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Hypoglycemic events can disrupt work productivity for diabetics, survey finds

BY Allison Cerra

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A new survey sponsored by drug maker Novo Nordisk, which polled Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France, found that about 1-in-5 respondents regularly are unable to attend a full day of work due to disruption caused by episodes of dangerously low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemic events.

According to survey results published in the July issue of Value in Health journal, among 1,404 people surveyed ages 18 years and older, about 22.7% said they have arrived late for work or missed a full day of work as a result of a nocturnal hypoglycemic event. Meanwhile, 18.3% of people have had to leave work early or miss a full day if they experienced a hypoglycemic event during work hours.

Hypoglycemic event symptoms often include pounding heart, trembling, hunger, sweating, difficulty concentrating or confusion. What’s more, diabetics that are treated with insulin can experience one to three events per month, researchers noted.

The complete study can be found online at Valueinhealthjournal.com.

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Rite Aid promotes skin cancer awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is partnering with the Skin Cancer Foundation to launch a healthy skin care campaign for the summer, the retail pharmacy chain announced Monday.

The campaign, which will last through July 26, will include free informational guides in all the chain’s stores and online, as well as promotions for skin care products and a national tour featuring free full-body skin cancer screenings by local dermatologists and advice from Rite Aid pharmacists.

As part of the campaign, the company will offer a 12-page, full-color guide about skin care at all of its stores and on its website, at Riteaid.com. The guide will cover such topics as ultraviolet rays and how to find the appropriate sunscreen to block them, daily sun safety tips, ways to guard against eyelid skin cancer and keep the skin hydrated properly, and discussing skin-care tips with pharmacists, who can offer advice on such topics as medications that may increase sun sensitivity. Members of the chain’s Wellness+ rewards program who spend $50 on certain skin care products can earn a $15 +UP reward valid for future purchases at Rite Aid stores.

In addition, Rite Aid and skin care products company Aveeno will help sponsor the Skin Care Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour for the fourth year in a row, offering free private screenings with the help of local dermatologists at more than 60 Rite Aid stores in 19 states.

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FDA issues statement on E. coli outbreak in Europe

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday addressed the current outbreak of E. coli O104 in Europe.

The U.S. regulatory agency said that it has been in "routine contact" with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the European Union to monitor the current outbreak of E. coli O104 and to track any illnesses in the United States that may be related to the outbreak.

The FDA added that it believed that the outbreak has not affected the U.S. food supply but has established certain additional import controls and currently is conducting increased surveillance of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and raw salads from areas of concern; however, the agency noted that the EU is not a significant source of produce for the United States.

"When these products are presented for import, we will sample them, and we will analyze them," said Dara Corrigan, FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "The FDA will not allow any products found to be contaminated to enter the United States, and if contamination is found, [the FDA] will flag future shipments for appropriate action. As more information about the source of the outbreak emerges, we will adjust our public health protection efforts, especially those at the border, accordingly."

Added FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition deputy director Donald Kraemer, "Food growers, manufacturers and distributors are responsible for marketing safe food and taking any steps necessary to ensure that their products are indeed safe. The FDA has provided scientific guidance to the produce industry on ways to minimize the risk of E. coli, and these methods will reduce the risk of the strain of E. coli causing the European outbreak, as well as the more common strains."

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