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CVS Caremark to provide $25K in grants to honor ‘#GivingTuesday’ campaign

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark, will provide $25,000 in grants in honor of #GivingTuesday, a national movement when charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations will come together on Dec. 3 to create a national day of giving back.

As part of CVS Caremark’s #GivingTuesday initiative, CVS Caremark colleagues who volunteer their time are invited to nominate a local organization in their community to receive a grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will randomly select 25 organizations from colleagues’ submissions and announce the grantees on #GivingTuesday.

"CVS Caremark colleagues bring our values of caring and collaboration to life all year long by volunteering with organizations that are helping the people we serve, every day," stated Eileen Howard Boone, president of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "We’re excited to participate in #GivingTuesday to honor our colleagues and their commitment to their local communities and are proud to join a national movement that promotes the spirit of volunteerism and giving back."

The national campaign was created in 2012 to spark a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season, following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It celebrates charities, individuals, schools, businesses and other community organizations who come together to support charitable causes, and encourages everyone to participate in a national day dedicated to giving back.

CVS Caremark will announce its #GivingTuesday grantees on Dec. 3 through social media.

 

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Shoppers Drug Mart ‘disappointed’ with court’s decision on private-label generics

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart has announced that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Dec. 23, 2011, decision of the Court of Appeal of Ontario that restored the prohibition on private-label generic drug products in the Province of Ontario, which was subsequent to a decision of the Ontario Divisional Court dated Feb. 3, 2011, that declared the regulatory restrictions in respect of private-label generic drug products to be invalid.

The company stated that while it respects the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, it is disappointed with the outcome.

Shoppers Drug Mart has more than 1,246 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in each province and two territories.

 

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BMI: The elephant in the exam room

BY Susan M. Cooley

Elevated body mass index, or BMI, has been called the “elephant in the exam room” because often it is overlooked by clinicians, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting that weight loss reduces risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a complex chronic disease, and BMI is a useful, objective measure to identify patients whose weight puts them at risk for such health problems as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

Most electronic medical records automatically calculate BMI once height and weight measures are inputted. BMI appears in the vital signs section of the medical record and is an objective indicator. In the same way that few retail clinicians rarely would fail to discuss an elevated blood pressure reading with a patient, abnormal BMI should be addressed similarly.

Obesity is a complex chronic disease affecting an estimated 100 million American adults. BMI classifications are as follows:  BMI less than 18.5 indicates a person is underweight; BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates a person is within the normal range; BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates a person is overweight; BMI between 30 and 34.9 indicates a person is obese; BMI between 35 and 39.9 indicates a person falls within the obesity II range; and a BMI greater than 40 indicates extreme obesity. For various reasons, including the social stigma associated with obesity, often it is a difficult topic for clinicians to discuss with patients, thus it is an overlooked opportunity to intervene and help patients reduce their morbidity/mortality risk.

Research indicates that patients are three times more likely to engage in behavior change when the advice comes from a trusted healthcare provider. A majority of patients who utilize retail health operators report that they do not have a consistent primary health provider. This makes each retail health visit an important opportunity to impact the patient’s health status above and beyond the presenting complaint. Healthcare providers hold a unique role in the lives of patients. Retail clinicians should acknowledge that their expertise and accessibility, coupled with trust, put them in a unique position to influence change.

With practice, clinicians can develop strategies to address issues around overweight and obesity in the same matter-of-fact manner with which one addresses other vital signs that are out of the normal range. Once the elevated BMI is acknowledged in a non-judgmental way, the conversation can begin about barriers and strategies to affect the necessary lifestyle changes.  Many excellent patient teaching tools exist. Exam room posters and brochures can be utilized along with direct clinician/patient interaction. 

Patients with elevated BMI need our help. Even small changes in behavior and weight can lead to significant health improvements. Retail health providers must get on board and give our patients the chance to succeed.

 

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