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Bayer gets ‘Didget’-al with kids

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWBURY, England —It’s not yet available in the United States, but Bayer Diabetes Care earlier this summer launched Didget, a blood glucose meter designed for kids with diabetes that directly connects to Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite gaming systems, for its consumers in England and Ireland.

“The Didget meter is a revolutionary development in healthcare management,” stated Sandra Peterson, head of Bayer Medical Care, at the time of the Didget launch. “Up until now, blood glucose monitors have been created with adults in mind.… This product was inspired by a parent of a child with diabetes, to directly address the challenges facing kids with diabetes, and their parents.”

The Didget meter, intended for use by kids between the ages of 5 and 14 years, also will connect to Bayer’s Didget World, www.bayerdidget.co.uk, a new password-protected Web community where kids can spend points that they earn from consistent monitoring practices, as well as create their own page. With that page, they can interact with other children with diabetes and participate in online games.

Children can earn reward points for blood glucose test results within their personalized target range, the number of tests per day and the minimum time between tests. Plus, they can earn bonus points for consistently testing at least three times per day, every day for at least one week and up to 90 days. Children can use these points to purchase items in the games, unlock minigames and customize their experience on Bayer’s Didget World.

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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