HEALTH

Survey: Choice of at least three blood-glucose meters drives patient satisfaction

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — It is a common practice for adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to receive an offer for a free blood-glucose meter from manufacturers. However, satisfaction is significantly higher among meter users who are offered a choice from a selection of at least three free meter models than among those who are not offered a choice, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction Study.
 
Overall, 38% of meter users indicated having had multiple meters to choose from when they acquired their meter. 
 
Overall satisfaction with blood-glucose meters improves to 823, up 10 points from 2013, attributed to increases in satisfaction with design, features and cost of test strips. While 30% of users indicate that the primary reason for selecting their meter is that it was free, 77% overall do not pay for their meter. There is no difference in satisfaction between meter users who receive a free meter (826) and those who pay for one (827).
 
"Because of the disparate preferences among meter users, choice is a very important driver of satisfaction," said Rick Johnson, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power. "There is no single design that can satisfy everyone, so manufacturers need to offer a full range of models, from meters with basic functions to those with the latest interactive features, innovations and technologies. By offering a choice of at least three free meter models and communicating that this choice is available, manufacturers are more likely to improve user satisfaction and brand loyalty."
 
More than one-fourth (26%) of blood-glucose meter users indicate that ease of using test strips was an important reason why they selected their particular model. Satisfaction with cost of test strips has improved to 741 in 2014 from 695 in 2013. When meter users select a meter based on lancet size, satisfaction is 75 points higher, on average, than when selection is not based on lancet size.
 
While a doctor's office remains the most common location to obtain a meter (23%), meter users have increasingly obtained their device during the past two years from a drug store (18% in 2014 vs. 12% in 2012) or mass merchandiser (13% in 2014 vs. 8% in 2012).
 
Bayer ranks highest in satisfaction with a score of 843, performing particularly well in meter performance, ease of use, design, features and cost of test strips. LifeScan (835) ranks second, followed by Abbott Laboratories (827) and Roche Diagnostics (823).
 
The study measures customer satisfaction with blood-glucose meters based on six factors (in order of importance): performance (26%), ease of use (24%), design (20%), features (19%), cost of test strips (6%) and training (5%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
 
The 2014 U.S. Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,024 blood glucose meter users with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The study was fielded in September 2014.
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Shop Your Way partners with Kmart Pharmacy on new health-and-wellness online resource

BY Michael Johnsen

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Shop Your Way, a free membership program and social shopping community, on Thursday announced the launch of a new health-and-wellness online resource called Shop Your Way Health. Shop Your Way members are now able to discover, share and shop with access to the latest health-and-wellness information online and via mobile and receive rewards and discounts from dozens of partners, including Kmart Pharmacy, Care.com, Everyday Health, Vitals and Amwell. 
 
"Shop Your Way Health provides our members with a wide variety of health-and-wellness content, information and associated products so they can make better health decisions," said Eric Jaffe, SVP Shop Your Way. "Members will benefit from the tools and services that they can access, and combined with assistance from our Kmart pharmacists, it is truly a gateway to all things health."
 
The Shop Your Way Health site, shopyourwayhealth.com, is focused on three main areas: Shop, Discover and Talk. As members continue to use and visit the site, they will get increasingly personalized experiences, including articles and videos from leading health publishers and originally created shopper's guides with tips about the products and services applicable to their health interests and goals and keep their health records organized with Microsoft HealthVault.
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Perrigo relaunches Guaifenesin 600mg Extended-Release tablets

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN — Perrigo on Thursday announced that it has reinitiated shipments of Guaifenesin 600mg Extended-Release tablets to its retail and wholesale customers in the United States. The product will be packaged and marketed under store and proprietary brands and will be a value alternative to Mucinex 600mg Extended-Release tablets.
 
Mucinex 600mg Extended-Release tablets (Guaifenesin 600mg Extended-Release Tablets), an expectorant indicated to relieve chest congestion and make coughs more productive, had sales of approximately $135 million through food, drug and mass merchandisers for the last 12 months.
 
"This re-launch is representative of the Perrigo team's abilities to overcome challenging circumstances presented by this product's complex formulation," said Joseph Papa, Perrigo chairman and CEO. "The team worked diligently to validate and achieve consistency in producing commercial production quantities required to bring this product back to market. This is another excellent example of Perrigo's investment and commitment to making quality healthcare more affordable for our customers."  
 
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