HEALTH

CRN study finds that nearly four-fifths of doctors recommend supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The majority of physicians—79 percent—recommend supplements to their patients, according to the “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, that was released Wednesday.

Bone health was the leading health reason physicians recommend supplements—33 percent of physicians recommended bone health supplements to their patients—followed by supplements for overall health, joint health, heart health and to maintain a healthy cholesterol.

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HEALTH

Poll gauges women’s brand loyalty

BY Michael Johnsen

YONKERS, N.Y. According to a new poll released Monday that will be featured in the November 2008 issue of ShopSmart, a publication of Consumer Reports, women are willing to switch brands of over-the-counter medications (68 percent), milk (67 percent) and eggs (67 percent) to save money, but only 29 percent say they would change their brand of pet food.

Now, more than last year, 29 percent of respondents say that they’re buying more generic or store brands; in households with kids the number is 37 percent.

Women are also reluctant to switch cosmetics (30 percent), personal-care items (48 percent) and toilet paper (49 percent).

The poll also found that when it comes to shopping for new appliances, 27 percent of women say that reliability is the most important consideration while the brand falls well behind the other factors in determining which appliance to purchase at 4 percent. However, women are not willing to sacrifice brand name to save money on appliances as only 38 percent of women said they would purchase a lesser known brand to save money.

“We were surprised to find that women are so readily willing to switch medications,” stated Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “However, I am happy to see that women value reliability over brand when it comes to large purchases such as appliances.”

Conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, the brand loyalty poll is part of ShopSmart’s feature on the best and worst brands, which includes a guide to which types of products are most likely to need repairs, information about whether an appliance is worth repair or should be replaced instead and tips to maintain appliances to avoid costly repairs.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. As many as 1,006 interviews were completed among women over the age of 18. Interviewing took place between June 26 and June 29.

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Wal-Mart adds ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores on Tuesday announced that it would incorporate its ReliOn diabetes management products into the retailer’s affordable pharmacy program by selling all ReliOn diabetes supplies for $9, the ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Meter, a 20-count package of ReliOn Ultima Blood Glucose Test Strips and the ReliOn A1c test.

According to Wal-Mart, a customer with diabetes testing once per day can save more than $200 annually based on the retail price of competing test strips sold at the mass merchant.

“This latest expansion of our health care offering comes from our commitment to help people affected by diabetes save money so they can live better,” stated John Agwunobi, senior vice president and Wal-Mart’s president of its health and wellness division. “We are pleased to introduce $9 ReliOn testing products that address some of the unique health care needs of diabetes patients. By providing affordable, quality solutions we hope to positively impact the lives of the millions already living with the disease.”

Wal-Mart is helping to get the word out on its $9 diabetes supplies through the sponsorship of several American Diabetes Association events, including the recent ADA Diabetes EXPO events in Atlanta, Boston and Tampa.

To date, Wal-Mart’s affordable pharmacy program has saved customers more than $1 billion.

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