HEALTH

Plan B now available OTC in Canada

BY Michael Johnsen

MONTREAL The emergency contraceptive Plan B became fully available as an over-the-counter medicine, Paladin Labs, which distributes Plan B in the Canadian market, announced last week.

Before the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities granted Plan B full OTC status, the emergency contraceptive had been available behind-the-counter.

“We are thrilled with NAPRA’s decision,” stated Madeleine Boscoe, nurse with the Women’s Health Clinic in Winnipeg.

“Plan B meets all the relevant criteria for sale as an OTC product,” commented Colleen Metge, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, and a former chairperson of the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee. “The drug is safe, easy to use, does not require personal instruction or any examination by a doctor, and the active ingredient, levonorgestrel, has a long history of safe and effective use both as an oral contraceptive and emergency contraceptive.”

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New Winn Dixie software credits eligible purchases to FSA, HSA

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie May 16 announced the grocery chain would employ upgraded software will make it easier for customers to credit appropriate over-the-counter and prescription medicines to their flexible-spending or health-savings accounts by identifying eligible products, charging them directly to the person’s FSA or HSA account, and then automatically subtracting that amount from the total owed for all other purchases

Formerly, customers using HSA/FSA cards to purchase these items had to pay for them at the pharmacy and then go to the regular checkout lanes to pay for the remainder of their items.

“This is all about making the shopping experience better for our customers,” stated Robin Miller, Winn-Dixie’s director of communications. “This service enhancement also provides a separate listing and total cost of qualifying purchases on the register receipt, which is helpful for many customers. We are very pleased to be able to offer this added convenience, especially in these challenging economic times.”

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Unilever touts efficacy of new appetite-suppressing milkshake

BY Alaric DeArment

GENEVA Unilever has developed a new appetite suppressant that traps the gas from food to create the feeling of satiety, the company announced Wednesday.

Research showed the suppressant, which comes in the form of a milkshake-like drink, is more effective than Unilever’s Slim-Fast drinks.

Researchers tested the drink on 24 subjects at breakfast, giving one group the new drink and the other group the regular Slim-Fast drink. Subjects given the new drink responded that they felt fuller at different intervals over the four-hour test.

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