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Walmart Express makes debut

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — As promised, Walmart unveiled its smaller-format store concept, dubbed Walmart Express, this past week.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the first store opened in the Gentry, Ark., market just in time for the company’s shareholders meeting that was held last Friday morning. Two additional stores, located in Prairie Grove and Gravette, will open as soon as this week.

Walmart Express stores are about 15,000 sq. ft. and no larger than 30,000 sq. ft. and focus on a broad assortment of brands at everyday low prices, selling grocery, pharmacy and limited general merchandise, Walmart previously reported.

The new store is a no frills affair with bare concrete floors and an open rafter ceiling and the merchandise mix is heavily oriented toward food along with an emphasis on Walmart’s Site-to-Store service where it ships merchandise ordered online to stores for free. The jury is out on the format’s potential impact on pharmacy as the location in Gentry, which is about a 30 minute drive southwest of Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, contains a pharmacy but another test location further south in the community of Prairie Grove does not. Both communities are quite small with only a few thousand residents and pharmacy competition limited to independents.

Back in March, Walmart also confirmed that it secured a location for its smaller-format concept in the West Englewood area of Chicago, which is considered to be the heart of the food desert and one of the area’s most underserved communities.

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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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