October 16th, 2014

Response to Vancouver Sun October 15th story

We would like to take this opportunity to provide a response to the Vancouver Sun October 15th story regarding the potential of the College of Pharmacists of B.C. unilaterally deciding to expand their jurisdiction to dictate what the buying public can purchase in retail outlets with pharmacies.

Retailers including London Drugs have communicated their concerns to the College of Pharmacists of B.C. as it is the retail companies’ collective view that only publicly elected bodies such as the provincial government has the jurisdiction over what customers can and can’t purchase in a retail environment. A current example is the government public consultation process and pending start of the sale of liquor in grocery stores in B.C. We believe that our customers purchase options should not be made by a self-styled regulator. This is the responsibility of government and not an unelected by the public board.

We need to be clear that although the College of Pharmacists of B.C. has chosen tobacco as an example of a product they would like to have jurisdiction over how and where it is sold knowing fully what a contentious issue tobacco is, however this potential bylaw could extend to a wide range of products. This was most recently evidenced by their attempt to restrict retailers for rewarding customers with loyalty points which was challenged in court and their ability to restrict a benefit to customers was not allowed to proceed by the courts.

If the College of Pharmacists of B.C. really wants to help people to stop smoking they should work together with retailers on methods and access to help people to quit.

The notion of restricting the regulated sale of tobacco at retail where there is also a pharmacy does not address the real issue.  The focus should be on how we can help people to stop smoking. It is a widely accepted belief that targeting tobacco users with cessation tools at the point of purchase is critical to effect change and help people quit smoking.

Governments around the world clearly agree that targeting smokers with anti-smoking messaging at the point of purchase is a productive strategy. This is why governments legislate whether tobacco products are visible, and prescribe specific graphic messages and pictures on packaging – they know that targeted messaging at point-of-purchase works.

Tobacco is a legal product in British Columbia and the public has a variety of choices on where they can purchase tobacco products. This includes pharmacies, grocery stores, corner convenience stores and gas stations. And the fact is, responsible retailers like London Drugs have a critical role in helping people to stop smoking where other forms of retail cannot or they choose not to. In addition to the crucial compliant ‘ask for identification’ factor, when smokers come to purchase tobacco at London Drugs, they receive a brochure offering counselling and tips on how to quit. The counselling and anti-smoking aids are there being offered immediately and in full view at the tobacco point of purchase. These deterrents and education are not happening outside a drug store environment.

London Drugs is proud of the fact we have been an industry leader in working hard over the past decade to establish a robust smoking cessation program for our customers. This includes pharmacists providing one-on-one support for people who want to quit smoking through consultation and coaching and follow up assistance at no cost to the customer. As further commitment to smoking cessation, over the last number of months we have been in discussion with fellow retailers to establish an industry-wide smoking cessation program for the betterment of all British Columbians. An industry led smoking cessation provincial program will take the funding burden off taxpayers. We believe this is a better strategy than taking tobacco out of retail all together and moving it to places that are unregulated, often unlawful and without targeted smoking cessation tools and methods.  If people wish to purchase tobacco products they will so isn’t it better to have them dealing with responsible retailers who also make both education and cessation opportunities available to them?

It is our hope the College will work with us to look at the critical needs and address smoking cessation in British Columbia rather than attempting to dictate to consumers what they can and can’t buy in retail stores.



October 16th, 2014

Poodle – A New Web Vulnerability

Web Vulnerability

There is a web vulnerability that was recently discovered called Poodle. The vulnerability makes it possible to exploit secure web browsing that uses SSL (secure sockets layer) communications. SSL is one of the communication methods that may be established between the browser and the web server. SSL is an old communication method that has been replaced by a more modern and secure method known as TLS (Transport Layer Security). However, many if not most web servers still support SSL (as well as TLS) in order to support older web browsers.

What does this mean for you?

Due to the potential seriousness of the vulnerability, London Drugs will be immediately taking steps to remove support for SSL from all our web sites. For the vast majority of our customers, there will be no issue at all. A very small percentage (less than 0.2%) will be able to browse our websites but will not be able to make purchases, login, or perform any operations that require secure communications (https://).

Our research suggests that those affected will be customers using Internet Explorer versions 6 and earlier. For many reasons, these customers should consider upgrading their browser to a newer version.

As a general note, all customers should take a moment to disable SSL in their browsers to protect against this vulnerability when using other web sites that may not have taken the same action we have.

How do I disable this?

Follow the link below for instructions on how to do this.

https://zmap.io/sslv3/browsers.html



October 15th, 2014

Whey protein concentrate vs. isolate: which one is right for you?

proteinWhen it comes to protein there are lots of choices on store shelves. From the standpoint of digestibility, full spectrum amino acid profiles, ease of mixing and taste, whey protein is often thought of as the superior form of protein. When choosing a whey protein though, there several elements to keep in mind to know which one is right for you.

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October 8th, 2014

London Drugs’ Flu Season Survival Guide

Pharmacists say being Proactive and Prepared is the key to Flu Season Survival

Taking simple, yet highly effective, steps to preventing influenza (flu) can prevent a trip to a busy hospital emergency room during the upcoming flu season. Influenza can be very serious for those who have health vulnerabilities such as senior citizens, pregnant women, or people with chronic health conditions. Influenza causes about 20,000 people to get admitted to the hospital and about 4,000 deaths in Canada each year.[1]

London Drugs is joining health agencies across Western Canada to ensure Canadians are prepared to combat the seasonal flu, which can help free up emergency room space for emergency situations.

“Being proactive and prepared is the key to surviving the flu season,” said Gail Rowan, Pharmacy Operations Manager for London Drugs. “By getting the influenza vaccination early in the season, as well as taking some simple and healthy preventative actions, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others because you are less likely to spread the flu.”

Knowing the difference between a common cold and the flu is as important as being proactive and getting the flu shot early.

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October 7th, 2014

Lindt Chocolate Recipes

Lindt’s Swiss Classic 300g Gold Bar will be part of the Foods of Europe promotion at London Drugs from October 10-22, 2014, so we thought it would be nice to include recipes that use this delectable chocolate.

All these recipes have been created in the Lindt kitchen and introduce a new spin on an old favourite.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

For everyone who loves chocolate in their peanut butter and vice versa.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (130g) chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (90g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup (150g) flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200g Lindt Swiss Classic Surfin, chopped into chunks

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the butter, peanut butter, sugars and cream together.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract.
  • Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture.
  • Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  • Drop cookies by the teaspoonful onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake 10–12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Yield:Approx. 3 dozen cookies

Recipe by Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja

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October 3rd, 2014

Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Flavours

image1I’ve discovered a lot of fantastic products in my years as Trend Watch writer, but my discovery of Green & Black’s Organic chocolate is one of my favourites. I’ve long been a fan of good chocolate, and this line direct from England is the world’s leader in organic and Fair Trade chocolate.

Recently I was invited to a wonderful event to celebrate this line, and share an exciting announcement. Just in time for the holiday season, they’ve added two NEW members to its Canadian family of premium chocolate bars with the launch of Sea Salt and Burnt Toffee.

The Sea Salt bar is something very, very special. I love the combination of salt and chocolate, but sometimes find the actual flakes of salt on top of the sweetness a little off-putting. This bar has delicate flakes of sea salt blended right into the creamy milk chocolate bar, resulting in a perfect mix of sweet and salty.

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October 1st, 2014

RRROCA Community Cleanup a Huge Success

Over 4,500 pounds of electronics and other items diverted from the City of Calgary’s landfills

On September 20, 2014 the communities of Rocky Ridge and Royal Oak participated in a Community Cleanup sponsored by The City of Calgary and London Drugs.

The parking lot of London Drugs Royal Oak was turned into a recycling party with music playing, a Community Appreciation BBQ serving up hot dogs, and a steady stream of recyclers from the community dropping off items at the different charity and recycling stations.

Local charities, Neighborlink and Goods Trading Services together reusing a whole truck load of clothes, household goods, furniture and toys – all being donated to families in need. Habitat for Humanity also collected remnants from renovation projects for use in future construction.

RRROCA-_image1
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