Archive for June, 2012

Health Care Reform Upheld

Posted by on June 28th, 2012

In a 5-4 decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care law is constitutional. The court’s judgment allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans, as well.

The decision affects nearly every American and marks a major milestone in the way healthcare is delivered to every single American. The law is a signature piece of Obama’s first term and today marks a victory for the President, but the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a hot topic in this falls election, as his Republican rival Mitt Romney and Republican lawmakers have promised to repeal what they call Obamacare if they can capture the White House and Congress this November.

What today’s ruling means is that the 2010 health care law will continue phasing in as planned:

• 9 in 10 Americans eligible American will be covered with some kind of health insurance once the 30 million currently uninsured are mandated to obtain coverage.
• Young adults will stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26.
• Insurers can’t deny coverage to children with health problems.
• Limits on how much policies will pay out to each person over a lifetime are eliminated.
• Improved Medicare prescription benefits for those over 65.
• Co-payments for preventive care for all ages have been eliminated.

Starting in 2014:

• Almost everyone will be required to be insured or pay a fine. There are subsidies to help people who can’t afford coverage.
• Most employers will face fines if they don’t offer coverage for their workers.
• Newly created insurance markets will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy affordable coverage.
• Medicaid will be expanded to cover more low-income people.
• Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging those people more. They won’t be able to charge women more, either.
• During the transition to 2014, a special program for people with pre-existing health problems helps these people get coverage.

In terms of prescription drug coverage today’s ruling maintains the changes to Medicare coverage that will see the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, or “doughnut hole” close and reduce the out-of-pocket costs that many seniors faced before their coverage kicked in under the old Medicare rules. At Canada Drugs we encourage our customers to stay informed on how changes to the American health care system will affect their bottom line. We always want our customers to maximize their savings, and in some cases ordering direct from Canada Drugs will save you more money on your prescriptions, but in other cases your combination of Medicare or other insurance payments and co-pays may work out to greater savings potential. Our trained team of Patient Service Representatives can work with you on a personalized quote that takes into account Medicare coverage and see what the smartest option is on your overall drug purchases. We never want anyone to pay more their medication than they have to. That’s our commitment to you.


Rising Temperatures Risk Your Prescription Safety: Be Safe When Traveling With Medication

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Last week marked the first official day of summer, and for many this time of year is when we look forward to hitting the cabin, camping or going on a road trip to a vacation destination. For those of us that also travel with our prescription medication, it’s good to be aware of how to be smart about traveling and protecting that medication from the rising summer heat.

Temperatures can really affect how a prescription drug works; you need to be aware that storage at high temperatures can quickly degrade the potency and stability of many medications. No drug should be exposed to temperatures higher than 86 degrees. It is recommend most of their products be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees, but in general short time periods of exposure to temperatures that range from 58 to 86 degrees fall within the guidelines outlined by most manufactures of the medication.

That 86 degree level can easily be exceeded on a hot day if left out at a cabin, or in the trunk on a long car ride. Always store medication in a cool dry place because humidity can also damage medication, and especially diabetic test strips can give false reading if exposed to moisture. Despite the name, the medicine cabinet is often the worst place to store drugs because of the frequent high humidity in the bathroom. Keep medicines in a cool, dry place, and out of the sun. If traveling or camping, don’t store your medication or leave it in a sweltering car and try to make sure your tent or trailer camper is in the shade if you are storing medication at your campsite.

A special note about insulin and other refrigerated products: It can easily degrade if it is frozen or too hot. Unopened bottles of insulin are best kept in the refrigerator. Open bottles, however, can be kept at room temperature, which also makes injections more comfortable.

During summer, if you take prescription medications, pay particular attention to any unusual symptoms that may suggest your medication isn’t working properly. These sorts of symptoms may be a sign that your medication has lost potency due to heat. Your first contact person should always be your pharmacist. Contact CanadaDrugs.com through our “Ask a Pharmacist” if you feel your drugs have been exposed to extreme temperatures. They are a good resource for what your next steps should be. Never take any medication that has changed color or consistency, regardless of the expiration date. Check also for an unusual odor. Discard pills that stick together, are chipped or are harder or softer than normal.

Enjoy the summer, and enjoy the sun and heat too, but be smart about how you travel with medications. A few precautions can guarantee that you won’t have to worry about temperature or humidity damage when you leave home this summer with your pills.


The Domino Effect of Simple Changes in Battling Obesity

Posted by on June 11th, 2012

Obesity remains the biggest health challenge facing North Americans. The health issues that spin off from being overweight are numerous and tackling these extra pounds that more and more of us deal with are key to maintaining to a longer and more importantly a better quality of life.

A study out of Northwestern Medicine published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is encouraging for those of us struggling with keeping weight off because it found that simply changing one bad habit has a domino effect on others and can lead to dramatic changes.

According to the study, by simply cutting back on sedentary time, you will reduce the amount of junk food and saturated fats eaten because when you’re not glued to the TV, you don’t snack as much! Combined with eating a few more servings of fruits and veggies, these two changes make more of health change than dieting or taking on an exercise regime.

The study randomly assigned 204 adult patients, ages 21 to 60 years old, who self reported that they were not active and were regular snackers into one of four treatments. The treatments were:

  • increase fruit/vegetable intake and physical activity
  • decrease fat and sedentary leisure
  • decrease fat and increase physical activity
  • increase fruit/vegetable intake and decrease sedentary leisure

At the conclusion of the study, those that simply ate more veggies and watched less TV saw the greatest change in weight and were able to maintain their weight loss the longest.

Losing weight is never easy, but this study does reflect that starting by making small changes can go a long way to making a big difference in the end. Too many get overwhelmed and try to diet, exercise and eventually get discouraged and give up. By starting with a pledge to simply not veg out in front of a screen, and eat a few more veggies a day, can be key to big changes down the road.


Canada Drugs Always Has A Pharmacist Here For You

Posted by on June 4th, 2012

One of the questions our new Canadian Pharmacy customers ask the first time they call to get a price quote or place an order is often about who fills their prescription. One of the main differences when ordering online or over the phone from a mail order pharmacy is that you don’t have that direct relationship with a pharmacist face-to-face, but we do want every single one of customers to know that they can easily consult with one of our pharmacists at any time on any health or prescription issue that they have.

Our pharmacists are here to work with you and assess prescription accuracy, deal with any possible drug interactions with medication that you order from CanadaDrugs.com, or from another pharmacy. Our pharmacists provide counseling services to ensure that you are empowered and knowledgeable about every aspect of your prescription drug regime. Just ask to speak with a pharmacist when you call us. You can also visit our online site to request a call back or ask a pharmacist your questions via email.

One of our long time pharmacy staff, Anita Mainella, who works out of our head office in Winnipeg, Canada, actually celebrated her 50th year as a pharmacist just this week. Our CEO and founder and fellow Manitoba pharmacist Kris Thorkelson was proud to recognize this outstanding achievement. Anita, is one of the many pharmacists that are here to answer questions and help you understand the role your prescription drugs play in your overall health.

Here are some questions that you can and should ask every time you start a new prescription.

 

1. Why should I take this drug?

Make sure you understand what the drug is for. If you are not sure you want to take it, tell the pharmacist your concerns. Ask if there are other ways to help your condition, such as diet and exercise.

 

2. Is the drug safe for me?

Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know:

• All the medicines you take. This includes over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and dietary supplements.

• Any drug allergies or bad reactions that you have had to drugs.

• Any illnesses or conditions you have, such as diabetes or asthma.

• If you are nursing, pregnant, or planning to get pregnant.

 

3. How should I take it?

• How often do I take the new drug?

• Do I take it before, after, or with a meal?

• How much do I take each time?

• Do I need to stop taking any other drugs while I am taking this one?

• Is there any food I should avoid? Can I drink alcohol? Is there anything I should not do, such as drive?

 

4. How long should I take the drug?

• How long do I need to take the drug? Do I need to finish the bottle? Can I stop when the symptoms are gone?

• How will I know if the drug is working?

• Will I need refills?

 

5. What are the side effects?

• What side effects might I have?

• When should I call the doctor about a side effect?

 

6. Is there a generic?

  • If a generic is available and your doctor and pharmacist feel it will be effective, you should be aware and have the choice to stretch your dollar and save.

 

7. There are no dumb questions

  • You should always feel comfortable and informed when starting a new medication. No question is a dumb question. Your pharmacist is there to answer any question you have about your medication. Ask!