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NCPA grades America’s medication adherence: C+

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It appears that medication adherence among Americans age 40 years and older ranges from mediocre to worse, according to a new report by a trade group representing independent pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association released a patient survey Tuesday dubbed "Medication Adherence in America: A National Report Card," finding that patients age 40 years and older with a chronic medical condition earned a C+ on average, while 1-in-7 respondents earned an F. Overall, one-third of participants received a D or F. According to a widely cited study by the New England Healthcare Institute, medication nonadherence costs the healthcare system about $290 billion per year. The NCPA commissioned Langer Research Associates to conduct the 1,020-patient study.

"The academic year has drawn to a close for most students, but when it comes to taking their prescription drugs, it’s many of the parents who may require summer school," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said. "Proper prescription drug use can improve patient health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, so anything less than an A on medication adherence is concerning. Pharmacists can help patients and caregivers overcome barriers to effectively and consistently follow medication regimens."

The "report card" grades study participants based on nine nonadherent behaviors: failure to fill a prescription in the past 12 months; failing to have a prescription refilled; missing doses; taking lower doses than prescribed; taking higher doses than prescribed; stopping prescriptions early; taking old medications for new problems without consulting doctors; taking someone else’s medicine; and forgetting whether they’d taken a medication.

The NCPA said the study’s findings may understate nonadherence because the answers are self-reported and potential reluctance among some people to admit undesirable behaviors.

The biggest predictor of patients’ adherence overall was their connection to pharmacists or pharmacy staff. Overall, 89% of patients using independent pharmacies reported a high level of connection with their pharmacists, compared with 67% of those using large chains and 36% of those using mail-order. Other predictors of adherence included affordability of medications, continuity in healthcare usage, perceived importance of taking medications as prescribed, how well-informed patients feel about their health and medication side effects.

"Caregivers are a vital resource for improving the national grade on proper prescription use," National Alliance for Caregiving director of programs, operations and development Paul DelPonte said. "Enhanced community partnerships and increased awareness on proper use of medications will make our nation healthier."

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Greek yogurt designed for men wins FoodBev Dairy Innovation award

BY Jason Owen

MIAMI — Powerful Yogurt, a Greek yogurt designed for men, has been named Best Yogurt of 2013 by FoodBev’s Dairy Innovation Awards program, the company announced today. Drawing from a large and international field of competitors, a global panel of judges selected Powerful Yogurt as the category winner for its innovative qualities, including its high natural-protein content, its "man-sized" 8-oz. presentation, unique packaging design and the brand’s focus on the previously underserved male market.

Powerful Yogurt was also named as a finalist in the Best New Brand or Business awards category.

"As a new company that’s doing things differently and building the yogurt for men category from the ground up, we are honored and humbled to receive this major industry award," said Carlos Ramirez, founder and CEO of Powerful Yogurt. "We knew that men — and especially active men — needed a product that was tailored specifically to their needs, and the Best Yogurt award further validates that we are delivering what male consumers want to see."

Powerful Yogurt sports a black and red package with contoured abs on the side of its yogurt cups, a connection to the company’s "Find Your Inner Abs" tagline that encourages all guys to get fit with the help of smart food choices and an active lifestyle.

In addition to its high protein content — between 20 to 25 g according to the company website — and a serving size that is 50% larger than the average U.S. yogurt presentation, Powerful Yogurt is all-natural and free of fat, gluten and GMOs.

Powerful Yogurt comes in six flavors including plain, blueberry acai, banana, apple cinnamon, mango, and strawberry. Each flavor is designed to be a pre- or post-workout energy boost or to be eaten alongside breakfast, lunch or dinner, as a meal replacement or as a snack.

For more information, visit Powerful Yogurt’s website.


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Saffron Road introduces three new non-GMO simmer sauces

BY Jason Owen

STAMFORD, Conn. — At this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, Saffron Road, the packaged food brand of American Halal Co., expanded its line of single-use simmer sauce pouches with the introduction of three new flavors: harissa, Korean stir fry and Thai red curry.

The new Simmer Sauces are all-natural and support the company’s ongoing commitment to providing Non-GMO Project Verified options for consumers.

The new simmer sauces include: Harissa ­is made from piri piri, a red pepper from the Sahara, and infused with flavorful spices and herbs; Korean Stir Fry, which is crafted with hints of pear and a touch of toasted sesame oil, it features true Korean gochugaru peppers; and Thai red curry, which is an authentic sauce filled with ingredients from galangal ginger to kaffir lime­ to create a complex flavor.

 

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