Spotlight on clinic model gets brighter as accessibility, lower cost proves to be universal healthcare need
MinuteClinic president and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, Andrew Sussman, attended two separate healthcare events in London last week to discuss how MinuteClinic is improving care and access at substantially lower cost.
This is important because, regardless of whether a country has universal health care or not, someone has to pay for it, and accessibility can still be an issue. Interestingly, a British supermarket began testing the concept of an in-store physician-staffed clinic back in 2008 in an effort to improve access. A key reason: Its supermarkets are often situated in a convenient location with public transport links and ample parking.
The reality is that there is more than one way to define access and convenience. However, money is money and, as half of Europe implements austerity measures and many other nations consider it, paying less for healthcare is one need that is absolutely universal about healthcare — the entire world over.
Meanwhile, the clinic movement continues to gain traction here in the United States as Target plans to open 14 new clinics this year. There are currently 54 Target Clinic locations in six states and the 2013 expansion will bring the total number to 68. Construction on 12 Target Clinic locations is slated to begin on May 28, with grand openings scheduled for Aug. 18. Two more locations, one in Illinois and one in Baltimore, are currently under construction and will open in October.
Self-care a good space to be in for 2013, 2014 and beyond
The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access.
That sets the stage for some pretty favorable growth across a $38.3 billion industry. According to an Edelman in Health survey, use of over-the-counter medicines is already prevalent among Americans — almost 85% of Americans reported regular use of an OTC remedy. Convenience, efficacy and value were three of the key factors behind that prevalence, as noted in a special report compiled by DSN.
Technology will play a greater role in the self-care industry in 2014 as well. The Food and Drug Administration is exploring how technology might expand the number of medicines appropriate for sale in the self-care space. In addition to improving access, in-store diagnostic tools will help both to identify potential health concerns and to increase compliance of an appropriate self-care regimen.
And the leadership within the OTC industry itself will continue to help maintain any momentum in increased OTC usage. CHPA has proven to be bold, proactive and on the leading edge in addressing any challenges associated with the OTC industry. It’s evident in the industry’s campaign to address teen abuse of OTC medicines like dextromethorphan. There were as many as 750,000 viewers of these graphic videos on the dangers of DXM abuse in the first five months that the site was live. And according to a survey, 50% of those teens who engaged the campaign are less likely to abuse OTC medicines. "You [the OTC industry] are bold and the results are game-changing," Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, told attendees at the AEC.
And CHPA is looking forward to maintaining its positive momentum in meeting challenges head on and heralding the value of OTC as the gavel has been passed from Pfizer’s Paul Sturman to Merck’s James Mackey. "We’re fortunate to have someone like Jim Mackey stepping up to continue this positive momentum," Melville said.
Anti-smoking events set for communities nationwide on March 20
WASHINGTON — The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is organizing more than 1,200 events across the country to promote smoking abstinence and cessation.
The group announced Friday the 18th annual Kick Butts Day, on March 20, in which young people will encourage peers to stay tobacco-free and educate their communities about the health effects of smoking. While youth smoking rates have gone down, 18.1% of high school students still smoke, the group said.
Meanwhile, according to the Federal Trade Commission, tobacco companies spend $8.5 billion per year marketing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and have introduced new products that the group said appeal to young people, such as cheap, sweet, colorfully packaged small cigars that look like cigarettes.