HEALTH

Coffee, tea consumption associated with reduced risk of diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Drinking more coffee (regular or decaffeinated) or tea appears to lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the Dec. 14/28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Rachel Huxley, D.Phil, of The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues identified 18 studies involving 457,922 participants and assessing the association between coffee consumption and diabetes risk published between 1966 and 2009.

 

Six studies involving 225,516 individuals also included information about decaffeinated coffee, whereas seven studies with 286,701 participants reported on tea consumption.

When the authors combined and analyzed the data, they found that each additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7% reduction in the excess risk of diabetes, while individuals who drank three to four cups per day had an approximately 25% lower risk than those who drank between zero and two cups per day.

In addition, in the studies that assessed decaffeinated coffee consumption, those who drank more than three to four cups per day had about a one-third lower risk of diabetes than those who drank none. Those who drank more than three to four cups of tea had a one-fifth lower risk than those who drank no tea.

Recent reports projected the number of people in the United States with diabetes will nearly double over the next 25 years, and costs for related treatments will triple.

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Evincii makes OTC decisions easier with PICKKA

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK While many companies are extending their brands into the social media arena, bringing an interactive brand experience to consumers at home, other companies are working toward extending that brand experience at the actual shelf, through such new mediums as smartphones. Evincii is one of those companies.

 

While Evincii declined to disclose future roll-outs around the PICKKA platform, this new app may be a glimpse into the future of merchandising, and at the very least the future of point-of-purchase material.

 

Today, you need clip-strips and adjacencies to entice synergistic, incremental sales. But what of tomorrow? Imagine combining that product recommendation with some of the functionality today found on the sites of online retailers like Amazon.com with a “people also bought …” feature. Or imagine “coupling” recommendations, where if a consumer searches for one item, say sun block for example, the smart phone app recommends another product like vitamin D with a “did you know” entry — “Did you know that sun block, while it protects against skin cancer, also inhibits absorption of vitamin D, an essential vitamin?”

And there are other potentialities. Evincii has already partnered with several retailers to make sure that the product recommendations made by the PICKKA app jives with what that retailer actually has on shelf, thus avoiding a virtual “out-of-stock” experience. What if you could combine that feature with a Google maps functionality, where the product recommendation is paired with an in-store map showing exactly where that product is? That could open the door to whole new world of synergistic adjacencies, where those synergistic products wouldn’t necessarily have to be physically adjacent.

Of course, there may be technological hurdles to these kinds of ideas, who knows? But then again, it wasn’t too long ago that anyone was talking about tapping into a “pharmacist in your pocket” for a product recommendation at the actual location where a consumer makes their purchase decision, either.

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Pharmacogenomics in aisle 1?

BY Rob Eder

Not quite, but the continued evolution of Kerr Drug’s Community Healthcare Center store concept certainly offers a glimpse into what role community pharmacy could play in the American healthcare system of the future—and it goes far beyond just medication therapy management. Like the deal CVS Caremark announced in November with Generation Health, pharmacogenomics, the study of how genetics influence drug response, represents the new frontier of community pharmacy. And it’s a brave new world out there, to be sure.

In fairness, pharmacogenomics has been a part of the specialty pharmacy business for some time. But projects like Kerr’s pilot with the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, which will focus on patients taking Plavix, target the long-term savings generated by patients on traditional drug therapies (see related story). These types of programs will be instrumental in demonstrating community pharmacy’s value beyond simply dispensing; the idea that a $250 test performed at the local drug store potentially could save $50,000 or more in upstream costs.

“We are at the doorstep not only of a new store, but also the future of community pharmacy,” Kerr Drug president and CEO Tony Civello told guests at the grand opening.

At the same time, on a much larger scale, the CVS Caremark-Generation Health deal will give big healthcare payers a front-row seat as it demonstrates the value of pharmacogenomics, offering PBM customers a chance to offer testing programs around drugs used to treat cancer, HIV and heart disease (see related story). CVS actually took a minority position in the privately held company, and chief medical officer Troyen Brennan will serve on Generation’s board of directors. So you can say the folks in Woonsocket hold quite a bit of stock in this whole area of personalized medicine.

That CVS is showing its leadership in an area like pharmacogenomics is not surprising. It is a company that has invested considerably in recent years to build a future beyond simply dispensing pharmaceuticals. But stories like what Kerr is doing in examination room No. 5 in its new Community Healthcare Center are an important reminder of the innovation and leadership that continues to come out of Chapel Hill, N.C.

They also are a sign that maybe the future of pharmacy doesn’t have one of those “you must be this size to ride this ride” signs. It’s not that size isn’t important, so much as maybe there is more than one way to measure it. Maybe, big ideas count, too.

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