HEALTH

DSN to host new retail pharmacy panel at FMI Health & Wellness Expo

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — FMI will be hosting a new retail-pharmacy-focused panel here on March 18 during the association’s Retail Food & Pharmacy Health & Wellness expo to be moderated by DSN’s editor-in-chief Rob Eder.

The panel will be anchored by retail panelists from the FMI Health and Wellness Council and will focus on opportunities for retailers and suppliers to improve the overall "wellness experience" for supermarket customers. Other discussion points will focus on how in-store pharmacists and dietitians can become more accessible to customers and how supermarket pharmacy operators and their suppliers can simplify health-and-wellness information for shoppers.

Panelists will include Helen Eddy of Hy-Vee, Jewel Hunt of Safeway, Joanne Leonardi of Ahold USA, Brett Merrell of Giant Eagle, Maureen Murphy of Price Chopper Supermarkets, Leon Nevers of H-E-B and Craig Stacey of Supervalu.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

 


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McNeil recalls Infant’s Tylenol over package design flaw

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Friday issued a voluntary recall, at the wholesale and retail levels, of seven lots of Infants’ Tylenol oral suspension 1-oz. grape that was distributed nationwide over consumer complaints of the included dosing system.

McNeil’s Infants’ Tylenol SimpleMeasure includes a dosing syringe, which a parent or caregiver inserts into a protective cover, or “flow restrictor,” at the top of the bottle to measure the proper dose. In some cases, the flow restrictor was pushed into the bottle when inserting the syringe.

No adverse events associated with this action have been reported to date, and the risk of a serious adverse medical event is remote.

Consumers can continue to use Infants’ Tylenol, provided the flow restrictor at the top of the bottle remains in place. If the flow restrictor is pushed into the bottle, the parent or caregiver should not use the product.

 


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Nearly 23 million Americans suffering from untreated hearing loss

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE — Though an estimated 26.7 million Americans ages 50 years and older have hearing loss, only about 1-in-7 of them uses a hearing aid, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins researchers that was released Monday.

Johns Hopkins experts estimate nearly 23 million have untreated hearing loss and suggest that their findings add clarity to less rigorous estimates by device manufacturers and demonstrates how widespread undertreatment of hearing loss is in the United States.

"Understanding current rates of hearing loss treatment is important, as evidence is beginning to surface that hearing loss is associated with poorer cognitive functioning and the risk of dementia," stated study senior investigator Frank Lin, who also is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Previous studies that have attempted to estimate hearing aid use have relied on industry marketing data or focused on specific groups that don’t represent a true sample of the United States population."

Lin noted that many with hearing loss likely avoid their use, in part, because health insurance often does not cover the costs and because people do not receive the needed rehabilitative training to learn how to integrate the devices into their daily lives. But another major reason, he said, is that people often consider hearing loss inevitable and of minor concern.

"There’s still a perception among the public and many medical professionals that hearing loss is an inconsequential part of the aging process and you can’t do anything about it," Lin said. "We want to turn that idea around."

To address the data gap, Lin and Wade Chien, also an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, used data from the 1999-2006 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a research program that has periodically gathered health information from thousands of Americans since 1971. During those cycles, participants answered questions about whether they used a hearing aid and had their hearing tested.

Their new findings, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine online Feb. 13, showed that only about 1-in-7 individuals ages 50 years or older, or 14%, use hearing aids. Although hearing aid use rose with age, ranging from 4.3% in individuals ages 50 to 59 years to 22.1% in those ages 80 years and older. Overall, another 23 million could possibly benefit from using the devices, Lin said.

Lin and his colleagues currently are leading a study to investigate the effects of hearing aids and cochlear implants on the social, memory and thinking abilities of older adults, he reported.


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