PHARMACY

Oprah: Go to Walgreens and get your glucose checked

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Talk show guru Oprah Winfrey is hoping to shed some light on a rising epidemic among Americans: diabetes.

In an episode that debuted Thursday, Winfrey and cardiothoracic surgeon/author Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed the latest facts and figures; shared stories of those affected; and presented a no-holds-barred, revealing conversation about risk factors, diet and lifestyle. All of this information was presented before a studio audience comprised of all diabetics and their families.

Winfrey and Oz were joined by lifestyle coach Bob Greene and diet expert Ian Smith.

As part of the show, Oprah also announced that Walgreens will be offering free blood glucose tests at all of its 24-hour stores and clinics Friday, Feb. 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and urging viewers to head to their nearest Walgreens store to take advantage of the free offer.

“We’re proud to offer these free blood glucose testing events as another means to heighten diabetes awareness and overall health and wellness,” said Kermit R. Crawford, Walgreens EVP pharmacy services.  “We want everyone who’s concerned about diabetes to be able to get tested. Through interaction with our pharmacists and Take Care nurse practitioners, and the many tools and resources Walgreens offers, we hope to improve the lives of those affected by diabetes or at risk for diabetes.”

In addition Walgreens will offer free glucose testing events at select stores in thousands of communities across the country as well as in all of its Take Care Clinics through Feb. 18. The program marks the second time in the last four months that Walgreens has offered free blood glucose testing.

“Diabetes is a ticking time bomb. It’s a silent killer. It’s annihilating the African American community. Literally. It’s killing almost 100 of us every single day in the African-American community,” Winfrey said.

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PHARMACY

WellCare Today tackles medication adherence with HealthAssist

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. A company that develops applications for smartphones has launched a new one that it hopes will help tackle a problem that costs the country billions of dollars a year.

WellCare Today announced Tuesday the launch of HealthAssist, an application for medication adherence and health management available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The application is available for free from Apple’s app store.

The program includes features such as a scheduled text reminder for each medication a user takes, refill alerts, news alerts and a storage system for electronic medical records.

Medication non-adherence costs the U.S. economy $100 billion and claims 125,000 a year, and according to the New England Healthcare Institute, one-third to half of all patients don’t take their medications properly.

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King Pharmaceuticals launches PainBalance

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. A drug maker has launched a Web-based educational resource for healthcare professionals and others who provide care for patients with pain.

King Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday the launch of PainBalance, which provides information, tools and other resources, centered around a Web site, www.painbalance.com.

Around 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, and uncontrolled pain costs an estimated $100 billion in the United States each year.

“Patients with chronic pain often needlessly suffer because they are not getting appropriate treatment,” said Lynn Webster, co-founder and medical director of Salt Lake City-based Lifetree Clinical Research. “It is time to change that by helping healthcare professionals better understand the proper pain management that can allow more patients to enjoy quality, pain-free lives.”

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