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Depressive diabetics’ spouses also experience distress, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Spouses of older patients with diabetes tend to experience distress if the diabetic patient has symptoms of depression, according to a new study.

Researchers at Purdue University based their study on statistical models with 185 couples older than 50 years of age, noting that after patients and spouses completed individual surveys that measured distress related to diabetes — such as adherence to treatment recommendations and depressive symptoms — they found that distress felt by spouses is similar to what patients felt, which could contribute to their own depressive symptoms, including irritability or sadness.

These depressive symptoms, the researchers noted, come from patients’ own anxieties about living with the disease or from caring for someone with the disease, but not necessarily because the other person is struggling.

"Because spouses’ distress is not always directly linked to feelings of their partners, it tells us that we need to pay more attention to the spouse, as well as the patient," said lead researcher Melissa Franks, an assistant professor of child development and family studies. "Understanding the triggers for depressive symptoms can help practitioners and experts better care for patients and spouses as individuals and as a unit."

The findings appeared in the December 2010 issue of the journal Family Relations.

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Merlo’s talent will help CVS grow

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that Larry Merlo is taking the helm at CVS Caremark was expected, but that doesn’t take away from its significance.

(THE NEWS: Merlo to assume CEO role at CVS Caremark. For the full story, click here)

Since beginning his career in chain pharmacy in 1978 with People’s Drug (which CVS acquired in 1990), Merlo has become an operations guru who wrote the book on successfully integrating acquisitions.

The chain hasn’t always been the healthcare mammoth it is today and, over the years, has grown largely through acquisitions. The list includes 2,000 stores from Revco, 240 stores from Arbor Drugs, some 1,260 Eckerd stores, 700 stand-alone Sav-on and Osco drug stores from Albertsons and, more recently, Longs Drug Stores’ 521 retail locations in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona, as well as its pharmacy benefit management services.

That’s not to mention the acquisitions of retail-clinic operator MinuteClinic and pharmacy benefit manager Caremark.

Today, the company not only has revenues approaching $100 billion but its network of some 7,100 retail locations looks like one cohesive unit; clearly, a significant portion of that success can be attributed to the talents of Merlo.

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‘Conviction’ makes Blu-ray, DVD debut

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — The true story of a woman’s 18-year quest to clear the name of her wrongly accused brother is arriving at retail Feb. 1 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

"Conviction," starring Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, tells the story of Betty Ann Waters (played by Swank), a high-school dropout that attends law school to seek justice for her brother (Rockwell) and to appeal his conviction.

Both Blu-ray and DVD formats of the film feature a behind-the-scenes interview with the real Betty Ann Waters. "Conviction" will retail for $39.99 (Blu-ray) and $29.98 (DVD).

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