PHARMACY

Poll: Most Americans believe oral contraceptive costs should be covered by insurance

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Many American consumers are in favor of oral contraceptive coverage by both private and government-subsidized health insurance plans, according to a Thomson Reuters-National Press Radio Health Poll released Friday.

"Our survey findings provide a benchmark for public sentiment on issues that are continually dividing lawmakers, businesspeople and healthcare professionals," said Raymond Fabius, chief medical officer at the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters.

The poll, which addresses public attitudes toward birth control pills, was developed by Thomson Reuters and NPR as part of a new monthly series designed to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of healthcare issues. Poll results are reported by NPR’s Scott Hensley on the health blog Shots and on air.

The poll found that 77% of respondents believed private insurance should cover most or all cost of oral contraceptives, and 74% believed government-subsidized insurance plans should cover birth control pills.

Additionally, 78% favored federal government subsidies of birth control and other family planning services, excluding abortion, at government-funded clinics for low-income women.

Complete survey results are available here.

To date, Thomson Reuters and NPR have addressed a number of healthcare topics, gauging sentiment on generic drugs, vaccines, food safety and other issues. NPR’s reports on past surveys are archived at Shots.

Thomson Reuters also offers a library of poll results here.

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PHARMACY

FDA OKs infant-specific dose of Creon

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new dosage of a drug made by Abbott for treating cystic fibrosis in infants, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Abbott announced the approval of an infant-specific dose of Creon (pancrelipase) delayed-released capsules to treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis.

Most infants with the disease require small doses of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy with every feeding, but parents or caregivers previously had to open a capsule and measure out a portion of the contents. The new capsule will allow them to provide a more precise dose.

“We know that the need for consistent, precise dosing of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is critical for infants and children living with cystic fibrosis,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said. “This approval means that Creon will now be available in four dosing options, including both the lowest and highest dosage strengths available to patients in the United States, providing improved dosing titration options and flexibility into adulthood.”

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Lilly for Better Health provides patients with ways to improve well-being

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly has created a multichannel platform to inform and educate patients about healthy eating, physical activity and stress management.

The program, Lilly for Better Health, is designed to help users live healthier, more active lives, and Lilly said it was designed to reach patients where they like to receive health information. The program includes a website, LillyForBetterHealth.com.

“Lilly’s work to improve patients’ health and well-being goes beyond medicine,” Lilly VP U.S. medical division Jack Harris said. “Managing your health and achieving a balanced lifestyle often means making changes to your daily life, and small steps can make a big difference.”

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