HEALTH

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America kicks off its third annual Time To Talk Month

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The Partnership for a Drug-Free America on Monday kicked off its third annual Time To Talk Month with a new online guide to help parents guide their teens through tough transition times, including back-to-school, when added social and academic pressures make teens more vulnerable to trying drugs and alcohol. Time To Talk is the Partnership’s movement designed to help parents and caregivers start and maintain open, honest dialogue and help them talk with their kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol.

“The beginning of the school year is an especially vulnerable time for most kids, especially for teens making the move from middle school to high school, or any child who is starting a new school,” stated Sandi Delack, president of the National Association of School Nurses. “The good news is that there’s a lot of support available for parents to help their kids make a smoother, safer transition. One significant resource for parents is the school nurse, who has experience working with children and adolescents and an understanding of the stress students experience in school.”

A recent online survey of more than 2,500 moms conducted by Vocalpoint.com in collaboration with the Partnership revealed that their No. 1 concern about back-to-school time is that their child “might be exposed to kids who drink or use drugs” (29%), followed closely by worries that their teens “will feel pressure to do well academically or pressure from tests” (22%).

A 2007 Partnership study of 6,500 teens indicated that the no. 1 reason teens use drugs is to cope with school stress, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the key risk periods for adolescent drug abuse are during major transitions, such as entering middle or high school or leaving home for college.

“These survey results are a powerful reminder that the risks of drugs and alcohol remain top of mind for moms, and it’s no surprise that these concerns are heightened at back to school,” stated Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership. “This year, we’ve dedicated our annual Time To Talk Month to helping parents understand teen transitions and identify when their kids need more encouragement to make healthy choices by giving parents a guide to make the conversation easier.”

The research-based guide “Transitions & Teens: A Guide for Parents” is available as a free download at TimeToTalk.org, and was created in consultation with parenting experts, psychologists and family therapists. The guide helps parents understand how transition periods (i.e.back-to-school, starting a new school, divorce, and even financial trouble at home can impact a child’s vulnerability to risky behaviors, including drugs and alcohol.

Time To Talk reaches parents and caregivers through the support of 2009 sponsors A&E Network, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Comcast, The Hershey Company, King Pharmaceuticals, Major League Baseball Charities, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Yahoo!

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HEALTH

Wireless home-based healthcare applications, services set to grow, analysis finds

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK That $4.4 billion opportunity is really only the tip of the iceberg. The real opportunity, especially for pharmacists and their nurse practitioner/physician assistant partners, is in the ancillary services that will accompany the functionality behind wireless diagnostic devices — think a medication therapy management/chronic disease coaching one-two punch.

It’s not a question of if wireless diagnostic devices will realize that full $4.4 billion potential, but when. That’s primarily because cost will be a big driver behind adoption of these devices. The fact is that no matter what shape healthcare reform takes, the system will eventually go bankrupt without an emphasis on disease-management/prevention (a.k.a. MTM/chronic disease coaching).

Another driver behind widespread adoption will be how nicely wireless diagnostic device functionality will dovetail with the currently-developing electronic health records. As is evident with the current meteoric rise in popularity of iPhone and other smart phone applications, not to mention the increasing popularity of such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter, it’s more and more becoming a wired, wired world out there.

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The Harry and Louise ad I would like to see

BY Rob Eder

Louise: [Sneezing and coughing incessantly.] HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO! Oh, Harry! Can you believe the doctor won’t be able to see me until a week from next Monday?

Harry: A week from next Monday? That’s almost two weeks from now. That seems like an awfully long time to wait—what if it’s something serious?

Louise: At this rate, whatever it is, I’ll either be all better or stone dead by the time I get an appointment!

Harry: What about this stuff I was reading about these clinics that operate at the local pharmacy? From what I understand, a bunch of chains have set up these clinics in their stores—CVS, Walgreens, Target, Kroger. Those chains all have stores around here.

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you!

Louise: Thanks. Ya, I know; I heard about those clinics. Dr. Hedenbutt says the clinics are bad for America. Dr. Hedenbutt says it’s like going to McDonalds for health care.

Harry: How is it like going to McDonalds? They don’t serve hamburgers.

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you.

Louise: Thanks, Harry.

Harry: Don’t mention it. Why did Hedenbutt say the clinics are like McDonalds?

Louise: He said because they are cheapening the medical profession.

Harry: Cheapening the medical profession? Did he say how?

Louise: Well, now that you bring it up, he didn’t really get into it.

Harry: Why?

Louise: Well, Harry! He’s a busy man—I mean, after all, he DOES have other patients, and he had been talking to me for almost three minutes at that point!

Harry: THREE minutes! It only took Hedenbutt THREE minutes to give you an entire physical examination?

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you.

Louise: Thanks, Harry.

Harry: [Handing her a tissue.] You’re welcome. So, let’s get back to this three-minute physical Hedenbutt gave you.

Louise: Well, Dr. Hedenbutt didn’t actually perform the exam…

Harry: He didn’t?!

Louise: No.

Harry: Who did?

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you.

Louise: Thanks, Harry.

Harry: You’re welcome. Who did?

Louise: That lovely young woman who works with him. I can’t remember her name. She’s been with Hedenbutt for the last few years. She’s just great! She takes lots of time to talk to me about my blood pressure and whether I am keeping away from cigarettes and getting enough exercise. She actually gave me a tip on a low-impact aerobics class they teach at the Y. I think she’s the one who writes most of my prescriptions. She is really smart and so good-looking, too; she’d be just perfect for Harry, Jr. I bet she’s a good cook, and she and Little Harry would make us such beautiful grandchildren…

Harry: Leave Harry, Jr., out of this. So, this one, this “Super Girl”… She’s a doctor?

Louise: No, she’s something else, some kind of a nurse. A nurse-something… An NB? Or maybe it’s NC?

Harry: You mean an NP? A nurse practitioner?

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you.

Louise: Thanks, Harry.

Harry: You’re welcome.

Louise: Yes, that’s it—a nurse practitioner.

Harry: Did Hedenbutt mention that those are the people that work in these retail clinics? That it’s mostly NPs?

Louise: No, he didn’t say anything about that. He just said they were cheapening medicine.

Harry: Well, from what I read, a trip to one of these clinics is definitely cheaper than a visit to Hedenbutt. The last time I was there and they drew my blood, I thought it was in payment. He might as well let me pay him in blood since he stopped accepting our insurance. Meanwhile, I read that the clinics take most major insurance plans, and some plans—including ours—actually offer a lower co-pay for a clinic visit.

Louise: Well, Dr. Hedenbutt said that if he and a couple of his doctor friends have their way, the government would shut down those clinics.

Harry: That explains a lot.

Louise: What does that explain?

Harry: It explains why there are no clinics around here. So, anyway, did Hedenbutt’s office say why it’s going to take so long to get you an appointment?

Louise: HAAAA-CHOOOOOOO!

Harry: Bless you.

Louise: Thanks, Harry. They are just so backed up ever since that nice young NB, uh, ND…

Harry: NP!

Louise: Yeah, the NP—she moved about two weeks ago to a nice town outside of Chicago. She left about two weeks ago.

Harry: Working for another doctor?

Louise: Not sure—don’t think so. Sounds like a fancy operation—Take Care Health Systems, I think it was.

Harry: Louise, that’s one of those retail clinics I’m talking about.

Louise: Really?

Harry: Yes, Louise. You know, I just wish someone would set the record straight on these retail clinics because health care is really messed up in this country, and I think these clinics could be doing more to help us fix it. If only people like Hedenbutt would just stop spreading lies about the clinics, we might be able to get you checked out right now instead of sitting here talking about it.

Louise: HAAA-HAAAA … HAAAA-CHOOOOO!

Harry: Gesundheit.

Louise: Thanks, Harry.

Harry: You’re welcome, Louise.

Correction: In the July 20, 2009, issue of Drug Store News, a photo on page 6 incorrectly listed Kirk Hodgdon, principal, growth catalyst for Bolin Marketing, as an associate of Carma Labs.

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