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NACDS Foundation sponsors nationwide heart-health initiatives

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — The philanthropic arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is supporting various heart-health programs around the country to support a Department of Health and Human Services campaign.

The NACDS Foundation announced the launch of the NACDS Foundation and Million Hearts "Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs," supporting HHS’ "Team Up, Pressure Down" campaign. Various initiatives will take place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"Given the tremendous impact of the health and well-being of the health fairs’ participants, we are eager to continue our partnership to build healthier hearts and improve lives with the launch of the NACDS Foundation/Million Hearts ‘Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs,’" NACDS Foundation chairman Steven Anderson and president Kathleen Jaeger wrote in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a partner in the Million Hearts initiative.

The pharmacists and pharmacy students who conduct the fairs will report a number of health-related outcomes, including the number of patients who are screened or at risk for a heart condition. The fairs also are designed to refer patients, as necessary, to physicians for evaluation based on results of blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking cessation and immunizations screenings.

In 2012, NACDS Foundation grants made possible 65 health fairs that served 3,500 patients as part of the "Team Up, Pressure Down" public-private partnership, whose goal was to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The foundation provided $35,000 in grants to 15 schools and colleges of pharmacy around the country.

Services last year included aspirin education for 1,923 patients; blood-pressure screening and education for 2,909 patients; cholesterol screening and education for 1,750 patients and smoking-cessation education for 1,292 patients. Of those screened for blood pressure, 24% were referred for follow-up with primary care physicians, while 36% of those screened for cholesterol were referred.


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Costco sued over diamond engagement rings

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Jewelry maker Tiffany & Co. is suing Costco Wholesale, alleging that the club retailer falsely marketed diamond engagement rings as coming from the New York-based jeweler, according to published reports.

News media reported that Tiffany filed suit against Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco in the Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Tiffany said in its lawsuit that it found Costco salespeople sold rings as Tiffany in the stores, but not online, but that the jeweler had never sold its jewelry through the retailer, though Costco does sell jewelry from other high-end suppliers such as Cartier.

According to reports, Costco had not commented on the matter at press time.


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Views of economy improve, but gloom persists, Nielsen study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — More than half of consumers around the world say the world is in an economic recession, according to a new study by Nielsen.

According to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, 71% of North Americans said they were in a recession in the fourth-quarter of 2012, but this represented a drop in 15 percentage points from the fourth-quarter of 2011, representing the largest drop in negative sentiments about the economy of any area.

"North America is slowly, but steadily heading in the right direction," said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at Nielsen’s Cambridge Group division. "Compared with a year ago, North America showed progress toward recovery with a six-point year-on-year consumer confidence increase, driven mainly by a three-point increase in a positive job outlook, up from 37% in [fourth-quarter] 2011 to 40% in [fourth-quarter] 2012. With continued weakness in Europe and uneven growth in Asia, it may well be that with a brighter job market, the U.S. serves as the critical engine of improved global economic activity in 2013."

Nevertheless, while sentiments in North America had seen significant improvement, bad feelings about the economy were still lower in Asia and Latin America, with 48% and 50% of respondents in those respective areas saying the economy was in recession; those figures represented declines of four and three percentage points compared with third-quarter 2012, respectively. But Europeans’ view was still dimmer than North Americans’, with 75% saying they were in recession, unchanged since the third-quarter, while 73% of people in the Middle East and Africa said they were in recession, an increase of one percentage point over third-quarter 2012.


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