CVS Caremark tips hat to pharmacists, pharmacy techs during month of October
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In honor of American Pharmacists Month, CVS Caremark is recognizing the role pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play in the U.S. healthcare system.
CVS Caremark said it will publicly recognize its more than 26,000 pharmacists and their commitment to patient care during the month of October with ads in industry trade publications and on its in-store radio network. What’s more, the company also will salute its 50,000 pharmacy technicians later this month on Oct. 25, which is Pharmacy Technician Day.
"Pharmacists are consistently ranked by the public as being the most accessible and among the most trustworthy health care providers in the community," CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said. "CVS Caremark’s pharmacists play an important role in supporting our goal to provide greater access, convenience and quality pharmacy care to patients."
According to a study conducted by the company last year, face-to-face interaction with a pharmacist was the most effective method of communication to get patients to take their medicine as prescribed.
PriceGrabber: Almost half of Americans plan to spend less this holiday season
LOS ANGELES — The state of the economy continues to impact consumers’ holiday shopping decisions as many plan to spend less or the same this year.
According to a new survey of 3,070 U.S. online shopping consumers, conducted by PriceGrabber, 45% said that they plan to spend less this year, while 49% plan to spend the same, compared with 2010. Additionally, more than two-thirds of those surveyed (68%) said the economic climate will affect their overall spending, with many of them attributing their decision to an increase in prices for food, gas and other necessities.
Despite having a negative outlook on the economy, 70% of consumers believed retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year due to the current state of the economy. Shoppers said that such discounts as price cuts and free shipping, as well as coupons and blowout sales, will entice them to buy (75%).
"Our survey data found that shoppers are not only expecting to find great prices and bargains this holiday season, but 53% will start shopping earlier this year to spread out the impact of purchases, and 33% are beginning their holiday shopping in October," PriceGrabber general manager Graham Jones said. "This finding implies that consumers are strategizing to capitalize on the holiday sales that appear to begin earlier in the season each year, as we just recently saw with the back-to-school shopping season. The economy’s resistance to improve significantly will give retailers added incentive to lower their prices, especially as consumers have become savvier since the beginning of the economic downturn."
Study: Rx oral steroids linked to severe vitamin D deficiency
NEW YORK — People taking oral steroids are twice as likely as the general population to have severe vitamin D deficiency, according to a study of more than 31,000 children and adults by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University released last week.
Their findings, published in the Sept. 28 online edition of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggested that physicians should more diligently monitor vitamin D levels in patients being treated with oral steroids.
“When doctors write that prescription for steroids and they’re sending the patients for lab tests, they should also get the vitamin D level measured,” stated study lead author Amy Skversky, assistant professor of pediatrics at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.
The severe vitamin D deficiency assessed in this study (defined as levels below 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood) is known to be associated with osteomalacia (softening of the bones), rickets (softening of bones in children) and clinical myopathy (muscle weakness). While there is much debate on the issue, vitamin D levels between 20 and 50 ng/ml are generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals. Steroids have been shown to cause vitamin D deficiency, possibly by increasing levels of an enzyme that inactivates the vitamin.