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HHS: Seniors saved $11.5 billion on meds since 2010

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — New numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services released as Medicare turns 49 are showing it is getting better with age.

Since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010, more than 8 million older and disabled Americans with Medicare benefits have saved $11.5 billion on prescription drugs.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors and people with disabilities are saving on needed medications,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “By making prescription drugs more affordable, we are improving and promoting the best care for people with Medicare.”

The savings have come partially from provisions in the Affordable Care Act that are meant to minimize the Medicare coverage gap requiring people to pay full price for prescription. Other rebates for prescription drugs have contributed to the savings. 

These numbers accompany news that the Medicare Trust Fund will last through 2030, and news that for the second year, Part B premiums will stay the same. This is all happening as growth in spending hovers around 2% annual from 2009-2012. 

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AAP updates meningitis vaccine recommendations

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations on the use of meningococcal vaccines in children and adolescents, according to the online issue of Pediatrics.

The AAP now recommends an age-appropriate meningococcal conjugate vaccine instead of the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine for children and adolescents, according to the policy statement.

Individuals ages 11 to 12 years should be immunized and given a booster once they reach 16 years of age. Unvaccinated or first-year college students who had received vaccines before the age of 21 living in dorms who received their last dose before their 16th birthday should also receive a single dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

The complete update can be viewed here.
 

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Helios Corp. introduces botanical supplement for the relief of menopause symptoms

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA FE, N.M. — Helios Corp. on Wednesday announced the introduction of a botanical supplement for the relief of menopause symptoms, EstroG-100, which is found in Advanced Menopause Relief from CVS, Menopause Relief from Walgreens, Best EstroG-100 from Doctor's Best, Herbal Pause from NOW Foods and EstroG-100 from Swanson Nutrition.
 
The ingredient is a combination of three botanical root extracts that have been used as edible herbs in Korea and China."For so long women have feared menopause and suffered through it, just to feel like they're never quite the same again — like they've lost their normal lives," said Michael Jeffers, Helios Corp. president. 
 
"All that's been available to treat menopause symptoms are prescription medications with terrible side effects and herbal remedies that work at a snail's pace or not at all," he said. "With EstroG-100, we finally have a solution that works, and the speed with which it works is unheard of." 
 
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