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CVS/pharmacy launches in-store campaign to support ALS, cystic fibrosis

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has announced the launch of a new in-store fundraising campaign, named Advancing Medical Research, to support medical research and help improve the quality of life for those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.
 
Funds raised through the campaign will benefit the ALS Therapy Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing ALS research, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Supporters for the 2012 campaign can donate $1 or $3 at the register in CVS/pharmacy locations and online through June 30.

Treg Charlton, a regional director of real estate for CVS Caremark living with ALS, and Brenda Fox, a CVS/pharmacy store manager and parent of two children living with cystic fibrosis, will serve as campaign co-chairs to share their own personal stories and further educate the public about each devastating disease.

"As a national leader in health care, CVS Caremark works with a number of nonprofit partners that align with our purpose and are focused on helping people on their path to better health. For more than 10 years, our in-store campaign supporting the ALS Therapy Alliance has been a tremendous success and we’re excited to expand our efforts to help those living with cystic fibrosis this year," said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. "We want to thank our customers and colleagues for continuing to support this very important annual campaign. Together, we can drive medical research for both of these causes in the hopes of finding a cure for those living with cystic fibrosis and ALS."

ALS is a disease that disrupts muscle function while leaving the brain intact, ultimately causing patients to become "trapped" in their own body. Life expectancy is just four to six years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects approximately 30,000 Americans, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year. To date, CVS/pharmacy has raised more than $27 million in support of ALS research.

With the Advancing Medical Research campaign, CVS/pharmacy will continue to help ATA drive medical research, including the development of promising drug therapies and collaborative efforts between academics and pharmaceutical companies.

"CVS/pharmacy has been instrumental in making possible the groundbreaking research conducted by the ALS Therapy Alliance," ALS Therapy Alliance president Robert Brown said. "Their annual in-store campaign has helped us understand the cause, risk factors and progression of ALS. This year, it will bring us one step closer to finding a cure for ALS."

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal genetic disease that causes debilitating lung infections and premature death. It affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. In January, a major advance in the fight against CF was realized when a new, breakthrough medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Called Kalydeco, it’s the first drug that targets the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis for a small segment of people with the disease. The Advancing Medical Research campaign will support research and development for drug therapies like Kalydeco to help more people living with cystic fibrosis.

"The Advancing Medical Research campaign will help drive continued advancements in research and development so that we are able to reach our ultimate goal of finding a cure for all people with cystic fibrosis," added Robert Beall, president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "We’re grateful to CVS/pharmacy for their commitment to help people with cystic fibrosis live longer and better lives."

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Research finds multidisciplinary approach to diabetes care can be effective

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA — An integrated wellness team approach to diabetes care can help patients not only improve their condition, but also lower their prescription costs, according to new research presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ 21st annual Scientific and Clinical Congress in Philadelphia.

Researchers led by Gary Evans, director of research at Northeast Florida Endocrine and Diabetes Associates, developed a multidisciplinary program that enrolled adult patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients were counseled in nutritional, fitness and behavioral elements of diabetes management in a customized 16-week curriculum while their doctors monitored body mass index, weight, HbA1C levels and diabetes medication dependence. Medications were reduced as needed to reduce the risk of low blood sugars.

Evans and his fellow researchers found that participants decreased their doses of insulin and oral medication by about 46% and 12%, respectively; reduced their 30-day prescription costs, on average, by nearly $143 per month; decreased their BMI by 3.07 and HbA1C by 0.7%. The researchers noted that HbA1C was reduced by an average of 1.3% for patients with a baseline HbA1C of 8% or more.

"The multidisciplinary program creates a timeframe that gives patients time to absorb the information, revisit strategies for management and engrave the behaviors into their minds," Evans said. "Covering those key elements is what it takes for patients to grasp and embrace the strategies to be successful and improve their condition. It is our hope that the success of this curriculum will create a pathway for intensive wellness programs to be recognized as medical benefits for diabetes patients by insurance companies The only way to be successful with long-term goals is to affect a lifestyle change."


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Kroger launches annual Bringing Hope to the Table campaign

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger has launched its annual hunger awareness campaign, which is expected to generate $4 million in cash and food donations this year.

The Bringing Hope to the Table campaign, which kicked off Sunday and will run for two weeks, is designed to assist 80 local food banks — which are members of Feeding America — in communities where Kroger’s customers and associates live and work. Since 2006, Kroger has contributed $30 million in food and funds to local food banks through the annual campaign.

"Bringing Hope to the Table is a unique opportunity for our customers and Kroger to join together to feed our hungry neighbors," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs and a member of the board of Feeding America. "We’re proud that through this campaign, our customers, associates and vendors unite to provide resources to local food banks that support our communities."

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