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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Greenstone, Eisai to launch authorized generic of Aricept

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. The generics division of Pfizer will sell an authorized generic version of a drug used to treat dementia.

 

Greenstone said Wednesday that it had agreed with Eisai to launch donepezil hydrochloride tablets, an authorized generic of Aricept. The drug is used to treat dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease. Eisai makes the drug under a partnership with Pfizer.

 

 

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Eisai to introduce this important authorized generic to patients,” said James Cannon, Greenstone’s VP business alliances. “First and foremost, our goal is to provide donepezil hydrochloride tablets to the broad customer base, and we also strive to remain competitive with other potential generic versions of the product.”

 

 

Unlike generic drugs, which are marketed in competition with their branded counterparts and must undergo an abbreviated regulatory approval process through the Food and Drug Administration, authorized generics are essentially branded drugs marketed under their generic names with the authorization of the original drug’s manufacturer and often through third-party companies.

 

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Lack of sleep may increase IFG risk, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Lack of beauty sleep may up one’s risk of developing a condition that leads to diabetes and heart disease, a new study found.

Researchers from Warwick Medical School and the State University of New York at Buffalo examined six years of data from 1,455 participants in the Western New York Health Study, all of whom were between the ages of 35 and 79 years, and found that people who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop incident-impaired fasting glycaemia. IFG causes the body to be unable to regulate glucose as efficiently as it should.

Lead author at Warwick Medical School Dr. Saverio Stranges said: "We found that short sleep, less than six hours, was associated with a significant, threefold increased likelihood of developing IFG, compared [with] people who got an average of six to eight hours sleep a night. Previous studies have shown that short sleep duration results in a 28% increase in mean levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin so it can affect feeding behaviors. Other studies have also shown that a lack of sleep can decrease glucose tolerance and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress."

 

Stranges added that, "more research is needed, but our study does suggest a very strong correlation between lack of sleep and Type 2 diabetes and heart disease."

 

The study was published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

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