Rite Aid Corp. aims to host more than 1,200 free diabetes clinics during American Diabetes Month this fall as part of its Stop Diabetes awareness campaign with the American Diabetes Association.

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Over 1,200 diabetes clinics planned by Rite Aid

September 27th, 2010

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. aims to host more than 1,200 free diabetes clinics during American Diabetes Month this fall as part of its Stop Diabetes awareness campaign with the American Diabetes Association.

The drug store chain said Monday that besides holding the diabetes clinics, it plans to offer free diabetes guides through its pharmacies as well as provide customers with incentives for taking diabetes risk tests. In addition, the retailer's more than 4,700 Stores will raise funds for diabetes research.

To be held in November, Rite Aid's Diabetes Solutions Days will offer free blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings along with body mass index (BMI) readings. Visitors to the annual clinics also can try free samples of over-the-counter medications and other diabetes products, discuss diabetes management with a Rite Aid pharmacist and get a flu shot, Rite Aid said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites flu and pneumonia for the deaths of 10,000 to 30,000 diabetes patients each year.

Rite Aid said it's promoting awareness and the American Diabetes Association's online Diabetes Risk Test by offering members of its wellness+ customer rewards program the opportunity to earn 10 points by taking the online risk assessment test. The points combine with those earned from eligible prescriptions and nonprescription purchases to provide free health screenings and everyday shopping discounts. Members of wellness+ who spend $30 on select diabetes products during the three-month campaign are rewarded with a +UP Reward printed on their receipts that is good for $5 off their next purchase.

And all Rite Aid stores through Dec. 25 will offer a free 20-page diabetes guides at the pharmacy counter. The guides summarize the disease's risk factors and give readers some simple steps for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Also available online year-round at www.riteaid.com/diabetes, the guides also include suggestions to help keep children diabetes-free; information on diabetes during pregnancy; checklists for American Diabetes Association-recommended tests, vaccinations and medical exams; a model journal for diabetes patients to record glucose levels during the day; guidance on how to interpret diabetes numbers, including the glucose scales A1C and eAG; a regular medication list that can be filled out and carried in a wallet; background on body systems that can suffer from diabetes, including the eyes and kidneys; and information on other conditions that diabetes patients need to watch, including cholesterol and blood pressure.

Several of the guide's tools and checklists also can be found online at riteaid.com/diabetes along with the American Diabetes Association's blood glucose calculator, a link to the association's MyFoodAdvisor application and lifestyle tips from dLife, a leading online diabetes resource.

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 10 U.S. adults currently have diabetes, including nearly 1 in 4 people age 60 and above.

"There's a misconception that diabetes is life-altering but not life-threatening. Unfortunately, this isn't true. Diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke and kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined," stated Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid. "That's why it's so important for us to empower our patients and associates to help fight this devastating disease."

Rite Aid added that it's helping the American Diabetes Association fight the myth that diabetes is just a disease based on lifestyle by calling on company associates to share their experiences on the drug store chain's Facebook and Twitter pages in November. Also during that month, Rite Aid pharmacists will take their message of awareness and prevention to churches and community events by offering free diabetes screenings in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association in select markets. The chain noted that diabetes affects different races and ethnicities differently and is almost twice as likely to occur in black, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native adults versus white adults.

And again this year, Rite Aid said it will raise money for the American Diabetes Association by selling diabetes pin-ups at store registers. The $1 paper icons contain more than $7 worth of money-saving coupons and can be signed and displayed on Rite Aid store walls to allow customers to publicly state their support of the association's Stop Diabetes campaign. Rite Aid also is sponsoring diabetes walks and encouraging associates to form "diabetes teams" that will walk to raise further awareness and funds.

Rite Aid said that to date it has contributed over $2.2 million directly to the association to support its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of people affected by the disease.