American Diabetes Association names Walgreens national strategic partner
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Diabetes Association on Thursday announced that Walgreens will become a national strategic partner, and that the national drug store chain again is working with the association as one of its partner charities within "Walgreens Way to Well Commitment" — a four-year, $100 million health-and-wellness initiative.
As part of the initiative, Walgreens will continue to help stop diabetes by supporting the American Diabetes Association’s Type 2 diabetes prevention initiative for consumers, CheckUp America. In addition, Walgreens’ funding will support expanded distribution of patient education materials and the development of a new national public service campaign to promote consumer awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and heart disease.
"Education is crucial for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, and we are excited to have Walgreens on board to help us further our mission in stopping this deadly disease," stated Larry Hausner, CEO of ADA. "We have set a very comprehensive strategic plan and this initiative will help us achieve those goals by expanding our reach and impact in the communities we serve every day."
Report: Making medical technology consumer-friendly will drive wellness market
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Cambridge Consultants on Thursday released a report outlining how the health-and-wellness market may take shape as more consumer-friendly medical devices featuring the latest in technology reach the market.
“Disruption in this market will come from medical firms moving from 10-year product lifecycles and confronting the 18-month lifecycles of the consumer world, and from consumer companies adapting to the rigorous processes demanded by medical regulations,” stated Duncan Smith, head of product development at Cambridge Consultants.
“The market is not yet mature enough to see examples of successful business models over the long-term, but there are incredible opportunities for companies able to capitalize on the vast amount of health information already available, consolidating it into personalized recommendations, just as Google has come to drive what we see and even purchase online,” Smith added.
The report explores two key points of view around successful revenue models. First, that profit will be driven by reimbursement for solutions demonstrating a reduction in healthcare costs. Second, that success will lie in directly targeting consumers and engaging them in improving their own health and well-being. Both views come together around the prediction that health care will become increasingly personalized, moving away from treatment to lifestyle management.
According to the report, titled "The Business of Health & Wellness: Engaging Consumers and Making Money," healthcare spending predominantly is driven by such life events as birth, starting a family, retirement and illness. At these points, consumers’ motivations and discretionary spending habits change, and healthcare payers are highly motivated to reduce cost at these peak times. Products and services with proven benefits will appeal to both consumers — particularly if the benefits are apparent in the short-term — and healthcare payers, who will see these confirmed solutions as worthwhile investments.
“Across consumer groups, turning data into meaningful information will be the real key to winning in this new space," Smith said. “Engagement on many levels, from individual apps to social networks, will set the scene for the next dominant name in the industry to trawl health data and use it to help people live healthier lives. This will be encapsulated in ‘virtual Mom’ services, which will predict outcomes and advise users on positive actions.”
Consumer education also is cited in the report as a critical driver in this new market, and real moms are the likely keys to companies’ success. Women with families and discretionary budgets are open to investing in their families’ health and well-being, making them enticing targets for many potential products, as well as market advocates with a strong network effect.
Cambridge Consultant will present findings in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, the company announced.
DXM abuse down among high school seniors; overall Rx and Vicodin abuse up
WASHINGTON — Approximately 5.3% of high school seniors abused over-the-counter cough-cold medicines in the past month, according to the latest "Monitoring the Future" survey released Wednesday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s down from 6.6% of high school seniors who claimed to have recently abused cough-cold medicines last year.
Following the release of the survey, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced the OTC industry would remain diligent in educating parents, school officials and teenagers around the dangers of abusing OTC medicines. "Teens turning to the medicine cabinet to get high remains a persistent and concerning behavior, and the leading makers of over-the-counter medicines will continue our many efforts to stop this behavior," the association said.
And while abuse of dextromethorphan appeared to be on a decline again (5.9% of seniors reported cough-cold medicine abuse in 2009), abuse of prescription drugs are on the rise. As many as 15.2% of teenage seniors abused a prescription medicine in 2011, up from 15.1% in 2010. The pain reliever Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) and the ADHD treatment Adderall (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine), were the two most-abused prescription medicines, with rates of 8.1% (up from 8% in 2010) and 6.5% (flat as compared with 2010), respectively.
"To help educate teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, NIDA is launching an updated prescription drug section on our teen website," stated NIDA director Nora Volkow. "Teens can go to our PEERx pages to find interactive videos and other tools that help them make healthy decisions and understand the risks of abusing prescription drugs. We are also encouraging teens to provide feedback on these resources through NIDA’s teen blog, Sara Bellum, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or email."
Cigarette and alcohol use by 12th graders were at their lowest point since 1975, when the National Institute on Drug Abuse first conducted the "Monitoring the Future" survey. The 2011 results found that 18.7% of 12th graders reported current (past-month) cigarette use, compared with a peak rate of 36.5% in 1997 and 21.6% five years ago. "While it is good news that cigarette use has declined to historically low rates, we can and must do more to accelerate that decline," stated Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health. "The actual decline is relatively small compared to the sharp declines we witnessed in the late nineties."
Overall, 46,773 students from 400 public and private schools participated in this year’s MTF survey.
For a PDF of the raw survey, click here.
For an NIDA audio presentation of the survey results, click here.