PHARMACY

MinuteClinic expands services for back-to-school

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic is helping teenagers get ready for the back-to-school season by offering new services that include acne care, sports and college physicals and treatment for minor skin conditions.

“We are a convenient and affordable health care destination for parents and young adults trying to care for personal and medical needs before the school year begins,” stated Donna Haugland, MinuteClinic chief nursing officer.

“Our new acne care services, in particular, can help ease the concerns many teenagers have about skin conditions and pimple breakouts.”

Acne is the most common skin disorder among Americans. About 80% of preteens and teens develop acne during puberty, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To help young adults battle blemishes, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners counsel patients on proper skin care based on their skin type, make recommendations on the OTC acne remedies and, if clinically appropriate, prescribe topical antibiotics or retinoids for moderate cases.

The exam and counseling for acne care is priced at $62 and most insurance is accepted.

For sports and college physicals, nurse practitioners measure height and weight, review the student?s health history and current medications, ensure all necessary immunizations are up to date and conduct a physical exam. At the conclusion of the visit, the practitioner gives each patient a MinuteClinic physical form stating the results of the exam. Forms provided by schools are stamped by the practitioner and reference the results on the official MinuteClinic form. Exams cost $30, and additional charges may apply depending on exam requirements. Insurance is not accepted for physical exams.

MinuteClinic practitioners also diagnose and treat patients suffering from lice or scabies infestation, offer OTC or prescription recommendations for relieving itching and rashes and provide advice on how to eliminate the parasites and prevent their spread among family members and friends.

In addition, the clinics offer nine vaccinations for children including shots for meningitis prevention that are now required by colleges prior to students arriving on campus. Seasonal flu shots for children and adults will be offered daily at MinuteClinic locations nationwide beginning in early September. Teachers and students in medical and nursing schools can also come to MinuteClinic for required TB testing.

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PHARMACY

Report: PhRMA backs healthcare reform

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Most of the groups supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform plan have been patient advocates such as AARP, but the effort recently got some help from a different and traditionally conservative source: the drug industry.

Advertising Age reported Thursday that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the largest trade group for the brand drug industry, will set aside $150 million for an advertising campaign in support of healthcare reform, including TV ads in 12 key states, as well as radio and print ads. An executive from PhRMA told the advertising industry trade magazine that the ads would focus on ensuring that everyone has access to health insurance, including affordable co-payments and no denials based on pre-existing conditions.

The healthcare reform debate has turned contentious in recent weeks, with townhall meetings across the country disrupted by loud protests from opponents of reform who think it will harm healthcare more than it helps and will damage the economy.

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PHARMACY

QuikTrip opens second clinic for employees

BY Antoinette Alexander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Convenience store operator QuikTrip Corp. has opened its second worksite health clinic for its employees in the Kansas City area, according to a local news report.

QuikTrip, which operates more than 500 convenience stores, opened its first worksite clinic two years ago at its headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.

The new 1,400-sq.-ft. Belton clinic is administered by Care ATC, a national provider of on-site medical clinics, and provides free services to the nearly 800 QuikTrip employees and their dependents in that area, the report stated.

The facility provides the same services as a primary care physician’s office and is staffed by a board-certified physician and others who are employees of Care ATC.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, worksite clinics are on the rise as employers increasingly look for ways to lower healthcare costs and bolster employee productivity.

It is estimated by Fuld & Company that there are some 1,200 firms currently operating on-site clinics, which, taking into account their multiple campuses and multiple clinics, results in an estimated 2,200 on-site clinics. That number could reach 7,000 by 2015.

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