HEALTH

MinuteClinic inks deal with American CareSource

BY DSN STAFF

MinuteClinic’s partnership with ancillary care network services company American CareSource not only underscores the fact that the medical community is embracing the clinic model and encouraging use, but it also aims to help reduce healthcare insurance expenses for ACS members at a time when healthcare costs and reform are top of mind.

 

According to David Boone, CEO of ACS, a primary objective of the company is to provide clients, and ultimately the consumer, with more cost effective and convenient alternatives to hospital- and physician office-based services. Obviously, ACS understands the importance and value of the convenient care industry given that it selected CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic business to help it meet that goal.

 

 

As previously reported by Drug Store News, a 2008 HealthPartners study found that care delivered in such retail-based medical clinics as MinuteClinic are between 32% and 35% less, compared with care delivered in physician offices and urgent care locations. That study which was one of the first to analyze cost and care in retail clinics, examined five of the most common conditions seen in MinuteClinics: sore throat, ear infections, sinus infections, pink eye and bladder and kidney infections.

 

 

Meanwhile, for the convenient care industry, news of the partnership between MinuteClinic and ACS is yet one more nod to the fact that the medical community is embracing the retail-based clinic model and understands the quality, affordable care that these clinics offer patients.

 

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Diagnostic Devices in contract with two states for Medicaid-covered blood glucose monitoring systems

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Diagnostic Devices on Wednesday announced contracts with the states of Illinois and Missouri around Medicaid coverage of its Prodigy line of blood glucose monitoring systems and test strips.

“We will continue working with other states for coverage under their Medicaid programs, and to demonstrate to them the savings Illinois and Missouri taxpayers will realize with the Prodigy family of products,” stated Rick Admani Abulhaj, Diagnostic COO.

A recent study by University of Florida PharmD candidates found the “talking” feature of the Prodigy AutoCode meter made a “significant improvement” in overall diabetes control and compliance among patients who took part, the company noted.

The Prodigy Voice meter for blind or low-vision diabetes patients has been honored with awards from both the National Federation of the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind, the company added.

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FDA warns consumers about body-building products that contain steroids, related substances

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued a Public Health Advisory warning consumers to stop using body-building products that are represented as containing steroids or steroid-like substances and oftentimes misbranded as dietary supplements.

The agency also issued a Warning Letter to American Cellular Laboratories for marketing and distributing body-building products containing synthetic steroid substances. Although these products are marketed as dietary supplements, they are not dietary supplements, but instead are unapproved and misbranded drugs.

The PHA notifies consumers and health care professionals that the FDA has received reports of serious adverse events associated with the use of body-building products that claim to contain steroids or steroid-like substances. Those adverse events include cases of serious liver injury, stroke, kidney failure and pulmonary embolism (artery blockage in the lung). The PHA also advises consumers to stop taking body building products from any manufacturer that claim to contain steroid-like substances or to enhance or diminish androgen-, estrogen-, or progestin-like effects in the body.

The FDA has received five adverse event reports, including serious liver injury, in men taking products marketed as dietary supplements by American Cellular Laboratories, including TREN-Xtreme and MASS Xtreme. Acute liver injury is generally known to be a possible side effect of using products that contain anabolic steroids. Some of the cases resulted in hospitalization, but there were no reports of death or acute liver failure.

“Products marketed for body-building and claiming to contain steroids or steroid-like substances are illegal and potentially quite dangerous,” stated FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “The FDA is taking enforcement action today to protect the public.”

The products listed in the Warning Letter to American Cellular Laboratories,  include “TREN-Xtreme,” “MASS Xtreme,” “ESTRO Xtreme,” “AH-89-Xtreme,” “HMG Xtreme,” “MMA-3 Xtreme,” “VNS-9 Xtreme,” and “TT-40-Xtreme,” and are sold on the Internet and in some stores. These products, which claim to contain steroid-like ingredients but in fact contain synthetic steroid substances, are unapproved new drugs because they are not generally recognized as safe and effective.  In addition, the products are misbranded because the label is misleading and does not provide adequate directions for use.

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