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Meijer’s Free Pre-Natal Vitamin Program Fills Millionth Prescription

July 06, 2011 By: Nadia Category: Free Prescriptions, HealthCare, Medtipster, Prescription News, Prescription Savings

www.Medtipster.com Source: prnewswire.com – 6.29.2011

Delivering a healthy dose of good news to Midwest families, Meijer announced today that its free pre-natal vitamins prescription program has filled its 1,000,000th prescription, at a cost savings of nearly $14 million to Midwest families.

The announcement, made by Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and CEO, came as the Midwest retailer reported that its pharmacies had hit the million-mark milestone earlier this week.

Meijer gave birth to the program in May 2008 when it announced it would fill select pre-natal vitamin prescriptions at no cost to customers. The no-strings-attached program enables any customer, regardless of insurance or co-pay, to have their pre-natal prescription filled free of charge.

“Meijer has always been a strong advocate for safe and healthy families, and we’re very proud to offer a program that works to ensure the health of an expectant mother and her child,” said Meijer. “In addition, offering free pre-natal vitamins helps Midwest families cope with rising health care costs, complementing the many other ways families can save money throughout our stores.”

It has been shown that pre-natal vitamins play an important role in healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. These supplements have typically been prescribed for women who have become pregnant, however, many members of the medical community believe they also play an important role for women in the months leading up to conception.

Prior to launching its free pre-natal vitamins initiative, Meijer successfully introduced a program in October 2006 offering to fill select antibiotics at no charge. That program, still in use, covers leading oral generic antibiotics with a special focus on the prescriptions most often filled for children.

The Michigan-based retailer followed up its free pre-natal program in 2010 with a similar program providing no-cost prescriptions for metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes.

Since its inception, the Meijer free antibiotics program has filled more than seven million prescriptions, saving families almost $120 million. The free metformin program has helped nearly 500,000 people battle diabetes, at a cost savings of more than $4 million.

“In less than five years, our free antibiotics, pre-natal and diabetes prescription programs have saved our customers nearly $140 million,” said Meijer. “In total, we have helped hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Midwest receive free prescriptions to help them, and their families, lead healthier lives.”

The Meijer free pre-natal vitamins program features several well-known brands of pre-natal vitamins, including TriAdvance, Trinatal GT, Trinatal Ultra, Vol-Nate, Vol-Plus, and Vol-Tab.

Find a qualifying Meijer Pharmacy near you at www.medtipster.com!

Dependence on Prescription Drugs Rise with Costs

October 01, 2010 By: Nadia Category: HealthCare, Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News, Prescription Savings

www.Medtipster.com Source: Health Care Uncovered, by Brandi Funk – 9.30.2010 (http://ow.ly/2N3Sp)

It looks like government isn’t the only thing that Americans are increasingly dependent on.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control earlier this month shows that prescription drug use in the U.S. is on the rise, with half of all Americans currently on at least one prescription drug.

Who pays for these drugs? In 2009, U.S. prescription drugs sales topped $300 billion .

Sadly, as the number of people without health insurance rise and as more insurance companies get pickier about the drugs they cover, many cannot afford to pay for these drugs.

There is no question that the rising use and cost of prescription drugs is a major cause of rising health care costs in this country so if we want affordable health care and reform, we must start here, looking for alternatives.

According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, generic drugs have saved Americans $734 billion in the last 10 years so ask your health care provider if switching your prescription drug to generic is a good alternative for you.

Websites such as Medtipster allow you to search for discounted generic drug programs available at pharmacies throughout the USA.

Many of these drugs are available for as little as $4 or less.

  • If your medication is available through one of these programs, you will see a list of pharmacies with pricing, in your neighborhood.
  • If your medication is not on one of the discount generic drug programs they will notify you when it is, or they will suggest a ttherapeutic drug equivalent.
  • If your medication is not available in generic form, they will search for drug brand coupons you can print and take to your local pharmacy.

Why pay more than you have to?

Other Prescription Drug Assistance Websites

http://www.xubex.com

http://www.needymeds.com

http://www.pparx.og

http://www.rxoutreach.com

Towers Watson Survey: Employer Health Cost Rate Increases to Slow to 6.5% This Year, Medtipster reports.

March 02, 2010 By: Nadia Category: Medtipster

Medtipster Source: Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW), 2/22/2010, www.towerswatson.com and www.businessgrouphealth.org

NEW YORK — The continuing sluggish economy is forcing a growing number of large U.S. employers to take more aggressive measures to control rising health care costs and motivate workers to take charge of improving their own health, according to a survey conducted by Towers Watson, a global professional services company, and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), a non-profit association of large U.S. employers.

Survey findings

  • 83% of companies have already revamped or expect to revamp their health care strategy within the next two years, up from 59% in 2009.
  • Costs are expected to increase 6.5% this year, down slightly from 7% in 2009.
  • 67% of employers identify employees’ poor health habits as a top challenge to maintaining affordable benefit coverage.

Employee Engagement

  • 58% of employers indicate the biggest obstacle to changing employees’ health-related behavior is the lack of employee engagement.
  • 31% say there is a lack of sufficient financial incentives to encourage participation
  • 30% say there is a lack of an adequate health management program budget.

Employee Incentives and On-site Health Centers

  • 66% plan to offer incentives for employees to complete a health risk appraisal, up from 61% in 2009.
  • 56% of employers now offer health coaches, and
  • 26% now offer onsite health centers.

Vendors Can Do Better

  • 67% of companies feel that vendors fall short with programs designed to change member behavior to drive more efficient use of health care services.
  • 66% identify vendor programs designed to change member behavior related to making healthy lifestyle decisions as not at all or only slightly effective.
  • 57% of employers also consider vendors not at all or only slightly effective at driving care to high-quality providers.

“The downturn has amplified the pressure on companies to find ways to support effective health management programs under budget constraints,” said Ron Fontanetta, senior consultant at Towers Watson. “For employers, the current environment is a clarion call to adjust their health plan strategy, reassess vendor relationships and aggressively address the challenge to encourage workers to become better advocates for their own health.” 

“Even in tight times, employers will continue to encourage healthy behaviors with financial incentives and other initiatives,” said Ted Nussbaum, senior consultant at Towers Watson. “However, there are challenges to changing employee behavior that extend beyond budget constraints and employer-sponsored programs. Inspiring workers to be actively involved in their own health remains an uphill battle for most companies.”

About the National Business Group on Health/Towers Watson Report

The 15th Annual National Business Group on Health/Towers Watson Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care was conducted from November 2009 through January 2010 with 507 employers of 1,000 or more employees that collectively employ 11.5 million workers. The full report will be available in March.

About Towers Watson

Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers solutions in the areas of employee benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around the world.  Visit www.towerswatson.com.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is a non-profit membership organization of more than 280 members, including 60 of the Fortune 100. The National Business Group on Health is devoted to providing practical solutions to its employer-members’ most important health care problems and serving as the voice for large employers on national health care issues and public policy. Its members purchase health and disability benefits for over 55 million people. Visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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