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WellDoc aids medication adherence through remote management system

BY DSN STAFF

BALTIMORE —Remote management of diabetes increasingly is becoming a reality to day with WellDoc’s Diabetes-Manager system, which recently received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

“With Type 2 diabetes reaching epidemic rates and limited time for care, healthcare providers need new tools to more efficiently engage their patients between and during office visits,” stated Richard Bergenstal, executive director of the International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet and president of the American Diabetes Association. “WellDoc’s system addresses this need by delivering real-time, evidence-based education and behavioral coaching. This enhanced engagement and communication is intended to enable providers to support positive patient behavior and improved health.”

In development for more than five years, the Diabetes-Manager system supports medication adherence and securely provides for the capture, storage and real-time transmission of blood-glucose data and other diabetes self-management information. This information is then analyzed by the company’s proprietary automated expert analytics system that identifies trends and then relays relevant communications to the patient.

“With the WellDoc DiabetesManager system, we provide the medical community with decision-support tools that can help doctors and patients work together to manage diabetes more effectively,” noted Suzanne Sysko Clough, chief medical officer of WellDoc.

WellDoc is not alone in helping patients manage their diabetes remotely. A&D Medical products were showcased in several new mobile solutions at the European Connected Health Campus Exhibition and the Continua Health Alliance Summer Summit, both in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this summer. The showcase included three separate applications running on the HTC Nexus One mobile phone with the Droid operating system 2.1.

In 2009, A&D Medical launched an entire line of telehealth products under its LifeSource brand, including a wireless blood pressure monitor, a wireless accelerometer (pedometer) and wireless weight scale.

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CVS’ future rests on front-end, private-label evolution

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK CVS Caremark has no doubt been a trailblazer in the healthcare arena, positioning itself along the front lines to leverage its various points of care to improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs. But with all that CVS Caremark has done and will continue to do in the healthcare space — and it is no doubt a lot — it still has more than 7,000 retail locations, and the front of the store continues to be a critical part of its business and a major growth driver for the company.

(THE NEWS: At his last analyst day, Ryan sets out course for future CVS Caremark. For the full story, click here)

The front end is an $18 billion business for CVS and to be sure the company continues to look for ways to drive even more productivity out of its stores. It comes as no surprise that one area it will target for additional growth is private label. Private-label penetration currently stands at 17%, and over the next two to three years, company executives expect that number to grow to more than 20%.

"Private-label brands continue to grow and evolve. In this economy, consumers have shown that they are much more willing to try private-label products," Mike Bloom, EVP merchandising and supply chain, told analysts during Friday’s 2010 analyst meeting in New York. He noted that by the end of 2010, CVS/pharmacy will have nearly 5,100 private-label items storewide, which is an increase of 900 items versus last year. Each year, the company adds about 900 new private-label items and leverages ExtraCare to encourage trials among cardholders.

What is news, particularly to suppliers, is that a key component of CVS’ private-label program is an entirely new line that the company plans to introduce in February 2011, called Just The Basics — named to clearly communicate its functional, value-priced, smart, simplicity positioning. What is significant is that the new line is not a national-brand-equivalent type execution, but rather, more of a basic entry-point, low-price alternative.

"Now, while many retailers are stuck in the brand-follower mode of the 1980s, we have evolved to a leadership role," Bloom said.

The company also is increasingly turning to "treasure hunt" items and is using its circulars to drive front-end sales. For example, it recently promoted a WiFi-capable Netbook for $99.99 on the front page of its circular. While a Netbook isn’t your traditional drug store product offering, it has proven to be a hit among shoppers. CVS sold $3 million worth of Netbooks in three weeks, and it will be a $15 million item at CVS, the company said.

Then there’s beauty. As the article states, CVS is piloting a mini format of its Healthy Skincare Centers (in 120 stores) and will launch in January an ExtraCare Beauty Club.

Clearly the front end continues to be a significant growth driver for CVS and that will continue to be the case for a long time to come.

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Natural rodent repellant Fresh Cab available at retail

BY Allison Cerra

BISMARCK, N.D. An all-natural rodent repellant continues to gain a stronger retail presence with more than 3 million pouches sold, which come in convenient four-pack boxes.

Earth-Kind’s Fresh Cab, created by gardener and environmentalist Warberg Block, uses ground corn cobs soaked in essential botanical oils and packaged in small biodegradable pouches.

Fresh Cab is sold at 15,000 home, garden, hardware and farm and ranch stores throughout the nation.

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