PHARMACY

Fighting obesity through education

BY Alaric DeArment

Obesity has risen dramatically across the United States in the last 30 years, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of the U.S. population is obese, including 17% of children and adolescents.


But one supermarket-pharmacy chain is doing its part to address the problem, especially among the young. Since early last year, Giant-Carlisle has been sponsoring a series of childhood obesity forums around the markets it serves in Pennsylvania and Virginia to discuss the problem and how to combat it.


The first happened in Willow Grove, Pa., and brought together physicians from the community and Philadelphia, the in-store nutritionist from the local Giant store, and officials from local nonprofits and the school district. Similar events followed in Harrisburg, Pa., and at a Martin’s Food Markets store in Richmond, Va.


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Driving prevention with screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

A lot of retailers offer screenings for everything from diabetes to allergies, but what sets Sam’s Club apart is the scale on which it delivers them. The club retailer offers screenings for everything from heart health and women’s health to diabetes. In a recent interview with Drug Store News, director of business development for health and wellness Angie Muldoon said that the company had conducted more than 1 million screenings in 2011.


“It’s everything from glucose to blood pressure to cholesterol, and then with that information, [members] can make the right decisions for their own health,” Muldoon said. “Our screening events are available not only to our members, but to the general public. We do that because we think it’s important to drive awareness of their own individual health, whether they’re a member or not, and then also to drive awareness of our OTC, pharmacy and [health and beauty aid] areas.”


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Targeting diabetes with loyalty cards

BY Alaric DeArment

One of the highlights for Rite Aid’s business has been Wellness+, its loyalty card program that has played a major role in driving growth in the company’s comps, as well as attracting new and more loyal customers.


In September, the company launched the first major expansion of the program, Wellness+ for Diabetes. Designed to address an epidemic affecting more than 26 million Americans, Wellness+ for Diabetes offers resources and savings for people living with the diabetes. A partnership with WebMD allows customers to have exclusive online access to a special Rite Aid-sponsored section of the website’s “Diabetes Head2toe” online lifestyle management tools, including a personal diabetes work plan that features a daily glucose tracker and weekly workout log. Customers enrolled in the program also will have access to special Wellness+ rewards.


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