HEALTH

Drugstore.com partners with PowerReviews to collect customer feedback

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS Drugstore.com last week partnered with PowerReviews, a comprehensive developer of customer-review solutions for retailers and their shoppers, on enabling customers to read and write reviews about more than 30,000 over-the-counter products on drugstore.com and its wholly-owned subsidiary Beauty.com.

“Drugstore.com started posting customer reviews online in 2003 and has long valued the strength of those reviews to help customers and influence purchases,” stated David Lonczak, vice president and chief marketing officer at drugstore.com. “By partnering with PowerReviews, we are providing our customers with an enhanced and guided approach to writing reviews which in turn creates richer content.”

Drugstore.com will launch a new design of its product detail pages in early fall. This will improve visibility and give shoppers a central point of reference to read customer product reviews, write their own reviews or get more information about the product from the manufacturer.

“Our research has shown that displaying reviews on a product detail page is a proven way to increase sales and conversion, and we are confident that drugstore.com will see significant benefits from using our technology as a result of their customers’ proven passion for writing reviews about products they’ve purchased,” commented Jay Shaffer, vice president, worldwide sales and marketing, PowerReviews.

“In addition to the redesign of the product details page to showcase reviews, drugstore.com is upgrading the online shopping experience with a new version of a customer favorite ‘your list’ which makes it easier for a customer to sort, manage and order from their personal shopping list when they sign into their account,” Lonczak said. “We are also improving the video features on both drugstore.com and Beauty.com to enable our customers to order a product by clicking directly on the video and to share the video by emailing it to a friend.”

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Chromax effectively fights hunger pangs, study shows

BY Michael Johnsen

PURCHASE, N.Y. Nutrition 21 on Tuesday reported that results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study published online in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics found that Nutrition 21’s Chromax chromium picolinate significantly reduced hunger levels by 24 percent, food intake by 25 percent, and also reduced cravings for high-fat foods in adult non-diabetic overweight women.

“Study subjects were allowed to eat any type and amount of food throughout the study,” stated Dr. Steve Anton, investigator and lead author of the study. “The participants who received chromium picolinate reduced their caloric intake by an average of 365 calories per day between their baseline and final (week 8) visit.”

“These results show that Chromax chromium picolinate can be useful for overweight individuals desiring to reduce their food intake,” noted James Komorowski, Nutrition 21 vice president, technical services and scientific affairs. “The published study also provides clinical substantiation for reduced hunger and reduced cravings claims for food and supplement manufacturing companies that use Chromax in their formulations.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the largest academically based nutrition research center in the world.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 8-week study, entitled “Effects of Chromium Picolinate on Food Intake and Satiety,” was published online in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics and is scheduled to be released in the October 2008 print issue of the journal. 

The study population comprised 42 overweight adult women who reported craving carbohydrates. Subjects were given either Chromax chromium picolinate capsules (containing 1,000 micrograms chromium) or matching placebo capsules for 8 weeks. Food intake was directly measured at the research center’s eating laboratory at baseline, after 1 week and again after 8 weeks.

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Rite Aid provides print and online resources for caregivers

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Tuesday officially launched its new “Giving Care for Parents” program with print and online resources that offer solutions to common care-giving problems, expert advice from Rite Aid pharmacists and geriatric authorities and a library of informational videos, the chain announced today.

“At Rite Aid, we know how much work it is to be a caregiver,” stated Rite Aid executive vice president, pharmacy, Mark de Bruin. “Whether you’re caring for your 80-year-old mother who suffers from dementia or your elderly neighbor who is recovering from a fall, it’s important to know you’re not alone.”

In the 20-page Caregivers Guide available at Rite Aid stores across the country, caregivers will find helpful hints on topics including financial planning, strategies for balancing their careers and personal lives and advice for living with their loved ones. The guide also has information on support groups, programs and other resources such as medical facilities and businesses that cater to seniors and caregivers.

At www.RiteAid.com, caregivers can click on “Giving Care for Parents” and find resources such as a collection of articles written by medical and geriatric professionals, nursing home staff and government experts on aging addressing common concerns such as accidents at home, long-term care, legal and financial issues and health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

The Web site features educational videos from Fox Learning Systems, a leading developer of online educational tools for professional and family caregivers, showing actual caregivers and elders as they deal with real situations such as dementia, long term care and nutrition. There’s a section featuring frequently asked questions relating to care-giving and information on Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Patients also can access Rite Aid’s Rite Advice drug information counseling area to get a better understanding of medications including how to take the medication, possible side effects and dangerous drug interactions.

Caregivers also will be able to establish an online network of support through chats with other caregivers later this year.

“In addition to the online caregiver site and the caregiver guide, our pharmacists are specially trained in areas such as diabetes, heart disease and Medicare D and are always available to answer any questions, both in store and online,” de Bruin said.

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