HEALTH

Thermionics sales heat up

BY DSN STAFF

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —Thermionics’ ThermiPaq products, which now sport an eye-catching yellow “Control Your Pain!” panel as part of a new graphics package, has been a significant driver of growth within the heat/ice packs segment of late.

For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 8, Thermipaq sales were up 27.2%, reaching $6.1 million across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) outlets, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. That growth is outpacing the category as a whole, which currently is trending up 6.1%.

In addition to rolling out a new graphics package, Thermionics has been positioning its product line against the chronic pain shopper as an incremental opportunity for retailers. According to recent Thermionics research, 80% of consumers who are treating chronic pain not only purchase multiple solutions across internal analgesics, external rubs, heat/ice therapy and body support devices, but they also shop these sets on a regular basis in search of their own personal pain-relieving regimen of products. There’s an incessant need to find a new or different solution, Thermionics noted, that’s driving consumers toward external analgesic items. That may make for an opportunity to establish a chronic-pain management destination center within the self-care space, the company added, much like there is a destination center at many retailers focused around diabetes-related products.

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Larger waists linked to diabetes in new study

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that the nation’s average larger waist circumference is an indicator as to why the diabetes rate in America is higher than the rate in England.

James Smith, corporate chair of economics at the nonprofit organization RAND Corp., and researchers found that American men’s waists were an average of 3 cm (1.5 in.) larger than those of men in England. Similarly, American women’s waists were an average of 5 cm (2 in.) larger than those of women in England.

Analyzing studies about the health and lifestyles of large numbers of people from the United States and England, researchers found no association between higher diabetes rates in the United States based upon such conventional risk factors as age, smoking, socio-economic status or body mass index, the commonly used ratio of height and weight that is used to measure obesity and overweight levels.

"Americans carry more fat around their middle sections than the English, and that was the single factor that explained most of the higher rates of diabetes seen in the United States, especially among American women. Waist size is the missing new risk factor we should be studying," Smith said.

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Walgreens commits funds to pharmacy schools

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. One of the nation’s largest drug store chains is donating $1.1 million to benefit accredited pharmacy schools around the country.

Walgreens said each school will receive $10,000, of which $2,000 will be put toward a Walgreens diversity scholarship to a student who demonstrates a commitment to raising awareness for diversity and community outreach. The remaining $8,000 can be used to develop, implement and support programs that inspire more diversity among the student body. Since 2008, Walgreens has donated more than $3 million to support initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity.

“This is an exciting time for future pharmacists to see what a critical role they will play as patient needs grow and evolve,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. “From one-on-one patient consultations to immunizations, health-and-wellness education and community outreach, we want the next generation of talent to know how vital community pharmacy is to meeting today’s healthcare needs.”

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