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Giant-Carlisle sponsors diabetes fair

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Free health screenings, a weight-bearing exercise and other activities will be featured at an upcoming diabetes fair sponsored by Giant Food Stores, the supermarket chain said.

Giant, the Ahold USA banner based in Carlisle, Pa., and also known as Giant-Carlisle to distinguish it from fellow Ahold chain Giant Food of Landover, Md., said it would partner with Pinnacle Health, Capital BlueCross and the American Diabetes Association to offer the "Living with Diabetes" event at a Harrisburg, Pa., store.

"More than 25 million people in the United States today have diabetes, and 79 million have prediabetes," Giant nutritionist Sarah Glunz said. "We encourage both those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes and those trying to prevent it to attend our health fair and learn how they can take control of the disease by eating properly, exercising and living an overall healthy lifestyle."

Pinnacle Health will sponsor the health screenings, while Capital BlueCross will sponsor the weight-bearing exercise. Other activities include soul line dancing and a healthy cooking demonstration and nutritional shopping tips.

In other news, Giant-Carlisle said it had collected more than two tons of unwanted and expired medication as part of the nationwide medication take-back day on April 27, under partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement.


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Suppliers helping to shape future of beauty as evidenced by this year’s FIT Capstone presentation

BY Antoinette Alexander

The Master of Professional Studies degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City recently showcased its final projects at the annual FIT Capstone presentation. This year’s presentation focused on “Beauty in a Digital World.”

Beauty is helping to redefine the customer experience of shopping a drug store and is helping retailers set themselves apart from rivals in a very competitive environment.

What is especially important to note is the role that many mass-market beauty suppliers are playing in shaping the future of beauty at mass. For example, authors of the Capstone white paper on “The Future of Big Data and Beauty: Data Driven Beauty,” included associates of Coty Beauty, Beiersdorf, Unilever and L’Oreal. And authors of the white paper of “Digital Commerce: Infinite Commerce,” included associates from Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal.

Furthermore, Beiersdorf served as this year’s title sponsor of the graduate program.

“In the post-Facebook IPO world, and after the success of micro targeting in the 2012 Obama presidential campaign, the notion of ‘digital’ to consumer marketing has evolved,” FIT stated in describing this year’s Capstone presentation.”… Digital capabilities are also unlocking opportunities for both knowledge and cost savings in the marketing spend, notably for consumer interaction and enhanced market research opportunities, with access to data leading to more customized consumer communication and product offering.”

As many major beauty suppliers take a closer look at the future of beauty, many retailers, such as Walgreens, Target and CVS/pharmacy, are also working to elevate the beauty experience in their stores. With a melding of upscale décor, higher-end beauty brands, in-store services and innovative technology, they are striving to become a beauty destination for savvy shoppers.

By coming together to share key learnings and innovations, both suppliers and retailers can continue to further elevate the beauty shopping experience within retail pharmacy.
 

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Avandia could get a second chance, following FDA panel vote

BY Alaric DeArment

A 26-member joint panel comprising the Food and Drug Administration’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs and Drug Safety and Risk Management advisory committees voted to support modifying or removing the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy protocol for GlaxoSmithKline’s Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone).

Historically, the FDA has followed advisory committee votes when making a decision on the marketing of a drug even though it is not bound by them, but assuming the agency follows the panel’s advice, it could mean a lot for the controversial drug and the way it’s dispensed. But even if Avandia winds up on retail pharmacy shelves again, it faces a very different landscape from its heyday.

The REMS for Avandia dates back to 2010, when the FDA began moving to severely restrict its marketing, based on a 2007 study linking it to heart attacks, and amid allegations that GSK continued marketing the drug despite being aware of its cardiovascular risk, for which the drug maker paid the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado $3.4 billion. Approved by the FDA in 1999, U.S. sales of Avandia and related drugs such as Avandamet (rosiglitazone; metformin hydrochloride) reached $1.86 billion by 2006, achieving a diabetes market share of 37%, according to GSK. But by 2009, that figure had fallen to $660.4 million. And by 2012, global sales were $9.3 million. Teva is approved to make the only generic version of Avandia, under a patent-litigation settlement reached with GSK in 2007, but it hasn’t launched the drug.

In other words, what was once among the world’s top diabetes drugs suffered from a restrictive REMS, but it still faces limited generic competition, meaning that it could see sales pick up if the FDA decides to ease the restrictions on it and allow it to be dispensed in environments such as retail pharmacies — though it’s unlikely to ever achieve the sales it did early on given the controversy surrounding it; even the New York Times called the FDA advisory committee’s vote a "minor victory" for the drug.

Also, in addition to Takeda’s Actos and nearly a dozen generic versions of that drug, there were 130 drugs under development for Type 2 diabetes last year, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, out of 221 under development for diabetes overall; of the 221, 53 were in late-stage development or under FDA review. Many of the drugs under development include pioglitazone, the active ingredient in Actos, and one, Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Metabolic Solutions Development’s MSDC-0160 (mitoglitazone) belongs to the same class as Actos and Avandia.

 

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