NACDS joins ‘Partnership for Advancing Medication Adherence’
ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced its membership in “Prescriptions for a Healthy America: A Partnership for Advancing Medication Adherence."
” The Partnership launched on Thursday to bring together patient, provider, employer, pharmacy and health plan advocates to work closely with policymakers in Washington, D.C., to improve medication adherence. According to NEHI, formerly the New England Healthcare Institute, non-adherence has been estimated to impose $290 billion in avoidable healthcare costs annually.
The Partnership also released poll results that found that nearly two-thirds of patients who take medication do not properly adhere to prescription regimens. The poll also found that more than half of respondents said they would be more likely to take their medications as prescribed if they were more informed about the potential negative health consequences of non-adherence.
“At NACDS, we are seeing ever-greater awareness among policymakers about the benefits of boosting medication adherence, and the launch of the Partnership is ideally timed to help build that momentum for the good of patient health,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “We appreciate the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Partnership members on an issue that rightfully could be considered one of the most pressing health challenges and opportunities of the day.
“NACDS’ research fits nicely with the poll results released by the Partnership. Polls commissioned by NACDS and by others have shown consistently that community pharmacists are widely trusted and accessible, and that face-to-face interactions with pharmacists are extremely valued, particularly by those in greatest need. Patients know that community pharmacies play a vital role in helping patients use medicines as prescribed and safely, and in helping patients stay healthy. NACDS members can and do play a vital role in the mission that the Partnership is pursuing."
In addition to noting its own opinion research, NACDS has emphasized that, in late 2012, the Congressional Budget Office announced steps to reflect in its cost-evaluation of legislative proposals the belief that better use of medications can generate savings by reducing reliance on costly forms of care. If generalized to the nation as a whole, just a 1% increase in medication use saves $1.7 billion in overall healthcare costs, or $5.76 per person.
Also, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in February released a study focused on Medicare beneficiaries with certain lung or heart conditions. Those enrolled in medication therapy management services in 2010 — and particularly those who received comprehensive medication reviews — experienced significant improvement in the quality of their drug regimens and costs were saved.
“In the effort to help boost medication adherence through healthcare practice, patient awareness and public policy, there is no more committed partner than NACDS and community pharmacy, and we are enthusiastic to be part of the Partnership’s launch today,” Anderson said.
RxResults picks Mirixa for MTM program
RESTON, Va. — A company that manages pharmacy services for employer groups and health plans has selected a company founded by the National Community Pharmacists Association for its medication therapy management services.
RxResults said it had chosen Mirixa Corp.’s MirixaPro platform to administer MTM services for members of its employer groups. The services will include a person-to-person comprehensive medication review and quarterly interactive follow-up medication reviews delivered by a pharmacist using the platform.
"RxResults wants to provide more employees and their families access to pharmacist-provided MTM services," RxResults president and CEO Tery Baskin said. "Our focus will be to close gaps in care to improve medication adherence and empower patients to self-manage their medical conditions."
Personal Care Products Council reaffirms safety of lip products
WASHINGTON — A recently released report that analyzed and measured the level of metals in 32 lip products does not provide any “new meaningful information” and the traces of metals found were not “unexpected given their natural presence in air, soil and water,” according to a statement issued Thursday by the Personal Care Products Council.
The statement by Linda Loretz, chief toxicologist for the PCPC, reaffirming the safety of lip products came in response to a May 2013 report titled, “Concentrations and Potential Health Risks of Metals in Lip Products” from the University of California at Berkeley.
The report analyzed 32 lip products (lipsticks and lip glosses) to measure levels of nine metals — lead, aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel and titanium.
"The presence of two of the metals (titanium and aluminum) in cosmetics were found at higher levels because they are used as actual ingredients, approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. While levels of titanium and aluminum were low, they were higher than any of the other analyzed metals. Titanium dioxide is an FDA-approved colorant and widely used in cosmetics, including lipstick, and is also a food ingredient. Aluminum is a common color component used to make the color more stable. The use of aluminum is also approved by FDA for colorant use in cosmetics and in food,” Loretz stated.
"A few of the metals studied in the report are essential nutrients. Cobalt is essential as a component of vitamin B12, required for the production of red blood cells. Copper is an essential component of several enzymes. Manganese is required for the growth, development and maintenance of health and is present in most tissues of all living organisms," Loretz said.
"The issue of lead in lipstick has long been studied and has been thoroughly addressed by FDA. As an example of FDA’s diligence in this area, in 2011 the agency tested 400 different lipsticks across many brands and concluded the low levels of lead that were detected were safe. FDA stated, ‘Lipstick, as a product intended for topical used with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities. We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics, including lipstick,’” Loretz added.
Lead levels found by FDA were lower than limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics, including the very conservative limit of five parts per million (ppm) set by California under Proposition 65.
"Trace amounts of metals in lip products need to be put into context. Food is a primary source for many of these naturally present metals, and exposure from lip products is minimal in comparison. For example, daily trace amounts of chromium or cadmium from lip products based on the results in this report are less than 1% of daily exposures one would get from their diet. In the case of manganese, typical daily intake from food is more than 1000-fold greater than the amount from lip products. Metals that are prohibited in the EU are not used as cosmetic ingredients in either the EU or the U.S.,” Loretz stated.
Loretz added that, "Cosmetic companies are required by law to substantiate the safety of their products before they are marketed. Nothing matters more to cosmetic companies than the safety and the well-being of the people who use and enjoy them."