HEALTH

IRI discusses health care during recession in new report

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Over-the-counter medicines save healthcare dollars. It’s certainly a value that consumers are taking advantage of in light of the current recession. According to this report, as well as others — i.e., the Kaiser Family Foundation polls — Americans are cost shifting from more expensive and more time-consuming (having to take time off of work to see a doctor) prescription therapies to OTC medicines.

 

It’s also a value that healthcare payers are taking advantage of, as evidenced by the simultaneous removal of any recently switched OTC medicine from their preferred-drug formularies and outreach to their covered that this no-longer-available-under-your-plan medicine can now be bought at your local drug store.

 

And if what IRI is suggesting bears out  — that a Food and Drug Administration aggressively regulating medicines through the lens of safety significantly increases the cost associated with bringing new drugs to market — then that chasm between the cost of prescription drug therapy and nonprescription therapy will only grow wider. A safety-first minded FDA can hardly be criticized, but the result will be a slow-down in bringing new drugs to market — at least at first as pharma companies determine how to best navigate a system more sensitive to risk in any benefit-risk scenario.

Increasing the cost in bringing a drug to market will also likely increase the final per-pill or per-injection cost once approved by FDA, further driving consumers and payers in search of appropriate nonprescription alternatives.

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Walgreens announces Pharmacy Management Excellence program with Caterpillar

BY DSN STAFF

The news that Walgreens has reached an agreement with Caterpillar to help the company curb healthcare costs for its 70,000 employees, retirees and eligible dependents is one more indicator that the private sector cannot wait for healthcare reform and that pharmacy retailers are taking a greater role on the front lines of health care.

As explained in the article, Walgreens, through its Pharmacy Management Excellence program, will make transparent the prescription drug-pricing model, in turn, eliminating unnecessary and hidden costs for Caterpillar.

Walgreens and Caterpillar are also exploring, through Walgreens Complete Care and Well-Being program, other ways to develop an integrated health care and pharmacy program. The Complete Care and Well-Being program combines worksite health centers, in-store clinics and pharmacies with the discount drug offering

By leveraging its resources, Walgreens is positioning itself along the frontlines of the healthcare and sending the message that retail pharmacy is helping to drive healthcare reform and is a critical player in improving employees’ health and well-being.

As previously mentioned by Drug Store News, the more the private sector leads the way on this, the more likely that reform will work for them, as well as the rest of America.

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Neosporin expands with lip care line

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Neosporin, a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. brand, is diving into the dry lip segment with the launch of its new Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy and Neosporin Lip Health overnight renewal therapy.

The new products, which are shipping now, will join a portfolio of existing Neosporin products, including Neosporin LT Lip Treatment for the treatment of cold sores and severely dry chapped lips.

The new lip products are clinically shown to restore visibly healthier lips in three days, according to the company.

Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy contains SPF 20 to protect lips from sunburn and both formulas feature a patented combination of lipids and antioxidants to soften and smooth lips. Peptides, vitamins and emollients also help to nourish and strengthen lips over time.

Both products have a suggested retail price of $4.99.

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