HEALTH

Dextromethorphan bill passes in House, now awaits Senate consideration

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Just four weeks after being introduced, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2009, which restricts the sale of bulk, unfinished DXM to those distributors registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

“The deadly reality is that our teens think that it’s safe to get high off of DXM because it is a common ingredient in cough syrup – the passage of the DXM bill in the House is an important step in shattering that myth,” stated Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who introduced the bill March 3. “This is too important an issue not to get done – kids’ lives literally hang in the balance and I urge the Senate to swiftly follow suit. This commonsense piece of legislation will put an end to the bulk sale of DXM over the Internet, and keep our kids safe from the dangers of this type of drug abuse.”

The bill would make it illegal to distribute unfinished DXM to a person or company not previously registered with the FDA, or registered or licensed clinics, compounding pharmacists, pharmacies and researchers. The measure, which passed the House by a vote of 407 to 8, now awaits consideration in the Senate.

“[Today] the House of Representatives took an important step toward controlling the bulk supply of DXM and we urge the Senate to do the same,” stated Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America. “This legislation will help reduce the abuse of DXM, a dangerous behavior that 2.4 million teens report engaging in during their lifetime. The work of policymakers, combined with the efforts of concerned parents communicating the risks of DXM abuse to their kids, will have a significant positive impact on this issue.”

Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association explained that there is no reason for anyone but “but manufacturers, pharmacists, and researchers to have the raw form of this ingredient.”

“The companies that sell this potent ingredient to kids are unscrupulous online pushers, knowingly providing teens the raw form of DXM as a means to get high,” Suydam said.

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Take Care Health Systems to offer ‘recovery plan’ for unemployed patients

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, is offering free healthcare services for families that suffer a job loss on or after March 31 and have no health insurance benefits.

“Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems will not stand idly by as individuals are forced by the hardships of the economy to choose among basic necessities, such as health care, housing and food. Quality, accessible and affordable care should be the right of every individual,” stated Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. “For that reason, we are announcing the offer of the ‘Take Care Recovery Plan,’ so that families finding themselves without employment and health insurance benefits aren’t forced to make this tough decision.”

Under the “Take Care Recovery Plan,” all current and future Take Care Clinic patients and their families who qualify can access for free, throughout the remainder of 2009, most services currently provided throughout the 342 clinics across 19 states. The services are available to qualified patients anytime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The program applies to such routine treatments as respiratory illness such as colds and sinus infections; common conditions, such as seasonal allergies and urinary tract infections; and skin conditions, such as poison ivy and minor skin infections.

In addition, Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic testing, is participating in the program by providing free laboratory testing services to qualified Take Care Clinic patients. The free lab testing services include cultures for strep throat and urine tests to aid the diagnosis of bladder and urinary tract infections ordered by Take Care Health providers in the course of treating Take Care Clinic patients.

Health evaluations, vaccinations, physicals and injection/infusion administration are excluded from the offer.

“Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems strongly believe that a family’s health care needs should not take a backseat to the economy,” stated Hal Rosenbluth, president of Walgreens Health and Wellness division and chairman of Take Care Health Systems. “Take Care Clinics were founded on the principle of providing patient-focused care and doing all that they can to help every patient in the communities they serve. We consider this opportunity to help current and future Take Care Clinic patients a privilege and believe that Take Care Clinics are well-placed to deliver such a peace of mind.”

Qualifying individuals who find employment before the end of 2009 will no longer qualify for the offer, nor will their spouses, same-sex partners or dependent children. If any person who qualified for the offer obtains health insurance benefits before the end of 2009, they will also no longer qualify for the offer.

Take Care Health Systems stresses that the program is in no way intended to substitute Cobra health benefits or any other insurance, and Take Care Health providers encourage all patients to have a health care home for ongoing medical needs.

If a patient’s condition falls outside of the scope of service at a Take Care Clinic, the patient is referred to a primary care provider for follow-on care. In addition, Take Care Health providers will work hand-in-hand with patients to provide them with information on all health care support options, including child and adult state assistance plans, free or discounted prescription plans and referrals to other affordable care sites, explained Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems.

Those interested in participating in the Take Care Recovery Plan offer can visit www.takecarerecoveryplan.com or call (866) 825-3227. All forms associated with the offer are available online.

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Naturally Vitamins’ daily wellness supplement now at The Vitamin Shoppe

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX The Vitamin Shoppe on Monday announced that Naturally Vitamins’ Medizym, a daily wellness supplement that offers support for joint health, immune wellness and healthy aging, is now available in all stores.

“Many of our customers are looking for products to support their immune system,” stated Eric Cohen, nutritional supplement expert at The Vitamin Shoppe.

Medizym contains the supplements bromelain, papain, pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin and the bioflavonaid rutin.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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