HEALTH

Study: Daily aspirin use may reduce cancer-related deaths

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON — Daily aspirin use may curb cancer-related deaths, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The study, led by Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford and colleagues, analyzed data from eight eligible trials — which typically lasted about four years — and included more than 25,000 subjects. Among them, 674 died from cancer.

The researchers found that those who consumed 75 mg of aspirin per day cut their risk of dying from certain cancers by 20%, and found that the prolonged use of aspirin would continue to reduce the death risk of cancer patients. "These findings have implications for guidelines on use of aspirin and for understanding of carcinogenesis and its susceptibility to drug intervention," the study authors said.

But while these conclusions certainly are worth noting, only one-third of the subjects were women, and since the trials on average only lasted four years, the benefits of aspirin consumption may not be properly measured. Additionally, aspirin touts its own risks, including strokes and other complications.

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Front-end focus: OTC gets in on the ‘Action’

BY Michael Johnsen


The phrase coined by Sam Walton — “Stack ’em high and let ’em fly!” — is reverberating throughout Walmart again.


The retailer’s back-to-basics strategy is good news for OTC suppliers, because going back to basics at Walmart also means going back to a broader product selection. Between the resumption of Action Alley and a recommitment to assortment, Walmart already has grown its carrying inventory by 4%, and the company plans to grow its inventory at a rate of half the 
expected sales lift.


Reverting to Action Alley could spark pantry-loading of the medicine cabinet again. Today, 58% of consumers only purchase an OTC medication when there’s a need, according to a recent SymphonyIRI Group survey. More importantly for Walmart, Action Alley might help reverse the slight decline in OTC dollars and units — Walmart OTC sales were down 0.1% and units were down 2.1% in 2010 versus 2009, SymphonyIRI Group reported.


Action Alley also affords Walmart a ready vehicle to showcase new product launches. “From a supplier’s perspective, you can get your product out there and get market share and trial and penetration much faster through our system than you can anywhere else,” Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO, told analysts earlier this year.

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Reporters Notebook — Over The Counter, 12/13/10

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News — Cirrus Healthcare Products recently introduced its ClearEars product, earplugs that contain a polymer that draws water from the ears. ClearEars also is appropriate to alleviate symptoms of glue ear, a condition in which thick, sticky fluid collects behind the eardrum.


Left untreated, glue ear can cause temporary hearing loss and may affect a child’s behavior. Adults with glue ear also find it difficult to use regular earplugs to reduce noise, or for water protection while swimming. Consumers with glue ear have reported that soft, comfortable ClearEars may be used while sleeping to reduce noise and also alleviate the moist, sticky glue ear feeling.


New Business Solutions recently introduced its Product Protection System, a loss-prevention shelving sol­ution. The new shelving unit helps thwart professional shoplifting groups by eliminating the ability to sweep a shelf by dumping an entire shelf of merchandise into a duffel 
bag at once.


However, the unit does not inhibit legitimate customers from accessing the product. The gravity feed front orientation of a PPS designed to display baby formula, for example, allows one canister of formula to be dispensed at a time. There is a 20-second delay before another canister can be accessed, and no power supply is required, the company stated. The PPS can be customized to accommodate various product sizes and fit into an assortment of planograms, the company noted.


Save Flexible Spending Plans — a national grassroots advocacy organization sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation — called on the new leaders in Congress to remove the soon-to-be-
imposed restrictions on employer-provided 
flexible spending accounts immediately 
following the election.


The more immediate restriction is the Jan. 1, 2011, requirement that over-the-counter medicines be prescribed in order to be eligible for reimbursement from a FSA. That will force consumers to spend upward of $40 on doctor-visit co-pays in order to save some $2.50 for every $10 spent on 
nonprescription items.

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