HEALTH

Diplomat, Commcare named top companies by Inc. magazine

BY Alaric DeArment

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Two specialty pharmacies have earned places on a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Swartz Creek, Mich.-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, which operates six pharmacies in the Midwest and Florida, announced Wednesday that it had made the 235th place in Inc. magazine’s 2009 Inc. 500, which ranks the country’s top private companies every year. In addition, Commcare, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based, $100 million specialty pharmacy with three locations founded in 1996, came in at 374 on the list. Commcare was profiled in the inaugural issue of Specialty Pharmacy, a new magazine within the Drug Store News group of publications.

“While coming in at 235 in the nation is an amazing achievement, the additional details are even more astounding,” Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman said in a statement.

Those “additional details” include Diplomat’s number-one rank among the 43 companies listed in the healthcare category, a place among the top 10 companies ranked by total revenue and the company’s 917% growth over the last three years.

“At Diplomat, we’re proud to make Inc.’s Top 500 list,” Hagerman said. “This achievement recognizes the creativity, dedication and hard work that have gone into building Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy into what it is today.”

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Study: Birth control pill use may decreases risk of urinary incontinence

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new study from Sweden published Wednesday found that users of oral contraception have significantly reduced rates of urinary incontinence compared with women who used other forms of contraception.

Researchers at the Karoliska Institute and at Gothenburg University used the Swedish Twin Registry to examine the relationship between the use of oral contraceptives and urinary incontinence. After using statistical methods to control for factors such as age, Body Mass Index and ever having been pregnant, the data showed that the women who had used oral contraceptives had lower rates of lower urinary tract symptoms than non-users.

“With so many women using oral contraceptives, it is vital that we continue to fully understand their non-contraceptive effects, both positive and negative,” stated Dale McClure, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “This kind of research will help us better advise our patients as they make decisions about contraception, or possibly seek to avoid urinary tract problems.”

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The Partnership for a Drug-Free America kicks off its third annual Time To Talk Month

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The Partnership for a Drug-Free America on Monday kicked off its third annual Time To Talk Month with a new online guide to help parents guide their teens through tough transition times, including back-to-school, when added social and academic pressures make teens more vulnerable to trying drugs and alcohol. Time To Talk is the Partnership’s movement designed to help parents and caregivers start and maintain open, honest dialogue and help them talk with their kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol.

“The beginning of the school year is an especially vulnerable time for most kids, especially for teens making the move from middle school to high school, or any child who is starting a new school,” stated Sandi Delack, president of the National Association of School Nurses. “The good news is that there’s a lot of support available for parents to help their kids make a smoother, safer transition. One significant resource for parents is the school nurse, who has experience working with children and adolescents and an understanding of the stress students experience in school.”

A recent online survey of more than 2,500 moms conducted by Vocalpoint.com in collaboration with the Partnership revealed that their No. 1 concern about back-to-school time is that their child “might be exposed to kids who drink or use drugs” (29%), followed closely by worries that their teens “will feel pressure to do well academically or pressure from tests” (22%).

A 2007 Partnership study of 6,500 teens indicated that the no. 1 reason teens use drugs is to cope with school stress, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the key risk periods for adolescent drug abuse are during major transitions, such as entering middle or high school or leaving home for college.

“These survey results are a powerful reminder that the risks of drugs and alcohol remain top of mind for moms, and it’s no surprise that these concerns are heightened at back to school,” stated Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership. “This year, we’ve dedicated our annual Time To Talk Month to helping parents understand teen transitions and identify when their kids need more encouragement to make healthy choices by giving parents a guide to make the conversation easier.”

The research-based guide “Transitions & Teens: A Guide for Parents” is available as a free download at TimeToTalk.org, and was created in consultation with parenting experts, psychologists and family therapists. The guide helps parents understand how transition periods (i.e.back-to-school, starting a new school, divorce, and even financial trouble at home can impact a child’s vulnerability to risky behaviors, including drugs and alcohol.

Time To Talk reaches parents and caregivers through the support of 2009 sponsors A&E Network, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Comcast, The Hershey Company, King Pharmaceuticals, Major League Baseball Charities, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Yahoo!

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