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PharmaSmart deploys kiosks in all Kinney Drugs stores

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PharmaSmart International’s blood-pressure screening program is in use in all the stores of a regional retail pharmacy chain in the Northeast.

PharmaSmart said it had deployed the peer-reviewed and clinically validated program at Kinney Drugs, which operates 97 stores in upstate New York and Vermont.

PharmaSmart manufacturers and distributes the kiosks and interoperable health information technology systems and called the rollout a "major milestone" for the company following its recent relocation into a new, 53,000-sq. ft. headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.

"In this era of personalized medicine, the role of the pharmacist continues to expand as a healthcare provider," Kinney Drugs VP pharmacy operations Mike Duteau said. "The PharmaSmart kiosk technology is a valuable new frontline tool to assist our patients and pharmacists with their efforts to maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent heart disease and strokes."

PharmaSmart said its network of kiosks had collected and stored more than 16 million patient readings on its server, which it said would allow Kinney pharmacists to conduct timely reviews with patients who don’t have their blood pressure controlled and thereby help them achieve better health outcomes.

"Our partnership with Kinney Drugs delivers proof that the traditional drug store can deliver innovative services to address the challenge of chronic disease and spiraling healthcare costs," PharmaSmart COO Ashton Maaraba said. "We are thrilled to be working with Kinney as they promote traditional core values and demonstrate outstanding execution for top-line pharmacy services. In 2012, a staggering 70 million Americans did not have their blood pressure controlled. Pharmacy chains such as Kinney Drugs and Bartell Drugs have partnered with PharmaSmart to address this chronic issue."

 

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NPA: Gross amounts of gingko may be a danger to lab rats, but daily use no danger to people

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Following a report published Monday in The New York Times about how high doses of the supplement ginkgo biloba caused cancer in lab animals, many are calling for the removal of the product from store shelves to prevent consumer consumption. 

On Tuesday, the Natural Products Association issued a release protesting the indirect correlation. 

"NPA believes there are three major issues with the study from the National Toxicology Program. First, the study tested the effects of gingko biloba in animals, and these results cannot be directly translated to humans," noted NPA CEO John Shaw. "Second, the lab animals in this study were given quantities of ginkgo biloba that were much higher than humans would consume. The New York Times story even points this out, noting that ‘doses used in toxicology studies tend to be very high,’" Shaw said. 

According to the report, mice received up to 2,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight five times a week in this study; consumers take up to about 120 milligrams a day.

"Finally, it has been found that the ginkgo extract used in the NTP study was not the same high-quality type that has been used in clinical trials establishing the benefits and safety of ginkgo biloba," Shaw asserted. "The NTP study and the accompanying story from The New York Times should not deter consumers from taking ginkgo biloba."

 

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Rite Aid signs on as platinum sponsor of EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has signed on as a platinum sponsor of the Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

The company will sponsor the New York and Los Angeles events this month, fielding teams of runners and walkers, manning booths and bringing fitness expert Denise Austin to warm up participants, as well as partnering with Revlon to donate a combined $100,000 to the EIF in support of efforts against women’s cancer.

The two-city event, now in its 20th year, is expected to draw tens of thousands of cancer survivors, patients, loved ones and supporters. The New York run-walk will take place in Central Park on Saturday, and the Los Angeles event will be at Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park on May 11.

"I am honored and excited to be joining Rite Aid, Revlon and the Entertainment Industry Foundation at both the New York and Los Angeles EIF Revlon Run/Walk events this year," Austin said. "Though I’ll be leading the warm ups and motivating runners and walkers, for me, the true inspiration will come from the crowd filled with survivors of women’s cancers and their many supporters."

 

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