HEALTH

HHS launches CuidadoDeSalud.gov

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 8 unveiled CuidadoDeSalud.gov, a website designed to help Hispanic consumers take control of their health care by connecting them to new information and resources that will help them access quality, affordable healthcare coverage.

Consistent with the mandate in the Affordable Care Act to provide consumers with information and resources to make informed healthcare decisions, CuidadoDeSalud.gov is the partner site of HealthCare.gov, which was launched in July 2010.

"CuidadoDeSalud.gov, like HealthCare.gov, is an unprecedented website that provides consumers with the power of information at their fingertips," stated HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to easily compare both public and private health coverage options tailored specifically for their needs … [by providing] better information about the choices they have, how much they cost and what they can expect from their doctor — specific to their life situation and local community."

In addition, the website is a one-stop shop for information about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as well as other healthcare resources. The website connects consumers to quality rankings for local healthcare providers, as well as preventive services.

The initiative is particularly important for Latinos, HHS stated, as that demographic has the highest rates of uninsurance in the nation — more than 1-in-3 Latinos are uninsured. Latinos only are half as likely to have a usual source of primary care, and half of Latinos do not have a regular doctor. As many as 20% of low-income Latino youth have gone a year without a healthcare visit –– a rate three times higher than that of high-income whites.

In addition, HHS noted that Latinos disproportionately suffer from such chronic health diseases as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that Latinas have disproportionate rates of cervical cancer, which they contract at twice the rate of white women.

In October 2010, CuidadoDeSalud.gov will include price estimates for health insurance plans. In the weeks and months ahead, new information on preventing disease and illness and improving the quality of health care for all Americans will also be posted.

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HEALTH

Watson gets FDA approval for generic Yasmin

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic oral contraceptive made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Tuesday.

 

Watson announced the FDA’s approval of Zarah (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets) in the 3 mg/0.03 mg strength. The drug is a generic version of Bayer’s Yasmin.

 

 

Watson said it has started shipping the drug, though Bayer’s patent litigation suit against the company concerning the drug remains pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 

 

Yasmin and generic versions had sales of around $97 million during the 12 months ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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H1N1 prompts increase in thorough hand-washing among Americans

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE Concerns about last year’s H1N1 virus have had an impact on Americans’ hand-washing habits, according to a national survey conducted by Bradley Corp.

In Bradley’s second Healthy Hand Washing survey, 50% of the 1,053 respondents said they "wash their hands more thoroughly or longer or more frequently" in public restrooms as a result of the H1N1 virus — that’s up from 45% in 2009 when the same question was asked.

 

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adults average two to four colds a year, and children have about six to 10. In fact, the common cold is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.

 

 

Bradley’s Healthy Hand Washing survey was conducted online from July 7 to 15, 2010, and queried 1,053 American adults about their hand-washing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 years and older, and the split between men and women was 46% and 54%, respectively.

 

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