PHARMACY

Cost-conscious consumers consider convenient care clinics

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK There is a major opportunity for the expansion of retail-based health clinics, from providing preventative care to working with federal health programs and clinics to lower health costs, according to a report recently released by the health care consultants at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

According to the Associated Press, the report showed that consumers, facing rising health care costs, are increasingly turning to healthcare alternatives, and that includes retail-based clinics. This finding underscores what has been widely reported by Lebhar-Friedman’s Drug Store News and Retail Clinician magazines.

It is important to note, however, that the goal of the convenient care industry is to augment—not replace—a patient’s primary care physician. The convenient care industry has taken great steps to partner with the medical community to ensure quality patient care and safety.

“Significant numbers of people are willing to vote with their feet to try something different, whether it’s retail clinics or medical tourism,” Paul H. Keckley, the center’s executive director, was reported as saying in the AP article. “U.S. providers are having to pay attention.”

A second Deloitte report, also obtained and reported on by the AP, showed that the number of people heading abroad for “medical tourism” could jump tenfold in the next decade to nearly 16 million Americas. These are Americas seeing such medical procedures as knee and hip replacements, nose jobs, prostate surgery and even heart bypasses.

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Gestational diabetes results in increased risk for Type 2 diabetes

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Gestational diabetes greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life, a new study confirms, according to Reuters.

Gestational diabetes is a known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Denice Feig of the University of Toronto and her team looked at 633,449 women who gave birth in Toronto between 1995 and 2002. A total of 21,823 (3.3 percent) of the women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

While just 2 percent of the women who didn’t have gestational diabetes went on to develop Type 2 diabetes during the 9-year follow-up period, 19 percent of those with gestational diabetes did, the researchers found.

Moreover, they say the strongest risk factor for Type 2 diabetes was gestational diabetes, which increased risk more than 37-fold.

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Russian antihistamine appears effective against Alzheimer’s

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study that lasted a year and a half has found that an antihistamine developed in the former Soviet Union may be able to stabilize Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, found that the drug Dimebon could stabilize the disease for at least the time of the study. Researchers tested the drug against a placebo in 183 patients in Russia who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Conditions of patients who received the placebo deteriorated, while those of the people who received Dimebon improved or deteriorated only slightly.

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