HEALTH

Mark McClellan joins J&J board

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Monday announced that Mark McClellan, senior fellow in economic studies and director of the Initiative on Value and Innovation in Health Care at the Brookings Institution, will join the company’s board of directors on Oct. 15. McClellan will serve on the regulatory, compliance and government affairs committee, as well as the science, technology and sustainability committee.

As former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 2002 to 2004, and as the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the Department of Health and Human Services from 2004 to 2006, McClellan has more than two decades of public service and academic research experience. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for healthcare policy at the White House. During President Bill Clinton’s administration, McClellan held the position of deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy.

"McClellan has a distinguished record in the public sector, as well as a deep understanding and vision for the future of health care," noted Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. "Mark shares our aspiration to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives and personally is committed to improving health care across the globe. He will be a valued leader on our board."

While at FDA, McClellan implemented the Critical Path Initiative, regulatory reforms to modernize pharmaceutical manufacturing and new initiatives on food safety and security. He has also led the development of performance-based healthcare payment reforms, insurance coverage reforms and a range of public-private initiatives to help improve care and lower costs. 

McClellan previously served as an associate professor of economics and medicine with tenure at Stanford University, where he also directed the Program on Health Outcomes Research. Among other well-known health organizations in which he holds positions, he is the chair of the Clinician Measure Applications Partnership for the National Quality Forum. McClellan has received the Kenneth J. Arrow Award twice for Outstanding Research in Health Economics.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, McClellan earned his M.D. degree at the Harvard University–Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Science and Technology, and his MPA at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He earned his PhD in Economics at MIT and completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

 

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National Consumers League targets teens with education around the risks of misusing OTC pain medications

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The National Consumers League on Friday launched a national multimedia campaign aimed at educating teens and young adults about the risks of misusing OTC pain medications.

“When it comes to safety and health, teens often think they know more than they actually do,” stated Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. “We have found teens as young as 13 years old, uninformed and self-medicating with OTC medications. And, while many teens do look to their parents and other adults for counsel and instruction about using OTC medications, many adult consumers aren’t properly using the medications themselves, setting a bad example for their children, and putting themselves at risk of serious health consequences.”

According to a survey released by NCL, nearly as many American teenagers (75%) as adults (84%) have used OTC pain medications in the past year. Approximately two-in-three of teen respondents (64%) said they have used an OTC pain medication in the last six months, most commonly for headaches, sports or exercise-related pain and muscle aches, or menstrual pain.

The survey also found that the incidence of use of OTC pain medications daily or several times per week is 15% among 13- to 15-year-olds, and 21% of 16- and 17-year-olds report using OTC pain medications at least several times a week.

NCL is launching TakeWithCare.org, an interactive site for teens to educate them about the safe use of OTC pain medications. TakeWithCare addresses some of the most common misconceptions about the safety of the medications: the importance of reading and following labels, taking the labeled dose and consulting with parents and healthcare professionals. 

NCL also has created new OTC safety curriculum for its LifeSmarts program, a national consumer education competition and in-classroom aid for middle and high school students, and is today releasing the research about teen use of OTC medications that was used in the development of the new site. For more information about the survey, click here.

“The opportunity to educate teens about proper OTC pain medication use exists when they are young and have the potential to form better habits than their adult counterparts,” commented Rebecca Burkholder, NCL VP health policy. “As teens age and enter adulthood, they are using OTC pain medications more frequently and with increasingly less adult supervision. While we were pleased to see that the majority of teens are consulting a parent or guardian about such medication use, the goal of TakeWithCare is to instill good habits across the board.”

 

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NCPA names Merck 2013 Corporate Recognition Award recipient

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Sunday recognized Merck with its 2013 Corporate Recognition Award — the award recognizes a company for its support and work on behalf of independent community pharmacies — during NCPA’s 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition.

“Merck is improving the quality of life for millions of people throughout the world and has a long-standing, substantive relationship with NCPA that goes back over a century,” stated Donnie Calhoun, NCPA president. “Merck is a very deserving recipient of the NCPA 2013 Corporate Recognition Award, and we hope to continue our strong relationship in the future as, among other shared goals, we both seek to ensure patients are maximizing the benefits of prescription drugs through greater adherence.”

Merck has been directly helping pharmacists since it published the first Merck Manual in 1899. More recently, Merck has been a champion and partner with NCPA in the Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence initiative and as the sole sponsor of NCPA’s Adherence Institute for the past two years. This special track of adherence-themed programming at NCPA’s convention provides pharmacists with ideas for how they can take their adherence services to the next level to improve patient health and outcomes and showcase their role as medication experts. 

Merck also has been a key supporter of pharmacists providing immunization services. 

“Merck believes community pharmacists are an important, accessible part of the healthcare team," stated Ken Massey, Merck VP U.S. medical affairs. "Merck values its relationship with NCPA and community pharmacy,” he said. 

 

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