HEALTH

HHS purchases 195 million doses of H1N1 vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Nearly 200 million doses of vaccine for novel A(H1N1) influenza could become available by this fall, according to published reports.

Reuters quoted a Department of Health and Human Services official as saying that the government had bought 195 million doses of vaccine. The U.S. population is approximately 300 million.

Since the flu strain appeared earlier this year, the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. Many health experts fear that if left unchecked, it could spark a devastating pandemic reminiscent of the 1918 Spanish flu, though that flu caused millions of deaths worldwide in part due to lack of medical technologies such as antiviral drugs.

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NCDP healthcare reform recommendations advocate for diabetes prevention, treatment and care

BY Allison Cerra

PRINCETON, N.J. The National Changing Diabetes Program, a program of Novo Nordisk, and several member associations urged President Obama and members of Congress to make the prevention, detection and treatment of diabetes, one of the nation’s most pervasive and costly diseases, a priority in reforming the U.S. healthcare system.

In an open letter to the President and lawmakers, NCDP said a national response to diabetes is required in order to transform health care and begin to ease the economic and personal burden of the disease, which is growing at an alarming rate. Today, more than 1-in-4 Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and these two conditions are estimated to have cost the U.S. $218 billion in 2007 in medical care and lost productivity, according to a recent study.

Joining the NCDP in reaching out to lawmakers are the American Diabetes Association, the American College of Physicians and VSP.

“We applaud the effort to reorient our health care system to focus more on the prevention of disease, and nowhere is the need greater than with diabetes,” said Dana Haza, senior director of NCDP, an initiative created by Novo Nordisk to drive health systems change at the national and local level. “Not only does diabetes frequently result in devastating and costly complications, but diabetes also significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and depression. So tackling diabetes early will make a huge impact on our nation’s overall health care system.”

The NCDP is calling on lawmakers to ensure diabetes is a top priority for health reform, including all new or expanded initiatives in public programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP. The organization said diabetes needs to be specifically identified as a priority condition for:

  • Patient-centered care models
  • Chronic care management programs
  • Health information technology programs
  • Programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care
  • Prevention and health promotion initiatives
  • Quality improvement initiatives
  • Quality-based incentives
  • Medicare and Medicaid demonstrations of new care models and delivery systems

“We are facing a unique opportunity to profoundly change health care in America and improve the lives of countless people,” Haza said. “Changing diabetes is essential to health care reform.”

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Diabetes educators get first taste of Nevella with Probiotics

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS Designed to boost the immune system and promote health, probiotics are gaining popularity at the grocery, and Nevella with Probiotics, made by Heartland Sweeteners, is the first and only such sweetener currently on the market. Diabetes educators will get an early preview of Nevella with Probiotics at their annual conference in Atlanta in early August, immediately prior to widespread availability across the country.

“We wanted to give the American Association of Diabetes Educators a first look at Nevella with Probiotics, since people with diabetes know the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and controlling blood sugar, and no-calorie sweeteners can help with that,” said Mike Servie, president Heartland Sweeteners. “Probiotics also show promise for enhancing the immune system, which is important for those with Type 1 diabetes.”

Unlike other foods enhanced with probiotics, the GanedenBC30 probiotic used in Nevella is shelf stable, and survives the digestive process to arrive in your gut where you need it. A single sachet of Nevella with Probiotics delivers greater efficacy than most other probiotics, including a cup of yogurt. Ganeden BC30 withstands baking temperatures better than other probiotics, so now consumers can add probiotic benefits to their favorite baked goods.

Nevella with Probiotics is available in 50-count, 100-count and 200-count packets, as well as 9.7-ounce recloseable bags perfect for baking. Major retailers such as Food Lion, A&P, Bi-Lo, HEB, Piggly Wiggly, Meijer and Dollar General will stock the sweetener beginning in late August.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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