HEALTH

American Diabetes Association teams up with HearPO

BY Allison Cerra

PLYMOUTH, Minn. A national strategic partnership between the American Diabetes Association and HearPO will provide additional resources to educate people with diabetes, medical practitioners and the general public about the connection between diabetes and hearing loss.

HearPO, one of the largest distributors of hearing aids and hearing services in the world, is working together with the American Diabetes Association to locate and treat diabetic patients who have not been diagnosed or treated for existing hearing loss. The organizations are offering testing sites and seminars, as well as booklets and other educational supplements to raise awareness about the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss.

 

"We are pleased HearPO is joining with us to spread the word that there is a direct correlation between diabetes and hearing loss," said Nash Childs, American Diabetes Association board chairman. "More specifically, we’d like to educate older adults with diabetes, as this population faces many issues in managing their disease, and through this relationship we’ll be able to provide additional tools and resources."

 

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House committee to hold hearing over J&J recall

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Ed Towns, D-N.Y., on Thursday announced that the committee will hold a hearing Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. to examine the circumstances surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s recall of more than 135 million bottles of infant and children’s medicines produced by Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Consumer Healthcare, including children’s Tylenol, infant’s Tylenol, children’s Motrin and children’s Benadryl.

 

The hearing also will examine the circumstances surrounding a “phantom recall” of a particular Motrin product, which became public as a result of the committee’s hearing on May 27.

 

 

“This is about the safety of trusted medication that our children and grandchildren use,” Towns stated. “The evidence we have uncovered since our first hearing is extremely troubling.” 

 

 

Witnesses invited to testify include Bill Weldon, J&J chairman and CEO, and Colleen Goggins, J&J worldwide chairman, consumer group.

 

 

The hearing will be webcast on the committee’s website, Oversight.house.gov. 

 

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CBO: Generics saved $33 billion for Medicare Part D in 2007

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Generic drugs saved Medicare Part D beneficiaries and the program as a whole $33 billion in 2007, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO expected another $14 billion in annual savings to accrue as many new generics enter the market through 2012.

 

The main lobby for pharmacy benefit managers said the report also showed the advantages of pharmacy benefit managers.

 

“Tools pioneered by pharmacy benefit managers — including encouraging the use of generic medications — have lowered costs and expanded access to prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare Part D,” Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said.

 

The generic drug industry lobby hailed the report as well. “This new CBO study is just one of a continued body of evidence proving that generics are a key cost-saving component of our healthcare system,” a statement by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association read.

 

 

According to the market research firm IMS Health, generic drugs accounted for nearly 75% of prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but for just more than 19% of dollars spent.

 

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