Sun Risk Management Blog

 

Live Well, Work Well – November 2016

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Choosing Medications Wisely

The rising cost of prescription and specialty medications is alarming. The most recent example of how expensive these types of medications can be is the price hike of the life-saving EpiPen, which now costs more than $600 for one pack of two EpiPens.

If you take prescription medication, using the following strategies can help you become a wiser health care consumer and save you money:

  • Shop around—Drug prices are not the same at every pharmacy. You may be able to save money by shopping around.
  • Ask about drug substitution—When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask if a cheaper alternative is available or if an over-the-counter drug will work just as well.
  • Consider using a generic version of your prescription drug—Generic medications work just as well as brand-name drugs and can cost up to 80 percent less.
  • Look into discount card programs—Some drugstore chains offer discount prescription cards that provide additional discounts on your prescriptions for a small monthly or annual fee.

Check Your Tap Water for Chromium-6

A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization, revealed that there are higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6 in the tap water being supplied to two-thirds of all Americans. EWG published an interactive map that lists its water testing results on a county-by-county basis.

Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and can be produced in high quantities by industrial projects. In addition to being a known carcinogen, chromium-6 can also cause burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth.

If you live in an area that has high levels of chromium-6, consider purchasing a filter to remove the chemical from your water. The following are the most common filters used:

  • Ion exchange water treatment units—These units are effective in removing chromium-6. However, they need to be monitored, maintained and replaced fairly frequently.
  • Reverse osmosis filters—These filters are often more affordable and practical for residential use and are easier to find at local stores. However, they use much more energy, and you must dispose of the filtered materials.

If you aren’t sure what filter is best for you, visit EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide for further guidance.
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APPLE CRISP

4 medium-sized apples

¼ cup quick-cooking oatmeal

¼ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

¼ cup margarine, cut into small pieces

PREPARATIONS

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-by-8-inch pan.

2. Core and slice the apples. Spread the sliced apples on the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.

4. Using a knife, cut the margarine into the mixture until it looks like small crumbs.

5.Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the apples.

6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the apples are tender and bubbly. Serve warm.

Makes: 12 servings

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 170
Total Fat 6 g
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 28 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 50 mg

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Important Updates: 2016 Flu Vaccine

As the 2016-2017 flu season approaches, now is a great time to get vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.

Unlike their recommendations during past flu seasons, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, for the 2016-2017 season due to concerns over its effectiveness, especially in children. The CDC and AAP are now only recommending the injectable flu vaccine.

Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses while others protect against four viruses. Consult your physician to determine which shot is best for you. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine at a local health department, pharmacy or urgent care clinic.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season. For more information on the 2016-2017 vaccine, click here.
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