HEALTH

Kmart Pharmacy supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Rx transfer program

BY Allison Cerra

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart Pharmacy is introducing an incentive program by which customers will be rewarded for transferring their prescriptions to a Kmart Pharmacy, and the retailer also will support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

 

The Transfer for a Cause program, which will run through Oct. 31, encourages customers to consolidate their prescriptions. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 31% of Americans use two or more prescription drugs, which is a 5% increase over the last 10 years. With each qualifying prescription transferred:

  • Kmart Pharmacy customers will receive up to a $20 Kmart gift card. Customers may be eligible to receive up to $100 in Kmart gift cards by transferring their qualifying prescriptions (up to five transferred prescriptions per household) to Kmart Pharmacy; and
  • Kmart will donate $5 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation — dedicated to preventing breast cancer and finding a cure for the disease — from every eligible prescription transferred to Kmart Pharmacy (up to five transferred prescriptions per household) between now and Oct. 31, with a minimum donation of $10,000.

 

 

"In addition to helping raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, consolidating prescriptions is a simple step customers can take that will help give them even more control of their health," said Robb Ayshford, divisional VP pharmacy administration for Kmart. "Recognizing that the number of customers who have multiple prescriptions is increasing, it’s even more important for them to maintain all of them at one pharmacy. At Kmart, our knowledgeable pharmacists will review all prescriptions to help reduce the chance of a drug interaction."

 

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Praising senator, pharmacy groups plead for patient choice in Tricare legislation

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Speaking with one voice, the nation’s largest chain and independent pharmacy groups gave a thumbs-up Monday to recent efforts by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., to preserve the right of military members and their dependents to obtain their prescriptions through a retail pharmacy without penalty.

The message of support came from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The two organizations co-authored a letter thanking Lautenberg for his continued leadership in congressional efforts to protect Tricare beneficiaries’ access to retail pharmacies.

The joint letter applauded the New Jersey Democrat for offering a Sense of Congress amendment expressing the Senate’s support for beneficiary choice in the military health program, which covers some 9 million members of the military and their families. Lautenberg has been a leading voice in Congress for legislation that would ensure Tricare beneficiaries do not face increased cost-sharing if they choose to fill their prescriptions and/or obtain other professional health services at a retail pharmacy, rather than at a base pharmacy or through mail order.

 

“We believe the choice of where to obtain prescription medications is best left to Tricare beneficiaries,” stated the letter, jointly signed by NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey.

 

 

ATricare co-payment freeze provision already passed the House of Representatives under the leadership of House Armed Service Committee chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and ranking member Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. That measure prohibited a pharmacy co-pay increase. Members of the Senate are slated to debate their version of the Defense Authorization bill, which includes funding for Tricare, but the legislation likely won’t be taken up until after the November elections.

 

 

“As the Defense authorization moves towards final enactment, we will be seeking language specifically prohibiting co-pay increases to best protect beneficiaries’ access to their retail pharmacies,” noted NACDS and NCPA in their letter.

 

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Study: Humidifiers may aid in reduction of airborne flu viruses

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON and BOSTON A study sponsored by Kaz, the manufacturer of Vicks humidifiers, found that such devices as humidifiers may play a role in reducing airborne flu viruses in the home.

The study, "Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: The impacts of home humidification," was published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health. The study examined the role of heat and humidity indoors and found that when homes are kept at the optimal 40% to 60% relative humidity level, airborne flu virus survival time decreases — up to 30% for homes with radiant heat and 17% for homes with forced air heat. The researchers also suggested that since the water vapor levels in the air during the winter time are low, consumers should use a device known as a hygrometer to determine whether or not the humidity indoors is at an optimal level.

"Eliminating a considerable share of airborne influenza viruses through the use of a humidifier could be very beneficial to households this winter," said Ted Myatt, senior scientist at consulting firm Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., and biological safety officer at the Harvard Institute of Medicine in Massachusetts. "However, families should be careful not to go overboard with over-humidifying, because the optimal relative humidity range for indoor comfort and decreased influenza is between 40% and 60%."

Click here to read the full text of the journal article.

In related news, Kaz recently launched a Facebook page devoted to informing families about some of the best defenses against colds and the flu.

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