HEALTH

Rite Aid, GNC extend partnership through 2019, allowing at least 300 new ‘store-within-a-store’ locations over five years

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The long-standing partnership between Rite Aid and nutritional products retailer GNC is being extended through the end of the decade, Rite Aid said Thursday.

Rite Aid said the partnership, which started in 1998, has been extended through 2019. The extension allows Rite Aid to add at least 300 GNC LiveWell store-within-a-store locations over the next five years. Currently, there are more than 2,200 such locations throughout the Rite Aid chain.

"Rite aid’s strategic partnership with GNC is a point of differentiation, both in the chain drug industry and with our customers," Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale said. "With the extension of our retail agreement with GNC, we will be able to continue bringing our customers the outstanding lineup of highly popular GNC products they trust while delivering in our mission of helping our customers meet their unique health and wellness needs."

Tom Dowd, EVP, general manager and chief merchandising officer of Pittsburgh-based GNC, called the partnership an important part of his company’s growth strategy.

"As a leading global specialty retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, GNC shares Rite Aid’s commitment to improving the health and wellness of its customers," Dowd said. "We look forward to working together to bring our successful store-within-a-store to more Rite Aid pharmacies over the next five years, making it easier than ever for people to live well."

 

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Kashi launches Crunchy Granola and Seed Bars

BY Michael Johnsen

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Kashi on Wednesday launched Crunchy Granola and Seed Bars in two flavors – Honey Oat Flax and Chocolate Chip Chia. The bars include chia seeds, flax and quinoa. 

"We’re passionate about providing delicious and progressive ways to nourish appetites. Kashi’s new Crunchy Granola and Seed Bars are made from wholesome ingredients that make positive eating easy," John King, Kashi marketing director said.

The Kashi Crunchy Granola and Seed Bars are now available at select grocery retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

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Study: Respiratory Syncytial Virus appears to cause milder upper respiratory illness than influenza

BY Michael Johnsen

MARSHFIELD, Wis. — Respiratory Syncytial Virus appears to cause milder illness than influenza in adults age 50 or older, researchers at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation announced Wednesday.

The study, published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases, also shows RSV is a common cause of respiratory illness in older adults and that the chance of infection increases with age.

"RSV has long been known to cause serious respiratory illness in infants, but much less is known about the illnesses RSV causes in older adults," Edward Belongia, director of the Epidemiology Research Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, said. "Knowing that adults’ susceptibility to RSV increases as they age is important for health care providers and public health officials to note as they treat and monitor respiratory illnesses this season."

RSV is a common virus that causes infections of the lungs and breathing passages. The virus is thought to cause about 10% of winter hospitalizations for pneumonia in adults 65 and older. Most healthy people recover from RSV in one to two weeks, but for some infants, children and older adults, RSV causes serious illness. Most children have had RSV by age 2.

Study results suggest flu may cause more severe illness than RSV in older adults. That’s based on two key points — people with RSV delayed seeking treatment after the onset of illness more than patients with flu and fewer RSV patients were hospitalized within 30 days compared to those with flu.

Symptoms of RSV are cold-like in most instances and include congested or runny nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, sore throat and headache. In severe cases, the contagious virus causes high fever, severe cough, wheezing, rapid breathing and bluish color of the skin due to lack of oxygen.

"Influenza gets a lot of attention this time of the year and for good reason – it’s a serious illness that affects thousands of people," noted MCRF epidemiologist Maria Sundaram, one of the study’s lead authors. "Although this study showed RSV may lead to fewer complications than flu, it still has the potential to cause serious respiratory illness, especially in older adults with weakened immune systems or other pre-existing conditions."

 

 

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