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Pfizer Consumer expands Centrum franchise across several niche categories

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare on Thursday announced the launch of Centrum Specialist, a line of enhanced multivitamins aimed at specific health priorities, including prenatal, vision, energy and heart health.

Pfizer also launched line of single-ingredient supplements under a new ProNutrients brand that includes omega-3, probiotic and fruit & veggie. "Many people are considering adding or already have added supplements like omega-3 or probiotics to their diet," stated Tiffany McLaud, U.S. franchise lead for dietary supplements at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. "But we have heard from consumers that choosing the right multivitamin and supplement can be confusing," he noted. "Now with ProNutrients, Americans can feel confident about their supplement choices, and when taken with a multivitamin … will get key nutrients for health and wellness."

Pfizer is encouraging trial by way of a coupon offer through its Centrum Facebook page.

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Walmart’s layaway program returns this holiday season

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — After disappearing from its lineup of offerings in 2006, Walmart is bringing back its layaway program in time for the holiday season.

The new Christmas layaway program will encompass two of the season’s most popular gift categories — electronics and toys — and will be available at all stores nationwide from Oct. 17 through Dec. 16.

Walmart phased out its layaway program five years ago, citing declining use and increasing costs.

“We’re always looking for ways to ease budget strain for our customers, and we know this holiday season in particular brings with it additional financial pressure,” Walmart’s chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton said. “Our layaway program for Christmas, along with our every day low prices and great variety of gifts, will provide a worry-free way for our customers to fulfill their families’ Christmas wish lists.”

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NACDS highlights value of community pharmacy in letter to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday that it issued a letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to urge collaboration with community pharmacy in developing solutions to curb healthcare costs, while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription medications and pharmacy services.

Highlighting the accessibility of local pharmacists, the letter urged improved medication adherence as key to improved health and reduced costs.
 
“We strongly believe any deficit reduction plan must include policies to improve medication adherence," the letter stated. "There is no silver bullet solution to end the problem of poor medication adherence. Only by addressing the problem comprehensively, and engaging pharmacists, physicians and other health care providers as true partners in helping patients to take medications as prescribed, will we be successful in reducing hospital readmissions, doctor and emergency room visits, and other higher cost healthcare interventions that are the inevitable result of poor medication adherence.”

The letter emphasized the importance of maintaining patient choice of where to receive prescription drugs and other pharmacy services.

“Maintaining patient choice of where to receive prescription drugs and pharmacy services is critical to improving medication adherence. Community pharmacists are the most effective at teaching patients to take their medications as prescribed. In fact, studies have shown that community pharmacists in the face-to-face setting are twice as effective as pharmacists speaking to patients over the telephone at improving adherence,” the letter stated.

In the letter, NACDS also cautioned the committee about the manner in which prescription drug costs are evaluated.

“While reducing healthcare costs is essential, it is not possible or advisable to consider spending on prescription drugs in a vacuum, separate from the substantial cost avoidance that they make possible. Furthermore, community pharmacy’s role in maximizing the effectiveness of prescription drugs makes community pharmacy’s value unsurpassed within healthcare delivery,” the letter stated.

NACDS also urged the committee to consider opportunities to further reduce costs and achieve improved health, such as increased utilization of generic drugs, utilizing Medicare Part D for immunization coverage, moving coverage of diabetes testing supplies from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, spurring competition of biopharmaceuticals and maintaining patient access to healthcare services.

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n.jones says:
Sep-10-2011 05:32 am

The first new rule says you HAVE to have insurance. Both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions, and although the new bill says we can't be denied coverage because of it. So far, the cheapest health insurance we've been able to find is called Penny Health search for it online if you are pre-existing conditions.

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