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Shoppers Drug Mart ‘disappointed’ with court’s decision on private-label generics

BY Antoinette Alexander

TORONTO — Canadian pharmacy retailer Shoppers Drug Mart has announced that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Dec. 23, 2011, decision of the Court of Appeal of Ontario that restored the prohibition on private-label generic drug products in the Province of Ontario, which was subsequent to a decision of the Ontario Divisional Court dated Feb. 3, 2011, that declared the regulatory restrictions in respect of private-label generic drug products to be invalid.

The company stated that while it respects the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, it is disappointed with the outcome.

Shoppers Drug Mart has more than 1,246 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in each province and two territories.

 

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BMI: The elephant in the exam room

BY Susan M. Cooley

Elevated body mass index, or BMI, has been called the “elephant in the exam room” because often it is overlooked by clinicians, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting that weight loss reduces risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a complex chronic disease, and BMI is a useful, objective measure to identify patients whose weight puts them at risk for such health problems as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

Most electronic medical records automatically calculate BMI once height and weight measures are inputted. BMI appears in the vital signs section of the medical record and is an objective indicator. In the same way that few retail clinicians rarely would fail to discuss an elevated blood pressure reading with a patient, abnormal BMI should be addressed similarly.

Obesity is a complex chronic disease affecting an estimated 100 million American adults. BMI classifications are as follows:  BMI less than 18.5 indicates a person is underweight; BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates a person is within the normal range; BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates a person is overweight; BMI between 30 and 34.9 indicates a person is obese; BMI between 35 and 39.9 indicates a person falls within the obesity II range; and a BMI greater than 40 indicates extreme obesity. For various reasons, including the social stigma associated with obesity, often it is a difficult topic for clinicians to discuss with patients, thus it is an overlooked opportunity to intervene and help patients reduce their morbidity/mortality risk.

Research indicates that patients are three times more likely to engage in behavior change when the advice comes from a trusted healthcare provider. A majority of patients who utilize retail health operators report that they do not have a consistent primary health provider. This makes each retail health visit an important opportunity to impact the patient’s health status above and beyond the presenting complaint. Healthcare providers hold a unique role in the lives of patients. Retail clinicians should acknowledge that their expertise and accessibility, coupled with trust, put them in a unique position to influence change.

With practice, clinicians can develop strategies to address issues around overweight and obesity in the same matter-of-fact manner with which one addresses other vital signs that are out of the normal range. Once the elevated BMI is acknowledged in a non-judgmental way, the conversation can begin about barriers and strategies to affect the necessary lifestyle changes.  Many excellent patient teaching tools exist. Exam room posters and brochures can be utilized along with direct clinician/patient interaction. 

Patients with elevated BMI need our help. Even small changes in behavior and weight can lead to significant health improvements. Retail health providers must get on board and give our patients the chance to succeed.

 

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Safeway launches holiday food drive

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced the launch of its Help Us End Hunger (Every Bag Counts) food drive to help make the holidays brighter for people who rely on the assistance of food banks.

The company is joining with customers, Kraft, local food banks and broadcast partners to collect food donations at Safeway stores through Christmas. 

To make the donation process easier, a specially produced Every Bag Counts shopping bag filled with the items food banks need the most will be available for $10 at all Safeway stores. 

Kraft will provide a special holiday gift in the form of a $1,500 grant to 100 food banks across the country, making for a total donation of $150,000.

Safeway is a long-time supporter of hunger relief effort, donating $119 million in food to the cause in 2012 alone, the grocer stated. 

 

 

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