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Report: Shoppers Drug Mart to test fresh produce sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO, Ontario — Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart, which was acquired earlier this year by grocer Loblaw Cos., is looking to test the sale of fresh produce beginning in September, according to a Toronto Star report.

The Canadian pharmacy retailer has been expanding since 2003 the amount and variety of food it sells and, since 2008, has been adding more convenience foods, the article stated. However, the pilot, which officially kicks off Sept. 20 in six Toronto stores, will no doubt help it better compete with such rivals as Walmart and Target.

Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart announced about a year ago the definitive agreement under which Loblaw would acquire Shoppers Drug Mart for C$12.4 billion in cash and stock. The deal closed in March.

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Cascade Ice introduces new bottle design

BY Antoinette Alexander

SEATTLE — Unique Beverage Co., a player in the sparkling water category, has announced that its Cascade Ice flavors of lemonade, coconut, black raspberry, orange mango and pink grapefruit will be available in six packs and single 7-oz. bottles beginning in September.

"While our current 17.2-oz. bottles have been very popular, we specifically designed our new 7-oz. bottle to be the exact height of an average soda can. In addition to major grocery and convenience accounts, this will allow for opportunities to place our product in vending machines and in airline beverage carts. Our innovative, single-serving bottle also provides additional access for us in schools, where portion control and zero-calorie alternatives are more welcome than sugary drinks,” said Mike Broadwell, president and CEO of Unique Beverage Co.

Cascade Ice currently has 21 flavors, including the three newest flavors — Strawberry Banana, Coconut Mango and Coconut Pineapple — in addition to a line of six USDA-certified Organic essence flavors.

 

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Study: Hot flashes contribute to rise in healthcare costs with decline in HRT

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The steep decline in the use of hormone therapy has spawned a prevalent but preventable side effect: Millions of women suffering in silence with hot flashes, according to a study by a Yale School of Medicine researcher and colleagues.
 
In the study published in the Aug. 27 online issue of the journal Menopause, the team found that moderate to severe hot flashes — also called vasomotor symptoms — are not treated in most women. Women with VMS experience more than feeling hot; other frequently occurring symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety and impaired short-term memory.
 
"Not treating these common symptoms causes many women to drop out of the labor force at a time when their careers are on the upswing," said Philip Sarrel, emeritus professor in the departments of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and psychiatry. "This also places demands on health care and drives up insurance costs."
 
Sarrel and colleagues used data on health insurance claims to compare more than 500,000 women, half with and half without hot flashes. The team calculated the costs of health care and work loss over a 12-month period. Participants were all insured by Fortune 500 companies.
 
The team found that women who experienced hot flashes had 1.5 million more healthcare visits than women without hot flashes. Costs for the additional health care was $339.6 million. The cost of work lost was another $27.7 million during the 12-month study period.
 
Hot flashes are the result of loss of ovarian hormones in the years just before and after natural menopause. For women who have a hysterectomy, symptoms may occur almost immediately following surgery and are usually more severe and long lasting. More than 70% of all menopausal women and more than 90% of those with hysterectomies experience VMS that affect daily function.
 
In the past, hot flashes were readily treated with either hormone therapy or alternative approaches. However, following the 2002 publication of the findings in the Women's Health Initiative Study, there has been a sharp drop in the use of hormone therapy due to fears of cancer risks, according to Sarrel.
 
"Women are not mentioning it to their healthcare providers, and providers aren't bringing it up," Sarrel said. "The symptoms can be easily treated in a variety of ways, such as with low-dose hormone patches, non-hormonal medications, and simple environmental adjustments such as cooling the workplace."
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