HEALTH

CHPA calls for Mother’s Day as a time to discuss drug abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s program to raise awareness around teenage abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicines, launched last year, on Tuesday announced a drive to get moms to talk to their kids on drug abuse this Mother’s Day.

“This Mother’s Day, we’re building on the success of the past year by encouraging our expansive Five Moms community to have a conversation with their teens about the dangers of cough medicine abuse,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president. “The process to address cough medicine abuse is two fold. First, we had to raise awareness among parents that teens abusing cough medicine was a reality. Now, with our growing community of engaged parents, we are asking our Five Moms members to engage in an open communication with their teens to help prevent this type of substance abuse.”

The campaign, called Five Moms: Stopping Cough Medicine Abuse, has reached more than 23 million parents in the past year through online channels including personal blogs, an online messaging system, and a “viral” video to make the issue of teens abusing cough medicine hit home.

More than 84,000 people have visited www.FiveMoms.com, a web site where parents can find information about cough medicine abuse, read blog entries from the Five Moms, and link to sites that have additional resources for fighting cough medicine abuse. Site visitors have sent more than 127,000 “Tell-A-Friend” e-mails, alerting other parents to the information available on FiveMoms.com. And Five Moms viral video, which provides a compelling and alarming look at cough medicine abuse, has been viewed by more than 13,000 people on YouTube, google video, and Yahoo! video.

“In just one year, we’ve made great strides towards educating parents about this problem,” stated Hilda Morales, one of the Five Moms. “But we can not and will not stop our efforts until every parent in America knows about cough medicine abuse and is equipped to address it in his or her own home.”

The Five Moms Campaign is part of a long-term multi-media effort by CHPA to educate parents and teens about cough medicine abuse. CHPA has partnered with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America on public service announcements and bilingual educational materials, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America on a toolkit for community leaders. CHPA also has worked with D.A.R.E. America to incorporate information about cough medicine abuse into its school curricula and is in the beginning stages of a partnership with the National Parent Teacher Association .

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Study suggests daily aspirin supplement may reduce risk of breast cancer

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON A study published Thursday in the journal Breast Cancer Research suggested that a daily aspirin regimen may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, though there were no similar associations in other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

“Breast cancer risk was not significantly associated with NSAID use, but daily aspirin use was associated with a modest reduction in [estrogen-receptor positive] breast cancer,” the authors concluded. “Our results provide support for further evaluating relationships by NSAID type and breast cancer subtype.”

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AHIP census shows HSA subscribers up 35 percent on last year

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON More than 6.1 million Americans are covered by Health Savings Account-eligible insurance plans, a 35 percent increase since last year, a new census released Wednesday by America’s Health Insurance Plans found.

“Employers and individuals across the country and across the age spectrum are choosing HSA plans, which are now an important part of the portfolio of coverage options offered by health plans,” statetd Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer of AHIP.

There was an increase of approximately 1.6 million Americans enrolled in an HSA plan since January 2007. Previous censuses found that 4.5 million were enrolled in January 2007, 3.2 million were enrolled in January 2006, and 1 million were enrolled in March 2005.

And HSA plan enrollment as a percentage of individuals with private coverage is estimated to be the highest in Minnesota (9.2 percent), Louisiana (9 percent), Washington, D.C. (8.7 percent), Vermont (7.5 percent) and Colorado (7.1 percent), the report found.

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