PHARMACY

Survey shows women’s health affected by not seeing doctors due to costs

BY Jenna Duncan

RED BANK, N.J. Results of a survey published by WebMD show that women often put off seeking medical care due to the rising costs of health care.

Nearly half of the women who participated in an online survey conducted by the National Women’s Health Resource Center said that in the last year they failed to pursue doctor visits for themselves or for their family members due to costs that were too high.The NWHRC released results of the survey this week.

The survey was conducted online throughout September and into October. A total of 754 women participated representing different races, ages, socioeconomic situations as well having or not having health insurance.

Of the women who reported passing up medical attention due to cost, 1-in-4 reported that they believed their illnesses continued for longer durations because they did not seek care. Also, 43 percent reported that they worried more about health-related issues.

Furthermore, 19 percent of women surveyed said that they skipped recommended procedures, like Pap smears and mammograms, due to the costs. Of the survey participants, 18 percent said they took smaller amounts of prescription medications to make them last longer and 18 percent said they did not refill medications.

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PHARMACY

Fougera endows NACDS scholarship fund

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK With a major endowment from Fougera, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation last night inaugurated the Edmond Fougera Scholarship Fund at the 10th Annual NACDS Foundation Dinner.

To establish the fund, Fougera president and chief executive officer Paul McGarty presented a $160,000 contribution to Foundation chairman Steven Anderson. The money, a major addition to the NACDS Foundation Student Scholarship Program, will generate scholarships to be awarded each year to exceptional pharmacy students who have demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to community pharmacy.

To establish the fund, Fougera president and chief executive officer Paul McGarty presented a $160,000 contribution to Foundation chairman Steven Anderson. The money, a major addition to the NACDS Foundation Student Scholarship Program, will generate scholarships to be awarded each year to exceptional pharmacy students who have demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to community pharmacy.

“Advancing community pharmacy by supporting the next generation of professionals is an honorable mission, and one that Fougera is proud to be a part of,” McGarty said during the presentation.

“Pharmacy students will play a critical role in the future of healthcare delivery for patients,” said Anderson. “We are pleased to partner with Fougera in establishing the Edmond Fougera Scholarship Fund and help students meet their potential and continue to advance the profession of pharmacy.”

The company was founded by French immigrant Edmond Fougera in 1849 when he opened a retail pharmacy in Brooklyn, New York, and is a supplier of topical dermatologic applications.

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Study: Generics just as good as branded heart disease drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Generic drugs for treating heart disease work as well as branded drugs, according to a new study.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was based on 47 studies of nine drugs published in journals such as Medline and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts between January 1984 and August 2008. The researchers, from Harvard Medical School, found no difference in how well patients did when given branded drugs or generic equivalents for cholesterol, hypertension or prevention of heart attacks.

Generic drugs can cost between 30 and 80 percent less than branded drugs. The Food and Drug Administration received authority to approve generic drugs in 1984, with the passage of the Hatch-Waxman Act, though it does not have a way to approve drugs that mimic the effects of biotech medications.

“Today’s article in the respected medical journal JAMA confirms that generic medicines are as safe and effective as their brand-name counterparts,” Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and chief executive Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement Wednesday. “This scientific review is the latest in a growing number of authoritative statements from the FDA and others proving that it is safe to substitute an FDA-approved generic medicine for a brand-name product.”

This year, Jaeger said, legislatures in 33 state have introduced “carve-out” bills designed to place limits on when generic drugs may be used.

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