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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
HIP Launches Preferencing Program
HIP Health Plan last year introduced an oncology product preferencing program in the greater New York City area. The educational campaign was aimed at encouraging physicians to use medications that cost less, but are therapeutically equivalent, to higher-cost versions, says Araksi Sarafian, the insurer's vice president for pharmacy services. HIP identified about 30 drugs that represent more than half of its oncology drug spending. The program was launched shortly after CMS adopted substantial changes in its reimbursement to physicians for care of Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. The agency reduced reimbursement to physicians for oncology drugs while increasing their reimbursement for administration and patient care. The health plan partnered with ICORE Healthcare, an Orlando, Fla.-based injectable benefit management company, to operate the program. "We sent letters to physicians explaining how the program works so they would not be surprised with the fee schedules devised," Sa [Read more]
CIGNA, Great-West Focus on DM
Cancer DM programs are another strategy for helping to improve care and reduce costs for oncology patients. CIGNA expanded an existing specialized case management program to create its new oncology condition management program. The old program was focused primarily on "high-acuity patients with cancer who are in active treatment or immediately post-treatment," says David Ferriss, M.D., national medical director of clinical program development for CIGNA HealthCare. "It has very much a specialty case management orientation and focus." The new version takes a "very population-based approach to the whole spectrum of oncology," and includes elements of case management and DM, Ferriss says. It includes the specialized case management elements, "but really expands it across a much broader scope in terms of early detection and prevention," as well as surveillance of enrollees who now are in remission, he explains. The program was developed partly in response to employers that were pushin [Read more]
BOTOX® and Migraines
Plastic surgeons in the US are using BOTOX® to treat migraine headaches — a debilitating neurological condition that, according to the Migraine Association of Canada, affects over three million Canadians and costs our economy around $500 million annually in absenteeism and lost productivity. For The Full Story: [Read more]
BOTOX® Tested for Back Pain
BOTOX®, the toxin known for getting rid of a person's wrinkles, is now being tested as a treatment to relieve some people's pain. For the Full Story: [Read more]
SUFU 2007 - Urinary Frequency and Urge Urinary Incontinence in BOTOX®™ Repeated Injections: Outcome Data Using Voiding Diaries and UDI-6 Correlation
Intradetrusor Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injection has emerged as a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of idiopathic overactive bladder (I-OAB) refractory to oral antimuscarinic agents. We designed an IRB approved prospective trial to evaluate the improvement in urinary frequency (UF) and urge urinary incontinence (UUI) using voiding diaries (VD), urodynamic findings, validated symptomatic improvement, and quality of life in I-OAB patients submitted to a scheduled re-injection BTX-A protocol. For the Full Story:®_repeated_injections_outcome_data_using_voiding_diaries_and_udi6_correlation.html [Read more]
BOTOX® and Hyperhidrosis
Around seven million Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, producing up to five times the amount of sweat needed to regulate body temperature. Their damp hands and sweaty armpits can become a cause for social awkwardness and self-conscious behavior. Recently, a number of new treatments for hyperhidrosis have appeared, including the use of BOTOX® injections. The BOTOX® treatment for hyperhidrosis is expected to win FDA approval this year, although it has already been used for this purpose by physicians in the United States. The main type of hyperhidrosis is primary or idiopathic hyperhidrosis-which usually begins in childhood or adolescence. The sweat glands are normal, but the central nervous system responds in an exaggerated manner to triggers such as emotional stress or hot weather, causing the individual to sweat profusely. The precise cause is unknown, and the disorder is usually limited to certain areas of the body such as the palms of the hands, sole [Read more]
Drug Seizures Stopped
Today the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bush administration has abandoned its year old policy of seizing shipments of lower-price prescription drugs from Canada. The newspaper reports that by mid-July, Customs officials had seized more than 37,000 prescription drug packages from Canada. Governor Doyle made the following statement: "It is unconscionable that our own federal government had seized more than 37,000 prescriptions intended for Americans who can't afford their medicines. It was a senseless policy, a huge special interest favor to the big drug companies, and I am pleased it has been stopped. "This reversal, though timed right before an election, in nonetheless good news for consumers in Wisconsin and across the country who are desperate for more affordable prescription drugs. It is clear that the Bush Administration is feeling the pressure from states like Wisconsin and from millions of Americans who want access to safe, lower price prescriptions availabl [Read more]
Pressuring Canada to cut off cheap drugs
Never underestimate the power of a pharmaceutical industry out to protect its profits from American customers living on Social Security and pensions. It apparently can even reach out and pressure a sovereign nation into action. Well, another one besides the United States. Now Canada seems about to cave in. Supposedly to protect Canadians from drug shortages or prices being driven up by U.S. demand (neither has happened), and to protect Canadian physicians from temptation to be "unethical" (i.e., compassionate), the Canadian health minister is drafting regulatory restrictions which, if they go into effect in a couple of months, could prevent Internet pharmacies from selling mail-order prescriptions to U.S. consumers. It's a $700 million industry. Most of its 1.8 million American customers are senior citizens whose Medicare does not include a drug plan - or at least not a decent one. They are tired of paying up to twice as much for their drugs in the free-market U.S. as peopl [Read more]
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