HEALTH

Walgreens partners with Kentucky Medicaid health plan on smoking cessation

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday partnered with Passport Health Plan, a local Medicaid health plan in Louisville, Ky.,  on a new smoking-cessation program that launched in early January. The program is free to Walgreens customers and Passport members and aims to improve the community’s health by giving smokers the tools, resources and ongoing clinical pharmacist counseling to help them achieve their cessation goals.

Participating Walgreens pharmacists and technicians have undergone specialized training provided by the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The program provides further education on tobacco treatment and helped in the development of Walgreens formal, 12-month process for helping those interested in tobacco cessation.

“The harmful effects of tobacco use are well-documented, and by working closely with our community pharmacists who people know and trust, we hope to encourage more smokers under Passport Health Plan to improve their health through this free program to help them quit,” stated Greg Baker, Walgreens pharmacy supervisor for Louisville. “The cessation process can be very challenging. We believe the ongoing dialogue with pharmacists, who are among the most accessible health care professionals in the community, can be an effective tool in working with and supporting people to overcome those challenges.”

“Smoking and tobacco use are complex problems that require different approaches to adequately address,” added Stephen Houghland, chief medical officer for Passport Health Plan. “We believe that addressing this critical driver of negative health outcomes in as many areas where our members are, and with people they trust, is a great opportunity to truly make a difference in their health and quality of life.”

Passport Health Plan members identified as tobacco users can enroll by visiting one of the eight participating Walgreens pharmacy locations. Walgreens will be sharing program results with Passport Health Plan on a monthly basis and also will be measuring the program’s effectiveness for individuals enrolled over a six- and 12-month period.


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Kotex achieves billion-dollar status

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Kimberly-Clark’s feminine care brand achieved $1 billion in global net sales last year, following two consecutive years of significant growth in the category.

The company said Kotex joins such K-C brands as Kimberly-Clark, Huggies, Kleenex and Scott in the billion-dollar net sales category. K-C also attributed Kotex’s global growth to such initiatives as colorful and bold packaging for its products, launching products designed especially for younger girls (including U by Kotex Tween in North America) and reflecting real women’s experiences in its feminine care advertising and marketing.

"The company that created the category is now redefining feminine care with bold products and real talk," said Giuseppina Buonfantino, VP global adult and feminine care sector at Kimberly-Clark. "Kimberly-Clark will continue to develop innovative solutions to meet women’s needs and further growth our feminine care business worldwide."

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Old-school medicine making a comeback

BY Alaric DeArment

Some people swear by it. Others doubt it. What’s undeniable, however, is that homeopathic medicine sales were up 15.7% in 2011 to $173 million in natural supermarkets (excluding Whole Foods) and food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SPINSscan Natural. And with media reports of recalls, dangerous and lethal side effects, counterfeiting and contamination, the homeopathic school of medicine founded by Samuel Hahnemann in 1800 is making a comeback.


According to a January 2011 study commissioned by homeopathic remedy maker Boiron and conducted by the Hartman Group, 15% of shoppers used homeopathic medicine for themselves, while 14% used it for their children and 59% expressed some familiarity with homeopathy. Meanwhile, 46% have successfully used alternative or natural OTC medicine, and 37% are interested in trying. And according to the National Center for Homeopathy, sales of homeopathic remedies rose from $170 million in 1995 to $870 million in 2009.


Those are some of the figures that DSN editor-in-chief Rob Eder took to Washington when he joined American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists president and Boiron VP operations and regulatory affairs Mark Land, AAHP legal counsel Al Lorman, and Samueli Institute president and CEO Wayne Jonas for an AAHP-hosted congressional briefing in September 2011 for House of Representative staffers.


After a heyday in the 1800s, homeopathy gradually began to die out in the early 1900s following the 1910 publication of the “Flexner Report” by the Carnegie Foundation and the American Medical Association, which cast doubt on homeopathy, chiropractics and even pharmacy. By the 1940s, medical schools specializing in homeopathy had all shut down. It then started making a comeback in the 1970s with the rise of the health food movement and took off in the 1990s with the rise in popularity of natural health products.

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