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Becton, Dickinson and Co. to donate insulin injections through Direct Relief

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. A company that develops medical devices and technology plans to donate 5 million insulin syringes and pen needles to diabetes patients struggling to manage their disease because of the economic crisis.

Becton, Dickinson and Co. announced a nationwide program Tuesday to distribute the supplies through Direct Relief to more than 1,000 community health centers and free clinics.

“To avoid the debilitating and costly complications of diabetes, patients must effectively manage their conditions,” BD Medical – Diabetes Care president Linda Tharby said in a statement. “Insulin injections often play a vital role in this daily effort, and BD believes that patients who have fallen on tough times should not forego this critical part of their treatment regimen.”

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Study: Zinc good for healthy immune function, destroying viruses, bacteria

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Zinc not only supports healthy immune function, but increases activation of T cells responsible for destroying viruses and bacteria, according to a new study.

According to the study found in the 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists found that T cells taken from the zinc-supplemented group had higher activation than those from the placebo group.

“As the debate over zinc supplementation in healthy individuals continues,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, “studies like this help shed light on how zinc may enhance the ability of our immune systems to fight off foreign invaders. Equally important, this work points toward new possible targets for entirely new drugs to help augment immune function and prevent or stop infections that might be resistant to traditional antibiotics.”

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Safeway launches annual fundraising campaign for MDA

BY Anna Mcgrath

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway announced its seventh companywide campaign to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association and its work to defeat more than 40 devastating neuromuscular diseases.

Proceeds from the campaign go towards financing medical research and programs to improve the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases.

Safeway’s 2009 MDA campaign commences this month and will last through Labor Day. Over the years the company has raised more that $41.7 million for muscular dystrophy charities.

“Safeway is an invaluable partner that has proven, time and time again, that it cares deeply about people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases and all people with disabilities,” said MDA national chairman Jerry Lewis. “By reaching out to millions of customers each day, Safeway will raise public awareness while bringing hope and help to the hundreds of thousands of people – kids and adults – living with these muscle-wasting diseases.”

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