HEALTH

In letter, NACDS thanks senator for supporting Tricare

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA A group representing the drug retailing industry commended a senator’s support of the military healthcare program Tricare.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who serves as chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he did not support proposed Tricare premium increases, which would offset the healthcare costs that the Department of Defense have been struggling with. In reponse to this, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to the senator, which said that he exhibited "tremendous leadership in protecting access to healthcare providers and services for Tricare beneficiaries."

NACDS said its position on the matter was in line with the subcommittee, which believes "that savings are more likely to be found through improving business practices and encouraging preventive care, rather than increasing premiums, co-payments, and other beneficiary cost sharing," NACDS wrote to Webb.

The group added that the emphasizing the role of pharmacists in health care is just one of the ways healthcare costs can be curbed, as medication nonadherence costs the nation up $290 billion a year in expenditures, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.

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Symposium addresses sexual dysfunction among women

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Sexual dysfunction often is conceived as a male phenomenon, but it frequently affects women as well, and for a wide variety of reasons.

 

Such disease states as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and thyroid disease; drugs ranging from NSAID painkillers to narcotics to psychiatric medications; and even such conditions as stress and ADHD can all contribute to sexual dysfunction in women. But female sexual dysfunction often goes unmentioned, even though it may affect up to 50% of women, according to a 2003 Austrian study published in the journal Urology. Yet according to Semprae Labs, 90% of the women affected by female sexual dysfunction are reluctant to talk about it.

 

 

“We seem to be very uncomfortable,” Mary Jaensch, CEO of Semprae, said at a symposium for members of the press Thursday morning. The symposium, at New York’s Penn Club, was to promote Zestra essential arousal oils, an over-the-counter topical botanical product designed to stimulate sexual arousal in women. The symposium included such experts as Susan Kellogg, director of sexual medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Philadelphia, and relationship experts Tamsen Fadal and Matt Titus.

 

 

“All women deserve sexual satisfaction,” Kellogg said at the symposium.

 

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NYT article: FSA changes shed light on old eligibility problems

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK A New York Times report published Tuesday illustrated exactly how far apart the rubber is from the road when it comes to incentivizing preventive healthcare practices and the implementation of the new rules associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Even as common over-the-counter remedies soon will require a prescription in order to be eligible for reimbursement under flexible spending account arrangements, tried and true preventive healthcare practices, such as breast-feeding, are not and in fact have never been considered eligible for FSA reimbursement, the report noted. “With all the changes the healthcare overhaul will bring in the coming years, it nonetheless will leave those regulations intact when new rules for flexible spending accounts go into effect in January,” the report read.

Breast pumps are not considered eligible FSA expenditures despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics made a direct appeal to the Internal Revenue Service to define such products as breast pumps as a device used for medical care. In May 2009, the IRS determined that breast pumps do not diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease. However, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture of breast pumps as medical devices, and there are numerous studies that establish the preventive health benefits for children consuming their mother’s breast milk.

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