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Bartell debuts ‘Vial of LIFE’

BY Doug Desjardins

SEATTLE Bartell Drugs is teaming with the Medic One Foundation for a new program called Vial of LIFE, which provides customers with a safe and convenient way to store vital medical information.

All 56 Bartell stores in Washington are selling the Vial of LIFE (Lifesaving Information for Emergencies) in stores for just $1, with more than half the proceeds going to the Medic One Foundation. The 5-inch plastic vials are designed to hold medical history and prescription forms, giving emergency responders access to vital information when a person is ill or unconscious.

“The Vial of LIFE Program is designed to speak for you when you are unable to speak … and assist emergency medical personnel in administering the proper treatment,” said Jan Sprake, executive director of the Medic One Foundation.

Customers are directed to store the Vial of LIFE in a refrigerator, a place paramedics and other emergency personnel are trained to check upon arrival at a residence.

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Energizer to debut mercury-free batteries this fall

BY Doug Desjardins

ST. LOUIS Energizer plans to roll out a new line of eco-friendly hearing aid batteries this fall. The company plans to debut its mercury-free hearing aid batteries on or before Oct. 1 at all major retailers.

The hearing aid batteries will come in four sizes and will be the first batteries of their kind to contain no mercury, a heavy metal that ends up in landfills when the batteries are thrown out.

“While the amount of mercury we removed was small in comparison to other mercury containing products, we’re nevertheless pleased to be taking the lead with our hearing aid batteries,” said Serge Traylor, Energizer brand manager.

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Jewel-Osco to test small-store concept

BY Drug Store News Team

MELROSE PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco says it will open a new small-format store in the Chicago area later this year.

Dubbed “Urban Fresh,” the 16,000-square-foot store will open in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago this fall. The store will emphasize ready-to-go meals along with a selection of fresh meats, seafood and produce. Parent company Supervalu has not said whether the store would feature a pharmacy.

“The smaller-store format is an exciting complement to our larger, more traditional grocery stores,” said Keith Nielsen, president of Jewell-Osco, which currently has 32 stores in the Chicago area.

Urban Fresh will be the latest in a growing number of small-format grocery stores launched in the United States during the past year. Tesco currently has 65 Fresh & Easy stores on the West Coast and Safeway opened its first “The Market” store in Long Beach, Calif. in late May. And Wal-Mart plans to open four small “Marketside” grocery stores in Phoenix this fall.

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