HEALTH

Oklahoma impact study: Rx-PSE would increase health costs without reducing meth issue

BY Michael Johnsen

EDMOND Okla. — According to a report prepared last month by the Economic Impact Group discerning the impact prescription-only pseudoephedrine would have on Oklahoma citizens, prescription-only PSE would result in almost 300,000 additional doctor’s office visits at an estimated cost reaching $60 million; $6 million would be directly borne by consumers.

In evaluating the potential cost limiting access of PSE will have on law-abiding consumers, the report also took a look at the effectiveness more restrictive access to PSE has in reducing methamphetamine abuse. Review of methamphetamine treatment admissions across multiple states with varying degrees of PSE restriction found no correlation between more restrictive regulations having any impact on methamphetamine abuse.

"The economic impact study in Oklahoma quantified what we already knew to be true: a prescription requirement for popular and reliable over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines will lead to higher healthcare costs for responsible consumers, lower productivity for Oklahoma businesses, and lost tax revenues for the state," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "Effectively reducing meth production in Oklahoma is a critically important goal, but it’s important that methods employed to achieve that goal do not burden law-abiding Oklahomans with significant and unnecessary costs."

"The substitutability of [methamphetamine] products for consumers combined with the ease of access to local markets provided by existing gang infrastructure and relations with Mexican drug trafficking organizations suggests pseudoephedrine restrictions are less likely to reduce patterns of meth abuse," the report concluded. "In fact, society would likely trade one drug-related law enforcement concern for another … thus, the benefits to society may be muted, or even exacerbated, depending on the market behavior of [meth] suppliers in response to a policy shift."

The Economic Impact Group report was funded by a grant provided by CHPA.

For a copy of the report, click here.


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DSN to host new retail pharmacy panel at FMI Health & Wellness Expo

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — FMI will be hosting a new retail-pharmacy-focused panel here on March 18 during the association’s Retail Food & Pharmacy Health & Wellness expo to be moderated by DSN’s editor-in-chief Rob Eder.

The panel will be anchored by retail panelists from the FMI Health and Wellness Council and will focus on opportunities for retailers and suppliers to improve the overall "wellness experience" for supermarket customers. Other discussion points will focus on how in-store pharmacists and dietitians can become more accessible to customers and how supermarket pharmacy operators and their suppliers can simplify health-and-wellness information for shoppers.

Panelists will include Helen Eddy of Hy-Vee, Jewel Hunt of Safeway, Joanne Leonardi of Ahold USA, Brett Merrell of Giant Eagle, Maureen Murphy of Price Chopper Supermarkets, Leon Nevers of H-E-B and Craig Stacey of Supervalu.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

 


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McNeil recalls Infant’s Tylenol over package design flaw

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Friday issued a voluntary recall, at the wholesale and retail levels, of seven lots of Infants’ Tylenol oral suspension 1-oz. grape that was distributed nationwide over consumer complaints of the included dosing system.

McNeil’s Infants’ Tylenol SimpleMeasure includes a dosing syringe, which a parent or caregiver inserts into a protective cover, or “flow restrictor,” at the top of the bottle to measure the proper dose. In some cases, the flow restrictor was pushed into the bottle when inserting the syringe.

No adverse events associated with this action have been reported to date, and the risk of a serious adverse medical event is remote.

Consumers can continue to use Infants’ Tylenol, provided the flow restrictor at the top of the bottle remains in place. If the flow restrictor is pushed into the bottle, the parent or caregiver should not use the product.

 


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