HEALTH

Consumers using more OTCs for cost savings

BY DSN STAFF

As many as 26% of consumers increased their usage of over-the-counter products in the past year, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September. Anticipated increases in OTC use for the upcoming year are driven by those who have already reported a rise in usage in the past year.


To see more Patient Views, click here.

The lower cost of OTCs was cited as the primary reason viewers have increased and plan to increase their OTC usage. 


“Year over year, viewers appear to be getting more cost-conscious,” said Natalie Hill, Accent-Health VP market research, noting that 39% of viewers suggested that lower costs associated with OTC medicines would drive increased usage in the coming year, as compared with 29% who cited cost as the main driver behind increased OTC use in the past year. 


One-in-5 respondents expect any increase in OTC usage will be related to aging. Consumers younger than 55 years were the drivers behind increased OTC usage through 2012. Insurance coverage is another significant factor that is driving increased OTC utilization — 67% of respondents switched to an OTC once insurance coverage was suspended for a prescription formulation. 


In the Jan. 14 issue of DSN, Patient Views will look at how consumers choose OTC products and the influencers that shape those decisions.


Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine and in the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected]

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Medagate introduces restricted-spend platform that incentivizes wellness through Fred’s

BY Michael Johnsen

REDWOOD CITY, Ga. — Medagate on Thursday announced the first implementation of its 2.0 restricted-spend platform, which encourages eligible consumers to make healthy living choices by purchasing qualified items at the point of sale. Fred’s Super Dollar stores in North Carolina and Georgia will be the first stores to implement the new capabilities. 

With the Medagate 2.0 platform, Fred’s customers who are participating in select wellness programs (i.e., sponsored by an insurer, employer, benefit administrator, retailer or consumer product goods manufacturer) automatically, and in real-time, receive special discounts on pre-identified healthy food items and eligible over-the-counter medicines at the point of sale.

“We are excited to introduce our 2.0 restricted-spend platform, which allows retailers and benefit administrators to collaborate on wellness initiatives to help lower overall healthcare costs," stated Devin Wade, president Medagate. "Consumers receive immediate discounts at the register for a range of health and wellness products determined by their healthcare provider,” he said. “The future of healthcare consumerism involves the direct involvement by payers to support healthy choices.  Our platform creates an incentive-based platform that can be used to support those efforts.”

The program launches Dec. 1. The initial catalog of eligible products will range from OTC medicines to fresh vegetables, milk and dairy products. Customized catalogs can be organized directly by benefit providers or in partnership with manufacturers and retailers.

“This program is the type of targeted benefit and partnership that we are pleased to offer our customers and their benefit providers,” commented David Mueller, SVP sales and marketing, Fred’s Super Dollar. “We want to enable incentives for our customers that help keep them healthy and save them money.”

The Medagate 2.0 platform expands on Medagate’s award-winning OTCNetwork to accommodate a wider array of grocery, health and wellness products and more dynamic discount incentives. The new platform allows for reimbursement and discounting of products down to the stock-keeping unit level in real time at the point of sale. 

 

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CRN, National Osteoporosis Foundation to host webinar on calcium, vitamin D for pharmacists, clinicians

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced it is partnering with the National Osteoporosis Foundation in hosting a free webinar for pharmacists and nurse practitioners around updated recommendations and research of calcium and vitamin D. 

The webinar will be available to members of Pharmacist Society and Generation NP, two online social media communities created by Skipta, the premier closed-loop social networking platform for medical professionals. This webinar, the latest in an on-going series, is part of CRN’s initiative to help ensure that healthcare practitioners have access to science-based information on dietary supplements and the supplement industry. 

The webinar will be held Dec. 10, from 2-3 p.m., EST, and will be co-presented by Taylor Wallace, senior director, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN, and Andrea Singer, associate professor, Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center and clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  

The webinar will review updated recommendations for calcium and vitamin D intake and explore the role of calcium in bone health as well as other non-skeletal benefits.  Wallace and Singer will examine research on the two nutrients, including recent controversial research on safety. Following the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions via a live online Q&A chat.  

Pharmacist Society and Generation NP are closed-loop environments for members only, so the webinar will not be open to the public. For those who are unable to participate in the live event, it will be made available to download on-demand on both Pharmacist Society and Generation NP. 

This is the third webinar CRN has conducted through the Skipta family of online communities.

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