PHARMACY

HHS secretary releases healthcare system report

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report Tuesday on health disparities in America.

“Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap” features such facts as:

  • Forty-eight percent of all African-Americans adults suffer from a chronic disease, compared with 39% of the general population.
  • Eight percent of white Americans develop diabetes while 15% of African Americans, 14% of Hispanics and 18% of American Indians develop diabetes.
  • Hispanics are one-third less likely to be counseled on obesity than are whites — only 44% of Hispanics received counseling.
  • African-Americans are 15% more likely to be obese than whites.
  • The report also notes that 40% of low-income Americans do not have health insurance. About one-third of the uninsured have a chronic disease, and they are six times less likely to receive care for a health problem than the insured. In contrast, only 6% of high-income Americans lack insurance.

“Minorities and low income Americans are more likely to be sick and less likely to get the care they need,” she said. “These disparities have plagued our health system and our country for too long. Now, it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to come together.”

Sebelius also participated in a White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussion on the importance of reform that reduces disparities that exist in the current U.S. healthcare system.

The new report  is available at www.HealthReform.gov.

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Target gives award to RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Target has named RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions a recipient of its 2008 “Partner Award of Excellence.” The award was recently presented to RelayHealth at the National Council for Prescription Drug Program’s Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Target annually recognizes vendor partners for their extraordinary passion for performance and dedication to the Target brand. RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions earned the award by demonstrating innovative leadership, superior business practices and commitment to Target’s core strategies: differentiation, value and reliability. 

Notable areas of excellence were RelayHealth’s operational responsiveness and collaborative partnership in creating new services.

“We are proud to partner with [Target] to bring innovative solutions that enhance their operations and clinical services for their valued pharmacy patrons,” said Jeff Felton, president, RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions. “This award is truly a tribute to the dedication of our entire team and recognizes our long-standing relationship.”

RelayHealth helps improve clinical and financial information management, patient safety and business performance. RelayHealth also provides network and claims processing connectivity services that add value and efficiency to more than 90% of the nation’s retail pharmacies.

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Vivus presents results of glucose-lowering investigational drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW ORLEANS An investigational drug for treating lowered blood sugar levels in obese patients who had not developed diabetes, according to results of a phase 3 trial presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association’s 69th annual scientific sessions.

Drug maker Vivus said the trial of the drug Qnexa showed that while Qnexa lowered blood sugar, patients taking placebo experienced higher blood sugar after 28 weeks of treatment.

“Obesity is the leading cause of Type 2 diabetes,” lead investigator and Weill-Cornell University clinical professor Louis Aronne said in a statement. “Studies have shown that Type 2 diabetes can be treated effectively in most patients with significant weight loss.”

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