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Walgreens brings #ItEndsWithUs campaign to Los Angeles

BY DSN STAFF

After previously teaming up to educate Dallas teens on the opioid epidemic, Walgreens and actor Brandon Larracuente are bringing the #ItEndsWithUs campaign to Los Angeles.

As part of the annual WE Day California celebration, more than 15,000 area youth will hear real stories of addiction. The retailer will educate those in attendance on how it is working to combat the epidemic and provide teens with resources and positive steps they can take in their community.

Brandon Larracuente from Netflix’s “Bloodline” and “13 Reasons Why”, who lost a close friend to opioid addiction, will speak via video message to introduce the campaign those at the event.

“The opioid epidemic is an issue affecting our generation and I am proud to work with Walgreens on their #ItEndsWithUs campaign,” Larracuente said. “The first step is raising awareness, the second is education on the opioid epidemic and the third is driving positive change. Through #ItEndsWithUs, we hope teens will follow these steps and encourage others to join the movement to end the opioid epidemic.”

Larracuente also will introduce Adelle Bella, an Irvine, Calif., millennial who overcame her addiction and is now working with Walgreens to educate teens on the issue.

The #ItEndsWithUs campaign began as an effort to help combat the national opioid crisis, and as part of its continuing efforts to combat drug abuse, Walgreens has made naloxone available without a prescription in its pharmacies across California and installed safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 locations across 45 states.

Following WE Day California, Walgreens will continue to create awareness on the opioid epidemic at WE Day events in Chicago and Seattle.

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Rite Aid increases naloxone access across pharmacies in several states

BY DSN STAFF

Rite Aid announced that naloxone, which can be used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, will be available in more than 2,500 pharmacies across the United States without a prescription. This news comes after the retailer expanded access to the medication across six states in the previous year.

“The opioid epidemic has reached epic proportions and it is an issue that demands not only our attention but also our continued action to help reduce the rise in opioid deaths,” Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy, said. “For the past two years, we’ve worked with state and federal lawmakers to increase access to this life-saving medication. We support the Surgeon General’s recent Advisory on the importance of naloxone and are committed to offering it to our customers in all of the communities we serve.”

The Camp Hill, P.A.-based company’s pharmacists have been supplied with additional training to dispense the medication and provide counseling to patients who purchase it.

Pharmacies in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, currently have a stock of naloxone, the company said.

In addition to increasing access to the medication, Rite Aid is taking other measures to address drug misuse and abuse, which include:

  • Supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for prescribing opioids by limiting acute opioid prescriptions to a seven day supply, limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid and requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed;
  • Continuing the on-going education and training of its pharmacists by including risk factors for opioid abuse, identifying symptoms of an overdose, what to do in the event of an overdose, an overview of various naloxone therapies available, proper administration, and recommendations for follow-up care;
  • Participating in prescription drug monitoring programs, such as “red flag” process for which pharmacists are able to regularly review prescriptions for patients not known by the pharmacy, or where there may be concerns or suspicions of misuse, and the implementation of a process to identify and discontinue filling prescriptions from prescribers with questionable writing practices;
  • Increasing patient education efforts by giving all patients receiving opioid prescriptions a handout on opioid use, safe storage, disposal and proper use of naloxone. All patients with new opioid prescriptions will receive mandatory counseling on their prescription from a Rite Aid pharmacist;
  • Adding resources on drug safety and disposal on its website where a disposal site in the community can be searched for, learning how to properly dispose of medication at home, and accessing resources provided by the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration; and
  • Supporting National Take-Back Days by encouraging patients to bring their unused or unwanted medications to one of the designated sites sponsored by local law enforcement and the DEA.

Further information can be found by visiting Rite Aid’s website.

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The only constant

Today’s retail landscape requires companies to stay ahead of the curve

BY Seth Mendelson

How are we doing? At the start of what is arguably the mass retail industry’s most important event, in Palm Beach, Fla., it also may be a great time to take a step back and see how retail is performing these days. The answer is, … well, it all depends on what chain you are talking to and what steps they are taking to stay ahead of the curve in an industry that is desperately trying to find itself and its footing.

Ask people who work for Toys “R” Us, Sears/Kmart or Southeastern Grocers, for example, and they would tell you that the sky is falling. Toys “R” Us is liquidating; Sears/Kmart is closing stores by the hundreds and remains on the brink; and Southeastern Grocers — operator of Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys and Fresco y Más — has just entered bankruptcy. Ask people at Walmart or one of the major drug store chains, and they would say things are look

ing pretty rosy — especially as they reach beyond the world of traditional retailing, embrace digital merchandising or develop unique strategies that attract more customers and broaden their respective chain’s horizons and profit potential.

Why are these the best of times for some and the worst of times for others? The answer, of course, is that retail has always been about change and making sure that the merchant has the right strategies, product assortment and pricing to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of their shoppers.

But these are not the good old days anymore. Intense competition from some heady online merchants — especially Amazon — has everyone else scurrying around for the right mixture of traditional, digital and service-related opportunities to not only successfully compete for the consumers’ attention and wallets, but also for the gurus on Wall Street.

Today, merchants must be savvier than ever if they want to survive this brutal retail environment. Toys “R” Us failed, in large part, because the company took on about $5 billion in debt when it was taken private more than a decade ago. There was no way the chain was going to dig out of that hole, and the arrival of Amazon only hastened its demise. Long ago, officials at Sears/Kmart failed to make the investments needed to keep their chain relevant. Winn-Dixie also failed to keep up with the times, never catching up with more cunning competitors in the Southeast.

On the other hand, one has to give a lot of credit to Walmart for taking bold chances to keep up with Amazon. The success of its $3 billion purchase of Jet.com may or may not pay off, but it was a necessary step to find a way to be a better online merchandiser. Even more so, CVS Health’s dramatic takeover of Aetna shows that company officials are thinking ahead as they try to figure out what retail — particularly as it relates to health care — will look like in the years and decades ahead.

Heck, one can even give credit to Amazon for realizing that it cannot win the battle for consumers’ hearts and minds when it comes to making dinner without a physical presence in the marketplace. Hence, its dramatic purchase of Whole Foods, a move that has everyone talking about what this really means for the retail market in years ahead.

The point here is that the good retailers understand that the marketplace is changing, and are taking the rational and realistic steps to stay ahead of the curve. In the end, that is all that is necessary to at least stay in the game, if not in front of your competition.

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