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Pic rolls out Twist-It, Bugables

BY Allison Cerra

LINDEN, N.J. — Pic has introduced natural pest repellent products in time for summer.

Twist-It eliminates the need to apply repellent directly to skin by delivering it through a flexible device that wraps around umbrellas, bike handles, strollers and other outdoor objects to repel mosquitoes for up to 200 hours. Meanwhile, Bugables mosquito repellent stickers also contain Pic’s all-natural repellent formulation and adhere to hats, clothing, beach bags and more for up to 200 hours of protection against mosquitoes. Bugables work by emitting all-natural, plant-based essential oils, masking human odors that attract insects.

"At Pic, we’re always striving to make people’s lives better and one way we do that is searching for new delivery systems for our all-natural mosquito repellents," Pic COO Eric Rubel said. "Twist-It and Bugables are completely new, convenient and affordable ways for consumers to protect themselves naturally against mosquitoes."

The suggested retail price for Twist-It is $5.99, while the suggested retail price for Bugables mosquito repellent stickers is $3.99. The items are available at more than 10,000 retail outlets, including Walmart, Walgreens, Toys ‘R Us and Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Food Lion raises more than $500K for Hunger Has a Cure campaign

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion announced the results of its two-week Hunger Has a Cure campaign.

The campaign, which ran April 4 to April 17, raised more than $500,000, which will support Feeding America’s network of local food banks. Feeding America will use the funds to provide 3.7 million meals to those in need. As part of the campaign, customers were given the opportunity to donate $1, $3 or any other amount of their choice at checkout.

"We are ecstatic about the more than 3.7 million meals that we were able to provide to families in need," said Bill Garcia, manager of community relations for Food Lion. "We are proud to work with Feeding America to help eliminate hunger in our communities."

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Pharmacists could be key to Wash. state fight against pertussis epidemic

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, once was among the most feared childhood diseases and was a frequent killer of young children. Today, it’s mostly under control, a testament to the importance of vaccinations.

(THE NEWS: Pertussis cases increase tenfold in Washington over May 2011. For the full story, click here )

State authorities in Washington might want to take note as that state struggles with a serious epidemic of the disease. They’re doing what they can, but with budget cuts making the job of stanching the epidemic more challenging, this could be a good time for pharmacies and retail clinics, with their ability to provide immunizations for a low cost, to step in — to save both lives and money for the state. Walgreens already has, announcing earlier this month that it would provide the Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) booster vaccine at all 129 of its stores in the state in order to combat the epidemic. In February, Rite Aid announced it would make the vaccine available at more than 3,200 of its stores nationwide.

While pharmacists in every state have been able to administer vaccinations for some time, Washington has been a leader in this regard. For example, Seattle-based retail pharmacy chain Bartell Drugs has been taking advantage of state laws that allow pharmacists to administer travel vaccinations for such diseases as hepatitis B under agreements with local physicians. Washington pharmacy retailers once again may have an opportunity to provide leadership while the state’s hands are mostly tied.

According to published reports, another possible reason for the rise in pertussis cases has been parents who opt out of getting their kids vaccinated. It needs to be made clear to parents that vaccines prevent diseases, and serious complications from them are rare, while scary tales of kids developing autism and other serious diseases from vaccines have been exposed as false. As the most accessible healthcare professionals, pharmacists have an opportunity here as well, to educate parents about the importance of getting their kids vaccinated.

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