PHARMACY

Thomson Reuters survey: Most Americans support public option in healthcare-reform legislation

BY Allison Cerra

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A majority of Americans support a “public option” in healthcare-reform legislation, but most lack confidence that the cost, quality, value or accessibility of medical care will improve in the next year, according to a survey released Thursday by Thomson Reuters.

Sixty percent of survey respondents said they believe a public option should be included in final healthcare-reform legislation. Only about 1-in-5, however, believes the cost, quality or value of care will improve in the next 12 months. Twenty-three percent said they expect access to care to improve.

The results are from a telephone survey of 2,999 households conducted from Nov. 9 to Nov. 17 — a segment of the Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey, the largest and longest-running survey of its kind. Each year, PULSE polls more than 100,000 U.S. households about healthcare behaviors, attitudes and utilization.

Key findings included:

  • 18% of survey respondents said they expect to spend less on healthcare a year from now.
  • 21% believe the quality of care will improve in the next 12 months.
  • 18% believe the value of care delivered will be better in a year.
  • 23% believe it will be easier for people to receive the care they need a year from now.
  • 60% of Americans believe a public option should be included in final healthcare legislation. There are sharp divisions, however, along party lines: 86% of Democrats support the public option versus 57% of Independents and 33% of Republicans.

The survey is nationally representative and the margin of error is 1.8%.

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Careworks wins Web site design award

BY Allison Cerra

DANVILLE, Pa. Careworks Convenient Healthcare received an Honor of Distinction for Best Site Design at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards for its Web site, www.careworkshealth.com/geisinger. Award winners were recognized during a special presentation at the 13th annual Healthcare Internet Conference Nov. 2 to 4 in Las Vegas.

The eHealthcare Leadership Award for Best Site Design recognizes unique, attractive and engaging Web designs that facilitate access to key site information and provide strong branding and excellent usability. Careworks’ site was selected from more than 1,100 entries.

“We are pleased that the Careworks Web site was recognized for its distinctive and engaging design,” said Dean Lin, CEO of Careworks and VP business development at Geisinger Health System. “As a health system operating retail clinics, we wanted a thoughtful, consumer-friendly design that provided us with unique branding opportunities.”

The eHealthcare Leadership Awards program was developed and first presented 10 years ago by eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, a leading Internet resource published by Health Care Communications, Rye, N.Y.

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FDA approves Novo Nordisk’s atrophic vaginitis treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a 10-microgram formulation of a suppository for treating atrophic vaginitis.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Wednesday the approval of Vagifem (estradiol), saying that the 10 microgram formulation makes it the lowest local estrogen therapy dose commercially available in the United States. The drug will reach pharmacy shelves during first quarter 2010, the company said.

Atrophic vaginitis affects up to 75% of postmenopausal women, causing thinning and shrinking of vaginal tissues that leads to dryness, soreness and irritation.

The 25 microgram formulation was approved in the United States in 1999.

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