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Costco June comps flat; net sales up 3%

BY Gina Acosta

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Same store sales were flat at Costco in June, and net sales increased 3% June to $11.33 billion. 

For the 44-week period ended July 3, the company reported net sales of $98.51 billion, an increase of 2% from $96.33 billion during the similar period last year. Comps for the five-week and 44-week periods ended July 3 were flat and 2% respectively. 

Comparable sales for these periods excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange were 2% and 4% respectively. 

Costco currently operates 708 warehouses, including 496 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 25 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 12 in Taiwan, eight in Australia and two in Spain.

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CVS Health Foundation grants $110K to AAP for tobacco counseling program

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – The CVS Health Foundation on Thursday announced a new grant to the American Academy of Pediatrics to help improve counseling by all pediatric health care providers around tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke. The program will provide clinicians with the messages, tools and counseling protocols needed to screen for secondhand smoke exposure and better prepare them to speak with parents and families about the importance of reducing tobacco use.

"With an alarming number of children still being exposed to secondhand smoke every day, working with the American Academy of Pediatrics to help educate physicians and parents and help curb exposure is an important step in our efforts to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're honored to be working with this respected organization that has demonstrated success in helping to increase education and awareness around the dangers of secondhand smoke."

To help reduce the prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure, the AAP will hold two in-person training sessions in 2016 for pediatricians and other child health clinicians, who act as the primary source of medical information for parents. A $110,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation to AAP will cover the costs of the meetings, which will feature content produced by the AAP.

Pursuing a further reduction in tobacco use and nicotine addiction among young people and increasing access to smoke-free environments continues to be a priority for many Americans, as evidenced by the results of a new CVS Health/Morning Consult poll. According to the national survey of 2,001 U.S. registered voters, 86% feel it's important to reduce youth smoking rates. And 37% of all respondents say they are so concerned with exposure to secondhand smoke they exclusively seek out smoke-free locations when they leave their homes.

While the rate of smoking among adults and youth are at all-time lows in the U.S., the ultimate goal of controlling tobacco consumption as the biggest preventable cause of disease and death requires incremental progress on many fronts, including preventing exposure to secondhand smoke, especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 41% of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke, which even at brief levels can be harmful to a person's health.

The grant to the AAP is part of Be The First, CVS Health's $50 million, five-year initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. The initiative, announced in March 2016, includes education, tobacco-control advocacy and healthy behavior programming.

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Walgreens to spearhead enrollment for PMI Cohort Program

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens will participate in the U.S. Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program through an initial $20 million grant awarded to The Scripps Research Institute by the National Institutes of Health, the retail pharmacy operation announced Thursday. The company will help support patient enrollment and participation in the program through its daily interactions with more than 8 million customers in stores, online and through its mobile app.

"As a trusted health care resource to the millions of customers and patients we see every day, Walgreens will help launch this important program that can lead to delivering the right treatments at the right time to help Americans live longer, happier and healthier lives,” stated Alex Gourlay, co-COO Walgreens Boots Alliance .

“Walgreens has a long commitment to implementing innovative digital tools to improve the health and wellbeing of our customers we serve every day across the country,” added Brad Fluegel, Walgreens SVP and chief healthcare commercial market development officer. “Our participation in the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program will help shape the future of pharmacy by developing more precise medications, based on a person’s genetic and other biological information and lifestyle, that can reduce side effects and drug interactions while increasing their effectiveness.”

With this funding award, Walgreens will offer customers enrollment in the PMI Cohort Program at its stores, at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, online through Walgreens.com and through the Walgreens mobile app. For those who enroll, Walgreens also can schedule their initial appointment for the program.

The award will total almost $120 million over five years and is part of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, a medical research program aimed at revolutionizing how researchers, providers and research participants work together to develop individualized care.

The PMI Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve the ability of preventing and treating disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics. Participants will share their health history and status, genomic and other biological information and grant access to their clinical data from electronic health records.

In addition, mobile health devices and apps will provide lifestyle data and environmental exposures in real time. The knowledge gained from the program is expected to extend successes of precision medicine in some cancers to many other diseases and also increase an individual’s chances of remaining healthy throughout life.

 

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