Drug offerings expand under Merck Helps programs
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck is expanding its patient assistance program, the drug maker said Wednesday.
Merck announced an expansion of the number of drugs it offers under its Merck Helps programs, including the Merck Patient Assistant program, the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance program, the ACT program for cancer and hepatitis C drugs, and the SUPPORT program for HIV and AIDS drugs. The program provides medicines and vaccines free of charge to eligible patients, primarily the uninsured, who make up to 400% of the federal poverty level and can’t afford Merck drugs without assistance.
“Merck has historically recognized the critical need for people to have access to the prescription medicines and vaccines they require, even if they lose their insurance,” Merck EVP and chief medical officer Michael Rosenblatt said. “Our patient assistance programs now provide access to even more medicines for chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure, allowing us to reach more people in need.”
Merck also said that its philanthropic arm, the Merck Company Foundation, made a grant to NeedyMeds, a nonprofit group that helps people who can’t afford medicines or healthcare costs by making information about assistance programs available. NeedyMeds plans to use the grant to translate its website into Spanish.
Kaz launches ‘Cold and Flu Central’ Facebook page
SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. Kaz, the maker of Vicks, Honeywell and Braun wellness devices, recently launched a new Facebook fan page named Cold and Flu Central, created to help inform families about some of the best defenses against colds and the flu.
The page includes doctor-approved tips, third-party expert advice and links, product giveaways, drug store availability information, discussions and polls.
Jennifer Trachtenberg, chief pediatric officer for RealAge.com, is the featured pediatrician on the site. In addition, two other experts will be providing tips to fans on how to stay healthy this winter: Jim McDevitt, an instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health and certified as an industrial hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene; and Ted Myatt, a senior scientist at Environmental Health and Engineering. Myatt also is the biological safety officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Institute of Medicine in Massachusetts.
To help drive interest in the site, Kaz will be giving away one Vicks Cool Mist humidifier, Vicks digital thermometer or Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer each week.
Jerry Barnes receives lifetime achievement award from GMDC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The Global Market Development Center last week awarded its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Barnes at its Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla.
GMDC annually bestows this honor on a person who has contributed significantly to the general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness industries, as well as to GMDC through his or her leadership.
“Jerry’s contributions have been very unique, as he served as a key leader as both a member and as a senior manager on our staff,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president. “Jerry had a very successful career inside the industry, which began in the late 1960s when he joined Fleming Foods in Topeka, Kan. In 1982, he left Fleming to go to Carr-Gottstein Foods in Anchorage, Alaska, where he served as corporate VP merchandising and GMDC’s chairman,” McDonnell added. “I think Jerry did his most significant work on behalf of GMDC when, as chairman of the board, he helped facilitate the merger between GMDC and the former National Association of Service Merchandising in 1994. In his many years as a staff member, he has truly served as a catalyst for membership growth and expansion as he’s captured the trust of the membership through his knowledge of the business and passion for GMDC.”
Jerry Barnes has been a regular participant at GMDC Marketing Conferences for more than 20 years and served as chairman of the association in 1994. Since 1996 he has served on the GMDC staff in his role as VP member services.