FDA approves Bayer Diabetes Care’s Contour USB blood glucose meter
NEW YORK It’s not wireless, but that doesn’t necessarily matter — the significance of a product like this is in its enhanced track and chart functionalities.
First, there are no more points of differentiation, not really, in blood glucose meters in the mind of the consumer. There are no more alternate sites once you’ve gotten a meter approved for alternate site testing. Sure, maybe you can take the amount of blood required for a measurement down another hundredth of a microliter or so. Or maybe you can reduce the time between supplying your meter with a sample and actual test result by a second or so. But in either case, will the end-consumer really notice?
So that means future points of differentiation among blood glucose meters need to improve the ability to effectively use testing datapoints in the management of diabetes. And because Type 1 diabetics are likelier to track and chart their blood glucose readings more so than Type 2 diabetics (which incidentally is by far the larger market), that means making the tracking and charting easier. What’s easier than plugging your meter into the side of your computer for automatic data transfer in today’s wired world?
Plugging your meter into the side of your doctor’s computer. That’s the other advantage to a meter equipped with a UBS data port, the data’s easily portable. And that’s a POD that not even a wireless meter can match today, and won’t be able to match until the day electronic medical records accessed by doctors becomes commonplace.
CVS/pharmacy marks a milestone with 7,000th store
NEW YORK CVS Caremark’s opening of its 7,000th store is important as it is yet another indication of the retailer’s strong management, efficient execution and its ability to understand and meet the needs of its shoppers.
Serving more than 4 million customers per day, the $87 billion powerhouse has proven over the years that it is a well-oiled machine. Today, it is aggressively taking an active role on the front lines of healthcare by leveraging its PBM business and MinuteClinics.
The opening of the 7,000th store in Little Canada, Minn., (a state the company already had strong ties to) is no doubt an impressive feat but it is interesting that CVS used the opportunity to also solidify its role as a convenient health care provider by announcing that the state is joining its seasonal flu program.
Nationwide, the retailer is holding more than 9,000 scheduled flu clinics in CVS stores and, as part of the campaign, is providing more than $3 million worth of free seasonal flu shots to unemployed Americans through vouchers good for a free flu shot in any MinuteClinic or any of the scheduled CVS/pharmacy flu clinics.
CVS also handed out flu prevention kits containing CVS brand products like hand sanitizers to the first 100 shoppers at the store.
Now, Minnesota is participating in the company’s free seasonal flu shot program. CVS is partnering with the Department of Employment and Economic Development to provide more than 2,500 vouchers for a free flu shot to the unemployed in Minnesota. The 2,500 vouchers, a $75,000 value, will be distributed through 11 WorkForce Centers in the Twin Cities area.
This initiative underscores the fact community pharmacy is demonstrating the vital role it can play in the U.S. healthcare system as extremists on both sides of the spectrum and argue over the future of health care reform, and what it will look like. And with 7,000 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia, CVS is providing greater choice and more convenience for its customers and, in turn, improving health outcomes.
Survey finds families missing out on nutrients
EDISON, N.J. Nearly 50% of respondents to a survey about dietary supplement habits feel that they or their families are missing out on essential nutrients in their daily diets, and the majority, 63%, believe they are missing omega-3s, essential fatty acids.
“Supplementation is an important option to help Americans achieve the nutrients they need in order to reduce the impact of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease,” stated Joseph Brasco of the Center for Colon and Digestive Disease. “It is essential that the public be provided with simple and easy-to-understand information about purity and the source of product, appropriate dosing and how and when to add supplements to a healthy diet so that we can better use nutrition to stave off disease.”
However, even as consumers are aware they are missing omega 3s from their diet, only 26% of consumers and their families take a fish oil, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Cost, lack of perceived need and confusion are primary barriers for consumers when deciding to take dietary supplements, such as fish oil.
Of those who take fish oil supplements as an additional source for omega 3 fatty acids, 94% look for assurances of purity as the most important factor when choosing a particular supplement.
The survey was conducted by Equation Research on behalf of Croda, an ingredient manufacturer of omega 3 fish and plant oil concentrates.