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Pepsi announces new stevia-sweetened soda

BY Ryan Chavis

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo announced earlier this week that it would be rolling out Pepsi True, which is sweetened with real sugar — as well as stevia leaf extract. It contains 30% less sugar than a regular Pepsi, with no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

The new beverage was developed with the consumer in mind, the company said, and added that beverage choices are "driven by taste, sweeteners and calories." Pepsi True will be available via online retailers beginning mid-October.

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Biolife donates WoundSeal to help combat Ebola

BY Michael Johnsen

SARASOTA, Fla. — Biolife is helping to combat the Ebola issue with the donation of its WoundSeal product, which helps stop bleeding and seals wounds, to Africa, according to a report from ABC affiliate WWSB
 
“This product is going from Sarasota, really all over the world," Patti Norris, Biolife's director business development, told the news organization. "We've sent it to be used in Liberia at this point, but our plans are to really get it anywhere it's needed," she said. “Right now it's being used at Texas Health Presbytarian in Texas, where the first patient was diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil.”
 
The product ( a powder) stops the bleeding and seals the wound after pressure is applied by forming an instant scab. “That scab is particularly valuable in the case of Ebola or any other injury, because it stays in place until the wound heals," noted Andrew McFall, Biolife VP marketing. "So you're avoiding the use of bloody bandages and having to constantly maintain a bleeding wound.”
 
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Walgreens September sales totaled $6.5 billion, representing an increase of 9.4%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens had September sales of $6.5 billion, an increase of 9.4% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2014, the company reported Friday.
 
Total front-end sales increased 2.2% in September compared with the same month in fiscal 2014, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.7%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.7% while basket size increased 4.4%.
 
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 6.6% in September and increased 3.9% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. September 2014 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Sunday compared with September 2013. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 270 basis points.
 
September pharmacy sales increased by 14.2%. Comparable store pharmacy sales increased 11.3% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 8.6%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 190 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 67.8% of total sales for the month.
 
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 2.1 million versus approximately 1.9 million last year.
 
Sales in comparable stores increased by 7.9% in September. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 180 basis points. Generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 130 basis points.
 
Calendar 2014 year-to-date sales for the first nine months were $57.4 billion, an increase of 6.1%. Walgreens opened nine stores during September, including four relocations, and closed four.
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