HEALTH

Report: National telehealth network proposed

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK With the country focused on expanding health care to 46 million uninsured, the fact that UnitedHealth and Cisco have thought to include retail clinics into their joint telehealth solution is a nod to the important role clinics play as healthcare extenders.

 

And at a time when Congress weighs the plusses and minuses of ObamaCare, particularly the question of how to pay for the $1 trillion cost of reform, it is important to call to mind the Health Partner Study, which found that the care delivered in retail-based clinics is cheaper than that found in physician offices and urgent care.

 

 

This news is an important reminder that perhaps it doesn?t have to cost that much for healthcare reform, and that there are opportunities — as easily accessible as walking into a CVS/pharmacy or Walgreens — that deliver quality care at a fraction of the cost. That key opportunity: The retail-based clinic.

 

 

According to the Health Partner Study findings, published in late 2008, medical costs for care delivered in retail-based medical clinics, such as MinuteClinic, are between 32% and 35% less compared with care delivered in physician offices and urgent care locations. Retail-based clinics aren’t the only cost-savings opportunity. So are worksite clinics.

 

 

As recently reported by Drug Store News, the findings of a recent Take Care Health Systems’ survey underscored the importance of worksite clinics, which are growing increasingly common as U.S. employers look for ways to curb skyrocketing health care costs and bolster employee health and productivity.

 

 

That study highlights what clinic operators — like Take Care Health Systems with its 300-plus worksite clinics — have known for some time: investing in integrated workplace health and pharmacy programs can, in fact, help employers realize healthcare savings, while improving patient outcomes.

 

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NPA criticizes remarks tying dietary supplements to tainted products

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Natural Products Association on Thursday released a statement criticizing the erroneous link between legitimate dietary supplements and tainted products. “Increased scrutiny by professional sports leagues on steroid usage, which the Natural Products Association commends, has unfortunately also led to increased and unsubstantiated allegations that a ‘tainted’ or mislabeled dietary supplement is to blame when an athlete tests positive for a banned substance,” said David Seckman, NPA executive director and CEO.

“As the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 mandates, all ingredients must be listed on product labels and product claims must be substantiated. If this is not the case, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—along with the Federal Trade Commission—have the authority under DSHEA to act promptly,” he said.

Seckman also noted that not all substances banned by professional sports organizations as performance enhancers are either bad or illegal. “Performance enhancers [that] are not necessarily dangerous or illegal … include caffeine, commonly used over-the-counter cold remedies and prescription medications,” he said. “Athletes have the right and responsibility to avoid their use. However, the consuming public who benefits from legitimate medications or dietary supplements – as well as a trip to the local coffee house – should not be denied their use if an athlete is unwilling or unable to follow the rules established by their sport.”

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Consumer Healthcare Products names Kochanowski VP regulatory affairs

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday named Barbara Kochanowski as VP, regulatory affairs.

In this new role, Kochanowski will team up with CHPA’s Heinz Schneider, vice president, science and medical affairs, to ensure and expand the availability of consumer healthcare products to American families and to work with the association’s key stakeholders in this effort.

“[Kochanowski’s] wealth of experience and established relationships with professionals throughout our industry have gained her well-deserved respect and appreciation,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president.  “We are pleased to have someone with her deepened regulatory expertise join our effort to promote the safe and responsible use of consumer healthcare therapies as the dynamics of our industry evolve.”

Prior to joining CHPA, Kochanowski worked with the association for many years through her role as director, global personal health, oral care and feminine care product safety and regulatory affairs, at the Procter & Gamble Company, where she was responsible for global expansion of over-the-counter healthcare medicines and medical devices.

Most recently, she served as chair of the association’s Scientific Affairs Committee and a member of CHPA’s Board of Directors. Kochanowski holds her PhD from the University of Illinois.  She is a native of Beaver, Pa.

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