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Medical group highlights connection between sleep apnea and hypertension, Type 2 diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

BALTIMORE — People with Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure should be evaluated for sleep apnea, a medical group said Monday.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine advised that anyone with the two conditions be evaluated at its annual conference, SLEEP 2013.

According to the group, "overwhelming" evidence from studies has shown that patients with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a dangerous condition in which people experience complete or partial obstruction of the airways during sleep. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% to 95% of the about 25.6 million diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 7-in-10 people with the condition have obstructive sleep apnea. Meanwhile, sleep apnea is estimated to affect 30% to 40% of the 67 million people with hypertension.

"Type 2 diabetics and people with hypertension are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than other people, and as a result should immediately discuss their risk for sleep apnea with a sleep specialist," AASM president Safwan Badr said. "Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea from a board-certified sleep medicine physician will promote improvement in these conditions, including improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol."

 

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CVS/pharmacy supporting medical research for ALS cure via in-store fundraiser

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has announced the launch of its annual in-store Advancing Medical Research fundraising campaign to support medical research and help improve the quality of life for those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

"As a pharmacy innovation company that is committed to helping people on their path to better health, CVS Caremark supports organizations and medical research that address important healthcare issues," stated Jon Roberts, EVP for CVS Caremark and honorary chair of the Advancing Medical Research Campaign. "For the past 11 years, we’ve been able to make a significant impact in advancing ALS research with support from our colleagues and customers. Through the Advancing Medical Research campaign, we continue to make a difference in the lives of those who are living with ALS and support groundbreaking developments to help bring us one step closer to ending this devastating disease."

Funds raised through the campaign will benefit the ALS Therapy Alliance, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ALS research. Supporters of the 2013 campaign can donate $1 or $3 at the register in CVS/pharmacy locations nationwide and online at www.cvs.com/als through June 29.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord, typically leading to paralysis and death within four to six years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects approximately 30,000 Americans, with 5,600 new cases diagnosed nationwide each year.

But a new research grant, funded by CVS/pharmacy, is exploring gene silencing therapies that aim to end the progression of ALS in patients and provide new leads for solving other degenerative disorders.

CVS/pharmacy has raised more than $30 million in support of ALS research over the past 11 years. Through the Advancing Medical Research campaign, CVS/pharmacy will continue to help ATA drive medical research, including the development of groundbreaking gene silencing therapies, with the goal to end ALS.

 

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‘Like’ if you agree: NCPA gets that patient engagement of the future will be driven through social media

BY Michael Johnsen

Independent pharmacy was provided a social media stepping stone with last week’s announcement pairing the National Community Pharmacists Association and RxWiki. The companies announced a joint digital solutions offering that will raise the profile of independents across both social media and mobile platforms. 

While the Internet has long been a great equalizer, effectively managing a social media program can fast become an ROI-diminishing time and resource suck for the smaller operator. Having a solid social media solution is going to be ever more crucial for the pharmacy operator as the business evolves to incorporate more health service offerings at retail. 

That’s because social media goes beyond things like selling the best mommy-blog-vetted allergy remedy online. Social media represents consumer engagement. Social media has become the platform through which tomorrow’s generation of consumers will interact. Meaning, if your pharmacy operation doesn’t have a comprehensive plan of social-media attack today, you won’t be talking to many patients tomorrow. 

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study released earlier this year, 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing (in other words, two-thirds used the sites to interact; one-third to transact). Today, 39% of consumers who are 30 to 49 years old use social media for servicing needs. And only 18% of consumers who are 50 years and older interact with a company via social media for a service-related need. 

But younger consumers (18 to 29 years old) were more likely to use brands’ social media sites for servicing interactions (43%) than for marketing (23%).

"Companies that are focused only on promoting their brand and deals, or only servicing existing customers, are excluding major groups of their online community, negatively impacting their satisfaction and influencing their future purchasing decision. A one-pronged approach to social is no longer an option," stated Jacqueline Anderson, director of social media and text analytics at J.D. Power and Associates. "If your customers want service and you’re pushing discount coupons out to them while ignoring their attempts to connect with you, you’re going to end up with dissatisfied customers."

The inaugural study was based on responses from more than 23,200 U.S. online consumers who have interacted with a company across a multitude of industries via those companies’ social media channels fielded from November 2012 to December 2012

 

 

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T.Eury says:
Jun-06-2013 03:08 pm

RxWiki is an incredible source of information and content. Taking that content and making it usable for an Independent Pharmacy - for intel through their social media environments is key. The challenge remains to make it easily adoptable and for the pharmacy owner to recognize the importance of consistency with their social media involvement. An owner might not have the time but they need to ensure a staff member is chosen to fully manage their social media touch to their communities. Regardless of the amount of content and it's credibility - which RxWiki will provide the highest quality - the Independent Pharmacy manager or owner must understand the importance and the needed sincerity to ENGAGE their patient-customer through social media. It will continue to grow. Take a listen to our Pharmacy Podcast interview with Pharmacy owner Mike Koelzer about using social media in pharmacy: Pharmacy Owner on using Social Media

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