access to important diabetes educational information such as: eating healthy, how to exercise safely and maintaining proper glucose levels. In addition, the program provides downloadable, pharmacy-specific coupons for Embrace brand test strips, as well as access to product information and instructional videos to ensure proper use of the Embrace system. 
 
At the heart of the Embrace Better Care Program is the EmbraceIt mobile app. Designed for both iOS and Android platforms, the EmbraceIt app will help create a more robust customer connection by putting tools and resources into the palms of the pharmacy customer. App users are encouraged to enter their testing data – how often they test, even dates of test strip purchases – and the app will push test strip purchase reminders as appropriate.
 
With geo-location and push notification features built right in, the EmbraceIt app will ping customers when in range of their pharmacy, providing coupons redeemable at that pharmacy. The app also provides access to the Omnis Heath Embrace Diabetes Management Program, powered by Health2Sync, so customers can easily create a diary of blood glucose readings and track related activities such as exercise, diet and medications on their mobile device. This also makes it easier to share this information with their healthcare professionals. EmbraceIt also delivers all the same diabetes educational information as members can access online. 
 
Anyone who purchases products in the Embrace portfolio – the Embrace or EmbraceEVO Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems or the Embrace or EmbraceEVO Complete Gestational Diabetes Kits – can enroll in the Embrace Better Care Program.
 
"We understand that providing our pharmacy partners with products of high quality, high value and high margin is just not enough today. We need to leverage our expertise in the diabetes category to continue to innovate with products, programs and technologies that create ways to help them reach new market segments, better connect with new and existing customers, and simply build their business," Pereira said. "Embrace Better Care does just that while helping to separate us from other diabetes category, value segment players."
 
 
 
 
 
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