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OTCs now available to patients, employees at hospital pharmacy kiosks

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO — Asteres, a provider of 24/7 automated pharmacy kiosks, earlier this week announced that Guthrie Health is the first hospital pharmacy to offer OTC products in addition to prescriptions at their ScriptCenter kiosk.

Hospitals are installing ScriptCenter to provide a quick and convenient prescription drop-off and pickup service to hospital employees, especially those who work when the pharmacy is closed, the company stated.

“Adding our Leader-brand OTCs is a big benefit to our employees and clinic patients," stated Robert Schmidt, system director of pharmacy for Guthrie Health. "Our employees really appreciate the convenience of picking up their prescriptions and OTCs on all shifts. The [emergency room] can now send patients to ScriptCenter, saving them an extra trip to the store. Making OTC items available 24/7 for our staff and clinic patients just makes sense."

For prescription pickup, users enroll at ScriptCenter.com to create their log-in ID and PIN. For OTC products, no log-in is required, so anyone can shop ScriptCenter for the healthcare items they need.

ScriptCenter accepts debit, credit and flexible spending cards.

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Study: Pesticide exposure may increase Type 2 diabetes risk

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Researchers in Finland said they have confirmed a link between Type 2 diabetes and pesticides known as persistent organic pollutants, according to a new study in the journal Diabetes Care.

The study is not the first to show a link between the disease and the pollutants, also known as POPs, but it found that patients with the highest exposure to such chemicals as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and oxychlordane had a risk of Type 2 diabetes up to more than twice as high as those with the lowest levels of exposure, especially if they were overweight.

The researchers, led by Riikka Airaksinen of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Kuopio, Finland, selected 1,988 participants from a cohort of 8,760 people born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944, before the global peak in POP emissions.

Another study, conducted among 725 elderly people in Uppsala, Sweden, and also published in Diabetes Care, also found a link between exposure to POPs and Type 2 diabetes.

While many of the pesticides have been banned or restricted, they build up in the environment and collect in the fatty tissue of animals and people. An earlier study, published in the journal in 2007 and led by Lee Duk-Hee of Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, who also was involved in the Swedish study, found that exposure to POPs increased insulin resistance, a known factor in Type 2 diabetes.

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Weis kicks off second Penn State Pet-of-the-Game Facebook contest

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — After a popular Facebook contest made Brandi, a 7-year-old German shepherd mix, Weis Markets’ Pet of the Game at a Penn State football game in 2010, the company’s second annual Pet of the Game Facebook Contest returns to Weis Markets’ official Facebook fan page, the grocer announced Thursday.

Beginning Sept. 2, there will be a weekly Pet of the Game Winner who will receive a $50 Weis gift card and an entry in the Grand Prize Contest for eight tickets to the Penn State-Nebraska game at Beaver Stadium on Nov. 12, VIP tailgating passes and a $250 Weis Markets gift card.

To enter, fans must like the official Weis Markets Facebook page and enter a photo of their favorite pet in Penn State gear or colors. Each entrant will receive a coupon for a free bag of Weis-brand Paws dog or cat treats.

The 2010 contest included 136 competitors, including dogs, cats, horses, gerbils and a rabbit.

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