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CHANGING CHANNELS: Hot products outside of food, drug and mass

BY DSN STAFF

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. —The Sniffle Duffle, created by Zubie’s Village, offers a convenient, fun way for kids to form healthy habits.

The Sniffle Duffle is a cozy pouch that on one side has a sleeve for travel tissues, and on the other side has an elastic pocket to store dirty tissues until they can be disposed of. There also are two secret pockets in the center of the Sniffle Duffle that contain a face/ lip balm and a nonalcoholic hand cleanser.

Each Sniffle Duffle comes with a clip, which can be attached to a belt loop, backpack, side of a classroom desk or on a diaper bag.

Sniffle Duffle kits include a pack of tissues, one Organic Cozy face and lip balm, and an 18 mL pen-size of Ickies Be Gone hand cleanser. The suggested retail price is $18.95.

The product also is available for school fundraisers, where 30% of proceeds earned go directly back to the school. For more information, visit ZubiesVillage.com.

DALLAS—Usually, when you want to unscrew a light bulb, you should make sure the light is turned off first. But one kind of bulb that just reached the U.S. market can stay lit even when taken out of its socket.

The MagicBulb, developed in Norway, is an LED bulb billed as the world’s first rechargeable light bulb—it can stay illuminated for up to three hours after removal from its socket. The MagicBulb retails for $25 to $60. For more information, visit MagicBulb.net.

BISMARCK, N.D.—When not used in labs or purchased in pet stores, mice and rats have been considered a scourge for centuries. Today, they infest homes and businesses throughout the world, leaving behind chewed up food containers and feces. But killing them with traps often is ineffective as a long-term strategy, and exterminators can cost a fortune.

Perhaps a better way to get rid of the little critters is to keep them from entering your home in the first place. Earth Kind, based in Bismarck, N.D., has developed Fresh Cab, a natural, wood-based repellent that creates a smell pleasant to humans but disgusting to rodents. A four-pouch box retails for $14.50. For more information, visit Earth-Kind.com.

OCEANSIDE, Calif.—Stuffed animals are an essential bedtime item for many small children, and most adults today probably have fond memories of their favorite Teddy bear or stuffed rabbit. But aside from providing something fuzzy and cuddly at night, stuffed animals don’t have much of a functional purpose.

A company formed in San Diego in 2003 is changing that with My Pillow Pets, a line of stuffed animals that fold out into pillows. The pillows come in various animal shapes, including rabbits, bumble bees, bears, koalas, elephants, cats, dolphins, giraffes, ducks and others. The suggested retail price is from $15.99 to $24.99. For more information, visit MyPillowPets.com.

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Assured sees high rise in same-store sales

BY Alaric DeArment

FRISCO, Texas September same-store sales at Assured Pharmacy increased by 13.5% compared with last year, the specialty pharmacy provider said Thursday.

Assured, which specializes in treating chronic pain, said sales were $1.4 million, or around $66,253 per business day, compared with $1.23 million a year ago.

“We are pleased with our September sales results and our continued patient growth, with 3,064 patients serviced in the month of September,” CEO Robert DelVecchio said. “As these sales figures reflect, we remain on track for increased sales and market share growth, improved earnings at the store level and stronger cash flow.”

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Retailers, drug makers can help cut diabetes rate

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The dramatic rise in the prevalence of diabetes over the next several decades is likely to place huge strains on the U.S. healthcare system, costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars every year. It also means the diabetes market will continue to be a hot bed for innovation for decades to come.

(THE NEWS: Diabetes prevalence among Americans may increase to 33%, CDC study finds. For the full story, click here)

Barring a cure for the disease or a dramatic reversal of current trends, the plague of Type 2 diabetes is likely to get worse and account for numerous hospitalizations, as it already does. According to the government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, nearly 1-in-5 U.S. hospitalizations in 2008 were related to diabetes, with the greatest concentration in the South.

No individual, company or even government agency can reverse the trend on its own, but many — including retailers — can help. And that will continue to feed a frenzy of activity in this space.

Agrowing number of supermarkets across the country have used various means to promote healthy eating, ranging from easy-to-read nutritional rating systems to in-store nutrition experts and store tours. Meanwhile, pharmacists and retail clinicians, as healthcare providers, can use their expertise to spread awareness as well. Rite Aid stores will offer free Diabetes Solutions Days events Nov. 2 through 4.

Health insurer Anthem Blue Cross has won recognition for a pilot diabetes program, “Bridging Cultural Health Care Gaps: Diabetes,” which seeks to find culturally appropriate ways to communicate about diabetes to African-American and Hispanic members. Anthem conducted the pilot among 4,000 of its members in California and Georgia, and plans to expand the program to other states. 

More of these localized types of efforts — borne out of the spirit of the Ashville Project — continue to arise.

And of course, manufacturers continue to lead the innovation, and many are going beyond just products. Novo Nordisk recently released the BlueSheet, a report that promotes awareness and education in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

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