More patients ‘get the point’ of flu shots
While there is still plenty of room for improvement, a growing number of patients have either already received or plan to receive a flu shot this year compared to one year ago. According to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September, 57% of patients have received or plan to receive a flu shot this year, versus 53% in 2011.
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Focusing solely on patients who did not receive a flu shot in 2011, the recent Accent-Health data indicate a net increase of 11 percentage points in the number who will vaccinate this year. While there appears to be a significantly greater propensity to receive a flu vaccination among patients 45 years and older, “the younger audience segment remains an important area of focus and opportunity of market growth due to the sheer size of the audience,” noted AccentHealth VP market research Natalie Hill. Half of adults younger than 40 years reported they will receive the shot this year.
Importantly, the recent AccentHealth study also confirmed that more patients continue to embrace the community pharmacy as a preferred destination for flu vaccinations, with nearly 1-in-4 having received or planning to receive a flu shot in a retail pharmacy setting this year.
Again, there is a still plenty of room for improvement. The glass-half-empty view focuses on the more than 40% of patients who won’t get a flu shot this year; a recent online survey conducted by CVS Caremark suggested this group could be as high as 51%. However, AccentHealth data suggest some areas where community pharmacy may be able to chip away at the resistance. “Those who do not receive the flu shot most often indicate that it is unnecessary and/or due to side effects or the fear of side effects caused by the vaccine,” Hill explained.
Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rite Aid marks American Diabetes Month with Wellness+, Wellness store programs
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is renewing its diabetes extension for Wellness+ and offering free screenings at all of its Wellness stores to mark American Diabetes Month, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.
Rite Aid said members of its Wellness+ for Diabetes program, which it launched last year, would be eligible for free wellness consultations with pharmacists trained as diabetes care specialists, including access to a toll-free number where they can be connected during regular business hours with a pharmacist. They can also receive a recurring $10 +UP Reward for every $50 spent on certain diabetes products, as well as a 12-page Diabetes Health guide available at any store. In addition, all of the approximately 600 Wellness stores in the chain would offer free health screenings, including diabetes risk, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and blood pressure; the events will take place on Nov. 14 and Nov. 17.
"Living with diabetes can feel overwhelming, but Rite Aid is committed to making it easier by being a year-round destination for diabetes support," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "By enrolling in Wellness+ for Diabetes, our customers instantly get a wide range of resources including the ability to call or chat online with a Rite Aid pharmacist specially trained as a diabetes care specialist."
The company will raise money for the American Diabetes Association by selling paper pinups at stores, offering Rite Aid coupons with the pinups.
FDA approves J&J anti-clotting drug
RARITAN, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Johnson & Johnson for treating internal blood clots, the company said.
J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals announced the approval of Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for treating deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and to reduce the risk of recurrence of the clotting conditions after initial treatment.
The company said Xarelto was the first oral anticoagulant approved to treat DVT and PE without the need for injections or routine blood-monitoring.
"Xarelto provides a single-drug treatment option from the moment of diagnosis through the completion of therapy, and in the initial treatment phase, it can cut a patient’s risk of major bleeding by nearly half," New York University School of Medicine professor Jack Ansell said. "Venous blood clots are associated with a high risk of serious complications, so the approval of Xarelto will immediately impact how we treat these patients and may set a new standard of care."