Content about Insights and Perspectives

March 13, 2013

Retail sales for the month of February rose by 1.1% seasonally adjusted month to month, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Commerce.

WASHINGTON — Retail sales for the month of February rose by 1.1% seasonally adjusted month to month, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Commerce.

The newly released figures include nongeneral merchandise categories, such as automobiles, gas stations and restaurants; excluding those, sales rose 0.7%, while rising 0.5% unadjusted year over year. The National Retail Federation noted that sales beat estimates as consumers adapted and adjusted spending in response to higher gas prices and the payroll tax increase.

March 13, 2013

It seems that Fluffy is getting a little fluffy as a new survey indicates that pet obesity is on the rise, particularly among cats.

CALABASH, N.C. — It seems that Fluffy is getting a little fluffy as a new survey indicates that pet obesity is on the rise, particularly among cats.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found in its sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey that 52.5% of dogs and 58.3% of cats were overweight or obese, meaning that about 80 million dogs and cats are at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and cancers. The survey included 1,485 dogs and 450 cats.

March 11, 2013

Early detection of a deadly brain infection that sometimes arises due to treatment of autoimmune disorders with immune-suppressing biotech drugs may improve survival, according to a new study.

SAN DIEGO — Early detection of a deadly brain infection that sometimes arises due to treatment of autoimmune disorders with immune-suppressing biotech drugs may improve survival, according to a new study.

The study, released Sunday and scheduled for presentation at the 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in San Diego, which starts next Saturday, found that early detection of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, may improve survival and disability levels.

March 11, 2013

Nearly 1,000 biotech drugs and vaccines for more than 100 diseases are currently under development, according to a new report.

WASHINGTON — Nearly 1,000 biotech drugs and vaccines for more than 100 diseases are currently under development, according to a new report.

March 8, 2013

While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

ST. LOUIS — While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

March 8, 2013

The global market for mobile health app services is expected to reach $26 billion by 2017 as smartphone applications allow the mhealth industry to successfully monetize its services, according to a new report.

BERLIN — The global market for mobile health app services is expected to reach $26 billion by 2017 as smartphone applications allow the mhealth industry to successfully monetize its services, according to a new report.

Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017, announced Friday by Berlin-based mobile market research firm Research2guidance, found that top mhealth publishers manage to generate more than 3 million free and 300,000 paid downloads in the United States on the Apple iOS platform.

March 8, 2013

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively.

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively. 

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.  

March 8, 2013

The number of Americans who want technology to play a role in their healthcare is growing, as up to 64% of Americans use online health resources, and 40% use them to self-diagnose, according to a new survey conducted by the Atlantic and GlaxoSmithKline. Yet while 94% of those using online resources consider them important to their health, only 12% report contacting doctors via email or text message regarding a health question.

The Atlantic-GSK survey and other surveys indicate that the group favoring online health information tends to skew younger.

The number of Americans who want technology to play a role in their healthcare is growing, as up to 64% of Americans use online health resources, and 40% use them to self-diagnose, according to a new survey conducted by the Atlantic and GlaxoSmithKline. Yet while 94% of those using online resources consider them important to their health, only 12% report contacting doctors via email or text message regarding a health question.

March 8, 2013

Just about every healthcare practitioner recommends over-the-counter medicines to their patients. And nearly 3-out-of-4 make that OTC recommendation as the first therapy option, according to a recent survey released by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

This is another proof point that OTC medicines play an important role in holding down cost.

Just about every healthcare practitioner recommends over-the-counter medicines to their patients. And nearly 3-out-of-4 make that OTC recommendation as the first therapy option, according to a recent survey released by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. 

This is another proof point that OTC medicines play an important role in holding down cost. 

March 7, 2013

The percentage of adults in the United States who say they want to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets reached a new high this January, according to a new study.

CHICAGO — The percentage of adults in the United States who say they want to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets reached a new high this January, according to a new study.

The NPD Group, a market research firm, has tracked efforts by Americans to reduce gluten intake since 2009, finding that 30% of adults claimed to cut down on gluten or avoid it entirely in January.

March 7, 2013

The cost of diabetes has increased by more than $70 billion over the past five years, according to new research from the American Diabetes Association.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The cost of diabetes has increased by more than $70 billion over the past five years, according to new research from the American Diabetes Association.

The ADA announced the release of a report estimating that the total costs of diagnosed diabetes had risen 41%, from 2007's $174 billion to $245 billion in 2012. The report, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012, was commissioned by the ADA and addresses increased financial burden, health resources used and lost productivity associated with the disease.

March 7, 2013

Employers that use multiple cost-management programs have a 50% lower specialty drug trend than those that don't use them, according to a new study by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

WASHINGTON — Employers that use multiple cost-management programs have a 50% lower specialty drug trend than those that don't use them, according to a new study by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

The study, presented Thursday at the National Business Group on Health's Business Health Agenda 2013 conference in Washington, was described as one of the first to examine the effect of multiple utilization management programs on the cost of specialty medications, which is expected to account for $1 out of every $4 spent on prescription drugs by 2014.

March 4, 2013

There are many reasons not to eat junk food, but researchers in Australia have found one reason why pregnant mothers especially might want to avoid it.

BETHESDA, Md. — There are many reasons not to eat junk food, but researchers in Australia have found one reason why pregnant mothers especially might want to avoid it.

March 4, 2013

Automatic spending cuts stemming from the failure of Congress and the White House to reach a budget deal will likely harm the disease-preventing capabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report.

NEW YORK — Automatic spending cuts stemming from the failure of Congress and the White House to reach a budget deal will likely harm the disease-preventing capabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report.

GlobalData, a market research and analytics firm, said the slashing of the CDC's funding by $450 million, or 8%, due to the sequester would both hamper its ability to prevent infectious diseases through immunization, surveillance and response programs while also failing to accomplish the goal of decreasing federal spending.

March 4, 2013

Sixty-two percent of teenagers say they don't eat breakfast every day of the week, according to a new report released Monday that investigates the link between nutrition, physical activity and academic performance.

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Sixty-two percent of teenagers say they don't eat breakfast every day of the week, according to a new report released Monday that investigates the link between nutrition, physical activity and academic performance.

The report, "The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments", was the work of the GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American School Health Association.

March 1, 2013

Sears Holdings is adding some of its own fare to its mygofer.com offering, an online grocery service that "turbo-charges brick-and-mortar retailer assortments by allowing customers to get items from those stores where and when they want them in new, convenient ways."

"At mygofer, your list is our command," Sears tells shoppers on its website. "Shop with us for your prescriptions, groceries, beauty products, clothes, shoes, electronics and a whole lot more you might not expect. So whatever's on your list, we can help you get it — with incredible speed and no hassles. That's convenience."

Sears Holdings is adding some of its own fare to its mygofer.com offering, an online grocery service that "turbo-charges brick-and-mortar retailer assortments by allowing customers to get items from those stores where and when they want them in new, convenient ways." 

March 1, 2013

Rite Aid announced Friday that it had expanded its "virtual clinic" model to additional markets, now offering NowClinic Online Care service in 58 stores.

Retail clinics are an area in which Rite Aid has not invested to the same degree as Walgreens and CVS, but NowClinic shows that there are more ways to offer clinical services in a retail pharmacy setting than building an actual clinic. In 2011, Rite Aid became the first to provide such virtual clinics in a retail pharmacy setting when it launched the program as a pilot in nine stores in Detroit.

Rite Aid announced Friday that it had expanded its "virtual clinic" model to additional markets, now offering NowClinic Online Care service in 58 stores.

Retail clinics are an area in which Rite Aid has not invested to the same degree as Walgreens and CVS, but NowClinic shows that there are more ways to offer clinical services in a retail pharmacy setting than building an extra clinic. In 2011, Rite Aid became the first to provide such virtual clinics in a retail pharmacy setting when it launched the program as a pilot in nine stores in Detroit.

March 1, 2013

Upon the closing of Supervalu's sale of five pharmacy banners to Albertsons LLC, long-time Supervalu vet Dan Salemi will assume the role of president of pharmacy at the new Albertsons LLC. Salemi will succeed Supervalu president pharmacy operations Chris Dimos, who will stay on board until the deal is done.

Albertsons LLC gets a very talented pharmacy executive to run its pharmacy business, no doubt, in Dan Salemi. And with more than three decades working across Supervalu's banners, he's well-versed in the nuances of the Supervalu pharmacy business in each market.

Upon the closing of Supervalu's sale of five pharmacy banners to Albertsons LLC, long-time Supervalu vet Dan Salemi will assume the role of president of pharmacy at the new Albertsons LLC. Salemi will succeed Supervalu president pharmacy operations Chris Dimos, who will stay on board until the deal is done. 

February 28, 2013

The number of adult smokers who had used electronic cigarettes more than doubled in the space of a year, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ATLANTA — The number of adult smokers who had used electronic cigarettes more than doubled in the space of a year, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

February 28, 2013

Despite all the promises of e-prescribing, in the land of the newfangled, the old-fashioned still reigns supreme, according to a new study.

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — Despite all the promises of e-prescribing, in the land of the newfangled, the old-fashioned still reigns supreme, according to a new study.

The study, by point-of-prescription advertising company MediScripts, found that handwritten prescriptions continued to outpace e-prescribing by more than 60% in 2012. The company said the high volume of MediScripts prescription pad use demonstrated continued physician preference for pen and paper, but use of electronic medical record software has shown increased uptake.

February 26, 2013

Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic consumers have discarded garments ruined by bleach or home remedies up to five times per year, according to a new survey by Procter & Gamble's Tide division.

CINCINNATI — Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic consumers have discarded garments ruined by bleach or home remedies up to five times per year, according to a new survey by Procter & Gamble's Tide division.

February 26, 2013

Several pharmacy retailers got top place in a recent consumer satisfaction survey.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Several pharmacy retailers got top place in a recent consumer satisfaction survey.

A report released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Rite Aid at the top among drug store chains, with a score of 77, a 3% improvement over last year. Walgreens gained 1%, for a score of 76, while CVS ranked 75, a 3% gain. The survey noted that CVS hit a low two years ago due to cost-cutting efforts.

February 26, 2013

A Virginia-based pharmacy school will collaborate with an alliance of more than 22,000 pharmacies around the country to find ways to promote and increase pneumococcal vaccinations among elderly and high-risk people.

LEESBURG, Va. — A Virginia-based pharmacy school will collaborate with an alliance of more than 22,000 pharmacies around the country to find ways to promote and increase pneumococcal vaccinations among elderly and high-risk people.

February 25, 2013

The American Pharmacists Association has released the latest edition of a publication for pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services, the professional group said.

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association has released the latest edition of a publication for pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services, the professional group said Monday.

February 25, 2013

The alleged health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been touted for years, but a new study adds weight to the claims.

NEW YORK — The alleged health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been touted for years, but a new study adds weight to the claims.

The study, published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a traditional Mediterranean diet — characterized as rich in extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables and including moderate wine consumption, as well as low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats and sweets — reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease.