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BD Medical launches BD AutoShield Duo, featuring patented dual front- and back-end shields

BY Michael Johnsen

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — BD Medical, a segment of BD, on Wednesday announced the retail pharmacy launch of BD AutoShield Duo, the only pen needle with patented dual front- and back-end shields that provides greater convenience and safety before and after injecting. The technology conceals the needle, helping to alleviate pre-injection anxiety while helping to reduce the risk of accidental needle stick for patients who inject insulin or other diabetes drugs.

 
The BD AutoShield Duo pen needle is easier to use because there is no inner needle shield to manage and no re-capping necessary, allowing people to dispose of the pen needle in a sharps container when it's convenient to help avoid risk of an accidental needle stick. A front shield automatically covers the needle before and after an injection, and a second shield passively covers the back end needle after injection. Additionally, the front shield helps conceal the needle to reduce injection-related anxiety. Many prescribers and pharmacists have reported that a less visible needle may reduce stress and other potential psychological barriers associated with injection for some patients.
 
"Diabetes is a self-managed disease that requires constant monitoring and involvement to achieve personal goals. By simplifying the steps, BD AutoShield Duo pen needles can help make insulin injection easier, safer and more convenient than ever before," said Ranjeet Banerjee, worldwide president, BD Medical – Diabetes Care. "The U.S. launch of the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle is the latest example of BD's commitment to innovation to simplify the management of diabetes for people around the world."
 
In addition to helping reduce the risk of accidental needle sticks, BD AutoShield Duo pen needles include audible and visual cues for a more confident injection experience. The front shield clicks to indicate that the needle has fully penetrated the skin, and a red band appears when the injection is completed, while the back-end shield covers the rear needle point when the pen needle is removed from the pen.
 
BD AutoShield Duo pen needles support the current American Association of Diabetes Educators practice advisory for injection technique guidelines calling for the use of shorter needles, proper site rotation and using needles only one time. It is compatible with all diabetes injection pens on the market today.
 
BD announced the retail pharmacy launch of the BD AutoShield Duo pen needle today at the American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The product is now available nationwide at major retailers and distributors.
 

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Kroger recognized for company’s commitment to employee health and wellness

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger was recognized recently for the company's commitment to employee health and wellness by both the National Business Group on Health and the American Heart Association, the grocer announced Wednesday.
 
"Kroger is committed to giving our associates the tools to improve their health in both big and small ways," stated Theresa Monti, VP total rewards. "We're making great progress in improving our health, and these awards recognize our efforts both individually and as an entire company. Our success in becoming a healthier workforce directly improves our personal and work lives, which also benefits our customers."
 
The National Business Group on Health recognized Kroger as a first-time gold winner for the 2014 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards. This award recognizes the best workplace well-being programs for employees and their families, both in the United States and globally.
 
For the second consecutive year, Kroger received the American Heart Association's Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite recognition. The company has been recognized for its initiative in such areas as offering employees physical activity options in the workplace, providing or increasing healthy eating options at the worksite, and demonstrating measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
 
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Walgreens Boots Alliance will invigorate front-end performance of U.S. store base post-merger

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance will be emphasizing improved front-end margin contributions across its U.S. Walgreens store base once the merger is complete, mirroring the peformance of its U.K. store base Boots, in an effort to counter margin pressures from the pharmacy side of the business. 
 
"The pressure on the pharmacy is a global issue," Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman Walgreens Boots Alliance, told analysts Wednesday morning. "Everywhere in the world the margins of the pharmacy are under pressure," he said. "Twenty years ago, Boots, as you know, was making its money on the pharmacy — so 75% of the profit of Boots was coming from the pharmacy. Today, 75% comes from the front of the store. Are the pharmacies losing money? Not at all. They are still very profitable in Boots because the margin has suffered, but of course they are selling much more, so they are still very profitable."
 
To combat restricting margins, Boots developed the front of the store into what it is today — one of the premier shopping experiences in the United Kingdom. 
 
"There's real opportunity in the front of our store," said Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance."[Boots'] operating margins are significantly higher than what ours are, and that's primarily as a result of that front-end business. So we do think that there is opportunity to drive operating margin out of our front-end business," he said. "I feel confident with what we've been doing so far, the proof points we've seen that there's opportunity there. … If we look across the Pond to the Boots model, we have some similar opportunities at the front end of our store." 
 
"This is what will happen in the United States," Pessina said. "I can assure you that after the merger, we will have a step up in the margins of the front of the store. You will start to see it growing from next year on. … We have clear plans for it."
 
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