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CDC: Half of all Americans take one or more prescription medications

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — About half of all Americans reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days during 2007-2010, and 1-in-10 took five or more, according to "Health, United States, 2013," the government’s annual, comprehensive report on the nation’s health that was released Wednesday. Use increased with age: 1-in-4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9-in-10 adults aged 65 years and older.

The annual growth in spending on retail prescription drugs slowed from 14.7% in 2001 to 2.9% in 2011.

Cardiovascular agents — used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease — and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18 years to 64 years and 65 years and older from 2007 to 2010. Nearly 18% of adults ages 18 years to 64 years took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days. Among adults ages 65 years and older, 70.2% took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7% took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days from 2007 to 2010. The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988 to 1994.

The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those ages 18 years to 64 years has increased more than six-fold since 1988 through 1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults ages 18 years to 64 years were analgesics to relieve pain and antidepressants. The use of antidepressants among adults ages 18 years and older increased more than four-fold, from 2.4% to 10.8% between 1988 to 1994 and 2007 to 2010. 

Other commonly used prescription drugs among those ages 65 years and older included analgesics, blood thinners and diabetes medications.

The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39% between 1995 to 1996 and 2009 to 2010. 

Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those ages 15 years and older more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999 to 2000 to 6.6 in 2009 to 2010.

In 2012, adults ages 18 years to 64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year (22.4% compared to 5%). 

This is the 37th annual report prepared for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. 

"Health, United States, 2013" features 135 tables on key health measures through 2012 from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector. The tables cover a range of topics, including birth rates and reproductive health, life expectancy and leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, healthcare utilization, and insurance coverage and health expenditures.  

The full report is available at CDC.gov/nchs.

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Coty sees revenue growth in Q3, partners with Avon

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Coty announced on Wednesday that its third-quarter net revenues returned to growth, with increases in fragrances and skin and body care during the quarter.

The beauty company also announced on Wednesday a partnership with Avon, by which select Coty fragrances will be marketed and sold through Avon Brazil’s network of 1.5 million independent sales representatives.

For the quarter ended March 31, net revenues totaled about $1 billion, up 2% on a like-for-like basis and 1% on a reported basis compared with the prior-year period.

In fragrance, revenues grew 6%, supported by growth in 4-out-of-5 Coty’s fragrance power brands — Calvin Klein, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs and Playboy.

Skin and body care revenues increased 8%, as philosophy continued its growth momentum, Adidas benefited from its traction in the emerging markets, and Lancaster saw strong growth particularly in the sun category.

Color cosmetics declined 6%, reflecting continued pressure on the nail category in the United States, partially offset by strong Rimmel performance.

Net income decreased to a net income loss of $253 million from net income of $20.4 million in the prior-year period. Coty stated that the decrease primarily reflected lower operating income as a result of the asset impairment, partially offset by lower interest expense and the income tax benefit during the quarter.

"Coty returned to revenues growth in the third quarter. The majority of our power brands showed positive development thanks to a competitive innovation program and growth in the emerging markets accelerated to 15%. Both prove our strategic focus on these brands and geographies is starting to bear fruit. While market conditions remain challenging in some product segments in parts of the world, we are sticking to our current strategy and targeting for continued growth for the remainder of the calendar year while working to significantly improve the cost profile of the business,” said Michele Scannavini, CEO of Coty. 

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Stater Bros. sales up 0.2% for Q2

BY Ryan Chavis

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. chairman, president and CEO Jack Brown on Tuesday announced second-quarter results for fiscal 2014.

Consolidated sales in the 13 weeks ended March 30 totaled $963.8 million, up $1.9 million (or 0.2%) from the previous year. Sales for the 26 weeks ended March 30, 2014 were $1.95 billion, representing a $17.2 million (or 0.9 %) increase from the same period in the prior year.

Sales in the prior year period were affected by the Easter holiday that fell in second quarter 2013 and third quarter 2014 fiscal year, the company said. Gross profit margins were 27.64% of sales compared to 26.90% of sales for the same period in the prior fiscal year.

"We are pleased with our sales growth in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 given the extremely competitive environment in Southern California," Brown said. "We continue to be the No. 1 full-service supermarket chain in Southern California according to a March 2014 national consumer survey.

On May 12, the company refinanced and signed a new credit agreement, which replaced the company’s old revolving line of credit, term loan and senior unsecured notes.

"The restructuring of our debt and the related reduction in our interest cost will allow us to continue to invest in our ‘Valued Customers’ and continue to allow us to not fully pass on the costs of inflation which has allowed us to keep our prices low," Brown added.

 

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