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Walgreens pilots vision care offering at Chicago flagship

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Walgreens Boots Alliance is piloting a retail vision care center at one Walgreens location within its flagship Magnificent Mile store in the Wrigley Building here, the company recently revealed, taking what has been a successful page out of its U.K.-based Boots Pharmacy division and applying that strategy to the U.S. market.

"Walgreens believes vision care, combining health and fashion, has potential as an expanded offering as it strives to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty retailer," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham shared with Drug Store News.  "At present we are piloting just one store and will use that experience to determine the timing and location of any similar, potential future store enhancements."

In the United Kingdom, Boots actually is one of the leaders in the optical market with 636 practices, Walgreens Boots Alliance reported, of which 182 operate on a franchise basis.  Approximately 30% of these optical practices are located in Boots stores with the balance being standalone optical practices.

Walgreens may be taking a similar approach in Chicago, as the services at Walgreens Optical are being provided by an independently owned company whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by Walgreens.

The new Walgreens Optical offers comprehensive eye exams from fully-licensed optometrists and opticians, advanced lenses from leading companies and a full selection of frames and price points.

 

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First at-home pet urine test available at all Meijer locations

BY Brian Berk

LOS ANGELES — Petnostics, manufacturer of the first at-home urine test for pets, announced its product line is available at all 230 Meijer locations throughout the country.

The company’s smart urine test kits, test strips and accessories allow pet owners to check their dog or cat’s health instantly via their iPhone or Android phone.

According to Los Angeles-based Petnostics, its technology, the same diagnostic technology used by veterinarians in clinics, also allows pet owners to access potential health issues for their pet. Pet owners can monitor chronic conditions such as diabetes, bladder stones and urinary tract infections by purchasing disease-specific test strips at Meijer, the company stated.

“We are excited to partner with an innovative retailer like Meijer to bring pet parents in the Midwest a new way to check their dog or cat’s health instantly,” said Stephen Chen, CEO of Petnostics. “Meijer has always been about family, and now, pet parents can be better informed about the health of the pet in their family by knowing that a lifetime of love is only a scan away.”

Petnostics was previously featured on the ABC television show “Shark Tank.”

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

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Study: Meta-analysis confirms omega-3 role in reducing risk of coronary heart disease

BY DSN STAFF

SALT LAKE CITY  — The latest research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings outlined a statistically significant reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease for those in higher risk populations who supplemented their diets with EPA and DHA omega-3s , including a 16% reduction in CHD risk in those with high triglycerides and 14% in those with high LDL cholesterol.

"What makes this paper unique is that it looked at the effects of EPA and DHA on coronary heart disease specifically, which is an important nuance considering coronary heart disease accounts for half of all cardiovascular deaths in the U.S.," stated Dominik Alexander, lead author and principal epidemiologist for EpidStat. "The 6% reduced risk among [randomized controlled trials], coupled with an 18% risk reduction in prospective cohort studies — which tend to include more real-life dietary scenarios over longer periods — tell a compelling story about the importance of EPA and DHA omega-3s for cardiovascular health."

The study reviewed 18 randomized controlled trials and 16 prospective cohort studies, with 93,000 and 732,000 subjects, respectively. The study examined outcomes such as myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death and coronary death.

The study compared the results of RCTs, which explore interventions under strict clinical conditions, to those of prospective cohort studies that are observational, and followed larger populations for longer periods of time.

"There are important public health implications related to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, and therefore we are encouraged by the results of this comprehensive analysis," said Harry Rice, VP regulatory and scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED). "It's also important that the observed risk reductions were even stronger in patient populations with elevated triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels, two risk factors that affect more than one quarter of the American population."

"The results confirm that increasing omega-3s is a healthy lifestyle intervention that can contribute towards reductions in CHD risk," added Adam Ismail, executive director of GOED. "Remember that increasing omega-3 intakes is basically just improving the quality of one's diet slightly, like reducing the amount of sodium or increasing your dietary fiber. It is a simple, inexpensive and achievable change that most consumers need to make to optimize their health."

An accompanying editorial in Mayo Clinic Proceedings also acknowledges the importance of the study. "The meta-analyses of Alexander and colleagues suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake may reduce risk of adverse CHD events, especially among people with elevated levels of TGs or LDL-C.…omega-3 fatty acid intake of at least 1 gram of EPA+DHA per day, either from seafood or supplementation (as recommended by the American Heart Association), continues to be a reasonable strategy."

The study was supported by a grant from GOED, which played no role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

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