HEALTH

Target keeps pace with Wal-Mart on drug discounts

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Target on Monday announced a discount on its prescription and over-the-counter drug offerings in an effort to remain competitive with Wal-Mart.

“We understand the economic challenges our guests are facing and remain committed, as always, to meeting their health and wellness needs at a great value,” stated Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising.

The program includes an expanded assortment of $4 prescription drugs, 90-day supply of these medications for $10 and OTC medications for $4 or less.

More information regarding eligible drugs soon will be available online at Target.com/pharmacy and in local Target pharmacies, the company stated.

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Study suggests daily aspirin supplement may reduce risk of breast cancer

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON A study published Thursday in the journal Breast Cancer Research suggested that a daily aspirin regimen may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, though there were no similar associations in other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

“Breast cancer risk was not significantly associated with NSAID use, but daily aspirin use was associated with a modest reduction in [estrogen-receptor positive] breast cancer,” the authors concluded. “Our results provide support for further evaluating relationships by NSAID type and breast cancer subtype.”

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AHIP census shows HSA subscribers up 35 percent on last year

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON More than 6.1 million Americans are covered by Health Savings Account-eligible insurance plans, a 35 percent increase since last year, a new census released Wednesday by America’s Health Insurance Plans found.

“Employers and individuals across the country and across the age spectrum are choosing HSA plans, which are now an important part of the portfolio of coverage options offered by health plans,” statetd Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer of AHIP.

There was an increase of approximately 1.6 million Americans enrolled in an HSA plan since January 2007. Previous censuses found that 4.5 million were enrolled in January 2007, 3.2 million were enrolled in January 2006, and 1 million were enrolled in March 2005.

And HSA plan enrollment as a percentage of individuals with private coverage is estimated to be the highest in Minnesota (9.2 percent), Louisiana (9 percent), Washington, D.C. (8.7 percent), Vermont (7.5 percent) and Colorado (7.1 percent), the report found.

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