Saturday, November 30, 2002

ProMed launches co-op advertising program

ATLANTA - After failing to get a favorable (or negative) advisory opinion from the OIG, ProMed Pharmacies has abandoned plans to offer a pharmacy management agreement product to HME providers. Instead, ProMed is launching a co-op advertising program for HME providers who lack the 50 to100-patient critical mass that makes hiring one's own pharmacist feasible. "We've been looking for ways we can work closer with HME dealers and still stay within the law," said Don Chrysler, owner of the Amarillo,Texas-based company. ProMed's co-op program will offer advertising materials, brochures, print ads and TV ads that can be used in conjunction with joint-marketing efforts.
OSA contributed to troopers fiery death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The children of a state trooper won a $7.8 million verdict when their attorney convinced a jury that the trucker who hit and killed their father suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Lynn Ross was killed when Clifford Engum, a driver for Eck Miller Transportation, hit his patrol car. The vehicle exploded on impact, trapping Ross inside. The survivors' attorneys argued that the driver's fatigue and the employer's prior knowledge of his sleep apnea were contributing factors in the accident.
Asthma cases increase

ATLANTA - The number of Americans with asthma more than doubled between 1980 and 1998, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the fastest-growing chronic disease in the United States. An estimated 17 million people - including at least 5 million children - have the disease, and medical experts fear that if the trend continues, the number of Americans with asthma could double again by 2020.

The economic impact is high: $3.6 billion annually in direct medical expenditures, including hospital care, physicians' services and medications. If you add the indirect costs of asthma, such as lost productivity, the price tag is staggering - $11.3 billion. Perhaps more frightening is that an episode of asthma can be triggered by almost any allergen - pollen, dust mites, animal dander, molds, additives, cockroaches and foods - as well as viral respiratory infections and physical exertion.