HEALTH

NACDS, NCPA endorse legislation to restore OTC purchase eligibility under FSAs, HSAs

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — New Senate legislation introduced Tuesday that would restore consumers’ ability to use pre-tax dollars from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines without first seeing a doctor has been jointly endorsed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association. 

NACDS and NCPA are part of the Health Choices Coalition, which sent a letter of endorsement to the bill’s leading sponsors. “Consumers depend on OTC medicines as a first line of defense for their families’ health care needs,” the coalition wrote. “OTC medicines provide Americans with effective, affordable, convenient and accessible means to address their health care needs. These medicines save consumers billions of dollars annually through reducing unnecessary doctors’ visits, less time lost from work, and the cost advantage of OTC medicines.”

The legislation, S. 1647, repeals section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, restoring the ability of those participating in a medical savings account to use the funds to purchase OTC medications. Nearly 50 million Americans participate in FSAs and other health savings accounts, Roberts noted.

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and John Barrow, D-Ga. Similar legislation passed the House last year. 

The bill was cosponsored by Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Dean Heller, R-Nev.

 

 

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Healthy Mama launches full line of pregnancy-friendly OTC products

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Healthy Mama on Monday announced the launch of their full line of pregnancy-friendly OTC products in Buybuy Baby stores. 

Healthy Mama is a complete brand developed to provide pregnant and nursing women with the safest solutions to such common ailments as aches and pains, lack of energy, nausea, indigestion, constipation and sleeplessness.

"The void in the market for pregnancy-safe remedies is gaping, and the information available to women on what products and ingredients are safe is confusing and often contradictory," stated Rachel Katz-Galatt, founder of Healthy Mama. "The abundance of misinformation fuels frustration and the possibility of women making misinformed choices, which could ultimately put their baby at risk. Healthy Mama has created this category innovation that will help make the shopping experience easier, more convenient and ultimately safer by bringing solutions to common pregnancy ailments all under one umbrella."

The healthy mama brand consists of seven products:

  • Shake That Ache! — Helps alleviate backaches, headaches, muscular aches and reduce fevers;
  • eaZZZe The Pain! — Helps relieve nighttime aches and pains;
  • Tame The Flame! — Mint-flavored chewable tablets help relieve acid indigestion and heartburn and provides 400 mg of elemental calcium;
  • Move It Along! — A gentle remedy for occasional constipation and relieves symptoms of irregularity;
  • Be Well Rounded! — A multivitamin with 17 vitamins and minerals plus 450 mg DHA enteric coated supplement;
  • Boost It Up! — Developed in collaboration with an OB-GYN and prenatal nutritionists, this caffeine-free energy and anti-nausea drink is rich in protein, B-vitamins, ginger, electrolytes and fiber; and
  • Make Mama Happy! — This kit includes Shake that Ache!, eaZZZe the Pain!, Move it Along! And Tame The Flame! packaged within a bedazzled pill case.

 

 

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Cockroaches, rodents common allergy and asthma triggers in the wintertime

BY Michael Johnsen

FAIRFAX, Va. — Cockroaches and rodents are common allergy and asthma triggers in the wintertime, according to a statement released Tuesday by the National Pest Management Association. 

Citing the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, NPMA reported that cockroach allergens are present in 63% of American homes and mouse allergens in 82%. The number of homes containing cockroach allergens increases to as many as 78% to 98%, respectively, in urban areas.

“The saliva, urine and fecal droppings from cockroaches and rodents contain allergen proteins known to elicit allergic reactions and asthma attacks,” stated Jorge Parada, medical advisor for the NPMA. “As cockroaches and rodents enter homes seeking shelter in preparation for the winter months, people with allergies and asthma are at a higher risk when coming in contact with these pests.”

 

 

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