PHARMACY

Money magazine’s Amanda Gengler offers healthcare savings tips to CBS viewers

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Money magazine’s Amanda Gengler told “The Early Show Saturday Edition” viewers that one way to cut their healthcare costs was to utilize retail clinics for basic care.

Gengler addressed the fact that healthcare costs are continuing to climb. But there are ways to ease the financial burden, she told viewers.

While Gengler suggested that patients should negotiate with their doctors regarding cost of services, to enroll in a flexible spending account or a mail order program for prescriptions, she pointed out that such medical conditions as pink eye or an ear infection can be treated at more affordable outlets.

“Today there are some more convenient and often cheaper alternatives to the doctor’s office, or the emergency room,” Gengler told viewers. “First, workplace clinics are making a comeback. They’re usually staffed with nurse practitioners and you can swing by at lunch and get care. Maybe a strep test or a flu shot. Another option for basic problems are retail clinics, which are popping up in chain stores and pharmacies. Prices are posted on the walls, usually about $50 to $75, and most now accept insurance. You don’t need an appointment, you can simply walk in. Finally, there are urgent clinics. They’re a step above retail clincs, but a step down from ERs. You can see a doctor, and they’re great for accidents such as a deep cut that requires stitches. But if you’re experiencing something more serious, like shortness of breath, or you’re not sure what is wrong, drive straight to the ER.”

Click here to read more of Amanda Gengler’s suggestions.

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FDA approves additional use for Forteo

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for an osteoporosis drug, the agency announced Wednesday.

The FDA said it approved Eli Lilly & Co.’s drug Forteo (teriparatide) as a treatment for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in adults with high risk for fracture.

Since 2002, the drug has included a boxed warning – the FDA’s highest warning – about the risk of bone cancer in patients taking it. Because patients with GIO may be younger than the ones who usually take Forteo, the warning will be updated, the agency said.

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Wyeth reports mixed results for Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

MADISON, N.J. Drug maker Wyeth had mixed fortunes during second quarter 2009, according to a financial report released Thursday.

The company reported a 13% increase in diluted earnings per share, but also a 4% decrease to $5.7 billion in global net revenue, though global net revenue increased by 2% when excluding the adverse effects of foreign exchange rates.

Wyeth also reported mixed results for its top-selling products. Sales of the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) decreased by 25% for the quarter, though the children’s pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar (pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine [diphtheria CRM197 protein]) had a 13% sales increase, while the autoimmune disease drug Enbrel (etanercept) had a 7% increase in U.S. and Canadian sales.

“Wyeth’s results reflect the ongoing strength of our biotechnology and vaccine franchises Enbrel and Prevnar and our nutritionals products, all of which performed strongly around the world,” Wyeth CEO Bernard Poussot said in a statement. “Execution of our medical innovation strategy led to positive revenue growth in constant dollar terms.”

The company’s acquisition by Pfizer, announced earlier this year, received overwhelming support from Wyeth shareholders, the company said, with 98% of votes cast in favor. The acquisition is expected to close at the end of third quarter or during fourth quarter 2009.

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