PHARMACY

Healthcare affordability, availability are Americans’ top concerns

BY Jenna Duncan

WASHINGTON A Gallup Poll released Monday shows reported that more people are most concerned about the rising costs and possible limits to access of health care than they are worried about the effects of life-threatening conditions such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Of 1,000 people surveyed representing different sexes, ages and social groups, 55 percent said that availability and affordability of health care was the “the most urgent health problem” the nation has to deal with. Just 2 percent cited diabetes, AIDS and heart disease, while 11 percent cited cancer and 12 percent obesity. The Gallup Poll was taken between the dates of Nov. 11 and Nov. 13. A margin of error was reported at 3 percent.

Reports said that the nation’s total healthcare spending in 2007 was more than $2.3 trillion. That figure represents about 16 percent of the nation’s total domestic product and the National Coalition on Health Care has said that the total is expected to climb almost 7 percent by the end of the year.

The Census Bureau has reported that nearly 50 million Americans are currently without health insurance.

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PHARMACY

CVS Caremark plans to open location in Tulsa area

BY Antoinette Alexander

TULSA, Okla. CVS Caremark is looking to enter the Tulsa market in 2009, according to a local news report.

The company currently has 34 pharmacy locations in the state, but none that operate in the Tulsa area. According to the report, the company will open two or three stores in that market.

According to the report, one of the stores will be located at the site of a former Bennigan’s restaurant at the northeast corner of 71st Street and Yale Avenue—one of the business intersections in south Tulsa. The current building will be torn down for construction of the pharmacy, which is expected to open in October.

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Humana expands MinuteClinic network for TRICARE customers

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Humana Military Healthcare Services, a subsidiary of Humana Inc., has added additional MinuteClinic locations for its TRICARE benefits customers.

Initially, MinuteClinic services were available to beneficiaries in select cities in Oklahoma and Texas beginning in October. Clinics are now available to beneficiaries in the following locations: Boca Raton/West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa in Florida; Atlanta, Ga.; Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson, S.C.; and Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.

“MinuteClinic has been a great addition to our provider network,” said Dave Baker, president of chief executive officer of HMHS. “We are pleased with the success of this relationship and the ability to expand this service to more beneficiaries in the South region.”

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