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Sam’s Club rolls out new ‘Cash Rewards’ program

BY Antoinette Alexander

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club has announced the national rollout of Cash Rewards, a new program that provides $10 in Cash Rewards for every $500 spent on qualifying pre-tax purchases.
 
Beginning June 12, Sam’s Club Plus members will automatically be enrolled to start earning up to $500 in Cash Rewards annually.
 
The rewards, loaded annually onto membership cards, can be used for purchases in-club or on SamsClub.com, applied to annual membership fees, or redeemed for cash at any Sam’s Club register. Sam’s Club Plus members can track their Cash Rewards through their SamsClub.com account, the Sam’s Club mobile app, or at the Member Services Desk.
 
For current Sam’s Club Plus and those that upgrade to it, the benefits include:

  • Early Shopping Hours: Club doors open at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday, three hours earlier than regular shopping hours;
  • Extra Protection Service Plan: Receive an extra year of coverage with the purchase of a Protection or Care Plan (excludes cameras, computers, smartphones and tablets);
  • Pharmacy Discount: Members can take advantage of 8% savings on name-brand prescriptions and the Extra Value Drug List provides up to 40% savings on many generics when not using prescription drug coverage. In 2012, Plus members using the discount saved on average $16 per prescription versus the regular Sam’s Club retail price; and
  • Optical Discount: Take$40 off a regular-priced pair of prescription eyeglasses when purchasing a one-year supply of contact lenses not using vision plan/insurance benefits.
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Chronic pain sufferers advocate against stigma of prescription pain meds

BY Michael Johnsen

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — For chronic pain sufferers, there is a real problem with the abuse of painkillers in the United States. While the number of patients who have a legitimate need for prescription painkillers — 100 million plus — is vastly more than the number of people addicted to painkillers — 11 million — there is a stigma attached to the prescribing, dispensing and utilization of pain medicines. And that stigma has created an, at times, insurmountable hurdle that leaves legitimate patients suffering in silence.

“The person seeking relief from pain is not [suffering] from the same disease as a person who is an addict,” said Paul Gileno, president of the U.S. Pain Foundation. “Two separate diseases … [But] it’s hard to decipher because right away [people associate] pain patients with that group of addicts.”
According to a 2011 report from the Institutes of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Of those, 25.8 million suffer chronic pain from diabetes, 23.3 million suffer chronic pain from a cardiovascular event, and 11.9 million suffer chronic pain from cancer.

Conversely, the number of abusers totals 11 million, according to a May 2014 report in JAMA Internal Medicine. Of those, 55.5% are men, 32.1% are between the ages of 18 and 25, and 58.5% make less than $50,000 each year. Only 12% of Americans older than the age of 50 — an age group arguably more closely associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer — abuse painkillers for nonmedical purposes.

“Out of those 11 million who are abusing pain medications, we don’t know that they’re coming out of the 100 million Americans [with chronic pain], because we don’t know if they’re legitimate pain patients at the start,” Gileno said. While there is certain to be some overlap, the 11 million may simply represent addicts who have chosen pain medicines as their conduit to get high.

But the media focus has historically been on the addicts and how to curtail their access to the pain medicines they crave. That creates a real stigma that inhibits access for legitimate patients from doctors to pharmacists to the patients themselves.

“Doctors are limiting prescribing because of the stigma,” Gileno said. “[And] pharmacies are either not carrying products or questioning patients on their prescriptions even though they have a legitimate [need].” The stigma associated with pain medicines even extends to patients, with many patients worried that they may become an addict because they’ve been prescribed an opioid to address their chronic pain. “They listen to the media instead of their doctor,” he said, and forego the appropriate care.

According to a recent analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 27% of the highest risk painkiller users get opioids through their own prescriptions. They are about four times more likely than the average user to buy the drugs from a dealer.

Researchers analyzed data for the years 2008 through 2011 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Other major sources of opioids for frequent nonmedical users include obtaining drugs from friends or relatives for free (26%), buying from friends or relatives (23%) or buying from a drug dealer (15%).

In an effort to abate the stigma associated with legitimate use of pain medicines, the U.S. Pain Foundation fields some 200 “Pain Ambassadors” who make up a grassroots education campaign — first, that chronic pain sufferers have both legitimate needs for and significant hurdles in acquiring their pain remedies, and second, that there are market-driven options available, such as abuse-deterrent medicines. “For us, as a patient advocacy group, that’s what we need to do,” Gileno said. “An educated patient is an empowered patient. An empowered patient is a better patient for a doctor because the doctor can actually help them on their journey to get them the answers they need.”
 

 

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Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. to carry products at Target

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES — The Honest Co., which was co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, has teamed up with Target to offer a selection of the Honest Co.’s products in all Target stores and an expanded assortment on Target.com starting June 15.

"As a busy working mom, I know you can’t always anticipate when you’re going to need something. It’s great to have a partner like Target that offers convenience and great values at any given moment. We’re excited to launch the Honest Co. products in Target stores and on Target.com to provide easy access to our safe, stylish and accessibly-priced products," stated Alba, president and co-founder, the Honest Co.

Through the ongoing partnership, Target stores will carry diapers, wipes and personal care items including face and body lotion, conditioner and shampoo and body wash, as well as household products ranging from a multi-surface cleaner to sweet-smelling dish soap and durable laundry detergent. Target.com will feature 150 product options including items found in Target stores, as well as online exclusives, such as a natural bug spray, diaper cakes, fruit and veggie wash, dish towels and more. Products range in price from $4.95 to $124.95.  The Honest Co. will give a portion of proceeds to families in need from all product sales at Target.

The Honest Co. was founded in 2012 as an e-commerce site and offers a line of more than 65 products. In addition to categories offered at Target, Honest offers health and wellness products and the Collective, a collection of designer collaborations, available at Honest.com.

 

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