PHARMACY

NACDS praises Obama’s victory, calls for bipartisan effort in Congress

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Sen. Barack Obama’s resounding victory in the 2008 presidential race drew congratulations from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, as well as a promise that the organization would work closely with the new administration on issues of concern to pharmacies and patients.

“Previously, we have had the opportunity to thank Senator Obama for cosponsoring legislation of importance to pharmacy. Today, we have the opportunity to congratulate President-elect Obama on his historic victory,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “Immediately, we express our enthusiasm to continue to work with him, his administration and members of Congress of both parties to enhance the quality, affordability and accessibility of patient-centric healthcare.”

Calling Obama’s victory “historic,” Anderson also pointed to record contributions made by the NACDS Political Action Committee to the 2007-2008 election cycle. The PAC contributed more than $320,000 to candidates, according to the organization, with 60 percent of those funds going to Democratic candidates and 40 percent to Republicans. “ Of the more than 100 candidates supported by NACDS-PAC in the general elections, 92 percent were elected to office,” noted the group. “The PAC supported 103 House and Senate candidates in the primary and general elections; 93 of those candidates were victories in their respective races.”

There is little time, however, to savor victories, Anderson noted. “While it is important for us to recognize what we have achieved…there is tremendous work that lies ahead,” he said today. “The new government faces a challenging economy, states are struggling financially, and political momentum can build behind counterproductive policies at any time.

“Pharmacies are the face of neighborhood healthcare. NACDS remains focused on efforts to demonstrate critical role of pharmacists in counseling patients and helping them take and manage their medicines properly to ensure better health and lower healthcare costs.”

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Women’s stress levels may be hit harder by economy, report says

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Women may be more prone to stressing out over poor economic conditions, which could have an impact on their health, a report from the Society for Women’s Health Research revealed last week.

Citing a recent survey from the American Psychological Association called “Stress in America,” SWHR noted that women are expressing fear about the current financial situation more than men. Women are also reporting physical and psychological symptoms, including sleep disturbances, headaches, mood swings and changes in appetite, in higher numbers than men.

Three quarters of male respondents to the APA survey expressed fear about the economy, compared to 84 percent of women.

“Women are sometimes more aware of the stress they are feeling,” Stephanie Smith, public education coordinator for the APA and a licensed clinical psychologist in Erie, Colo., said. “They are often more willing to talk about it and admit to the struggles they are having.”

Women also tend to be the primary caretakers for most families, which in times of economic crisis, can add to the burden. “Women have many roles to play in life. They are often the primary caregivers for children and the older generations [aging parents], as well as workers in industry,” Smith said. 

In addition, many of the traditional household responsibilities end up falling on the shoulders of women. “As much as things have changed over the years, women still tend to do more of the household work,” Smith said, referring to cooking, cleaning and laundry. “Taken together, these things often lead to more stress in women, because they just have more things to be stressed about.”

Women are more likely to report unhealthy behaviors, including eating poorly and excessive shopping and napping as a response to stress. They are also more likely than men to report physical symptoms of stress, including headaches, exhaustion and depression.

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SilverScript announces continuation of Medicare Rx drug plan options

BY Alaric DeArment

WOONSOCKET, R.I. A subsidiary of CVS Caremark announced Friday that it would continue offering several Medicare Prescription Drug Plan options next year in all 34 domestic Medicare regions and Puerto Rico.

SilverScript offers Medicare beneficiaries three plans, depending on patients? budgets and healthcare needs. They range from SilverScript Complete, a zero-deductible plan that covers generics through retail and mail-order pharmacies and copays as low as $6 for 90-day supplies, to SilverScript Value, a low-premium plan designed for beneficiaries who take few medications but want coverage in case their health needs change.

“Medicare beneficiaries will again have three SilverScript plan offerings to consider when selecting the prescription drug coverage plan that best fits their healthcare and medication needs,” CVS Caremark vice president for Medicare Part D services Jim Maritan said.

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