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Surgeon general speaks out in support of breast-feeding

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The surgeon general on Monday issued a release promoting breast-feeding in support of World Breast-feeding Week, Aug. 1 through 7.

"One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breast-feed," stated surgeon general Regina Benjamin. "It protects babies from many infections and illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Children who have been breast-fed have lower rates of childhood obesity, [and] mothers who breast-feed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers."

The surgeon general released a "Call to Action to Support Breast-feeding" earlier this year, outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breast-feed their babies.

"In addition, the Affordable Care Act has made significant progress to support breast-feeding,which include historic new insurance guidelines that will ensure millions of women receive preventive health services without a co-pay or deductible," Benjamin added. "These new guidelines, developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, require insurance companies to cover certain women’s preventive services, including breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling."

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FDA: Unapproved emergency birth control medicine possibly in U.S. distribution

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned U.S. consumers not to use the emergency birth control medicine labeled as Evital, as it may be a counterfeit version of the “morning after pill” and may not be safe or effective in preventing pregnancy.
 
In addition, no brand labeled Evital has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

The FDA is especially concerned that Evital may be in distribution in some Hispanic communities. The packaging label of the counterfeit version says, “Evital Anticonceptivo de emergencia, 1.5 mg, 1 tablet,” by “Fluter Domull."
          
For more information about counterfeit medicine, click here.

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Bartell launches school supply drive

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs’ is partnering with manufacturers in its eighth annual school supply donation drive, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

Bartell, which operates 58 stores in Washington state’s Puget Sound region — the metropolitan area around Seattle — said it would collect donated school supplies at all of its stores from Friday through Aug. 28. The chain is partnering with suppliers Mead, Avery and Bic to support the drive.

The supplies will be given to the Kids in Need Resource Center, where teachers with students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs can "shop" for free school supplies to meet students’ needs. The center served 120 schools in the Puget Sound region last year, with an average pickup of $700 in donated items for each of the nearly 2,500 teacher visits. According to World Vision, a charity based in Federal Way, Wash., as many as 58,000 students in the area could start the school year without basic supplies.

"With so many area children lacking basic school supplies, there’s never been a more important time to support this drive," Bartell chairman and CEO George Bartell said. "Over the past seven years, we’ve appreciated the support by our customers and the public for their donations."

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