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Walmart to Help Employees Train as Opticians and Other Healthcare Pros

The education benefit program is called Live Better U.

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Walmart is launching an effort to help its employees train for careers in healthcare, including optician roles.

Walmart’s 1.5 million associates in the U.S. can apply for one of seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields for $1 a day through Live Better U, the company’s education benefit program.

“Walmart aims to be the market leader in providing retail workers a path to careers in growing fields like healthcare,” said Drew Holler, senior vice president of associate experience for Walmart U.S. “We don’t know of any other retailer in America that has a program that allows its associates the opportunity to achieve a degree in healthcare that can translate into a higher-paying job within the company or in the broader field.”

The health and wellness courses include career diploma programs for opticians and pharmacy technicians through Penn Foster, and seven bachelor’s degrees in health science, health and wellness and healthcare management/administration offered through Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Bellevue University and Wilmington University.

The offerings will provide associates with training to fill healthcare roles across Walmart and Sam’s Club. The retailer operates more than 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers and 400 hearing centers, as well as the new Walmart Health center in Georgia.

“Walmart’s Live Better U is quickly leading the pack as one of the most innovative corporate-sponsored education programs in the country,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education, Walmart’s education benefit partner. “We’ve been proud partners in supporting Walmart’s goal of making their program accessible to all associates and aligned with advancement in the company or beyond. By expanding the program into healthcare fields, Walmart is ensuring associates can continue to pursue their dreams while making meaningful advancements in their careers.”

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Alcon’s Pataday Eye Allergy Meds Get FDA Nod for Nonprescription Use

They’ll no longer be sold as prescription drugs.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two Alcon eye allergy products for over-the-counter use through a process called a “prescription (Rx)-to-OTC switch.”

The FDA gave the OK to these medications for nonprescription use:

  • Pataday Twice Daily Relief (olopatadine HCl ophthalmic solution/drops, 0.1%) for the temporary relief of itchy and red eyes due to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair or dander.
  • Pataday Once Daily Relief (olopatadine HCl ophthalmic solution/drops, 0.2%) for the temporary relief of itchy eyes due to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair or dander.

“As a result of the Rx-to-OTC switch process, many products sold over-the-counter today use ingredients or dosage strengths that were available only by prescription 30 years ago,” said Karen Mahoney, MD, acting deputy director of the Office of Nonprescription Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Approval of a wider range of nonprescription drugs has the potential to improve public health by increasing the types of drugs consumers can access and use that would otherwise only be available by prescription. This includes providing the millions of people that suffer with joint pain from arthritis daily over-the-counter access to another non-opioid treatment option.”

For a drug to switch to nonprescription status, the data provided must demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective for use in self-medication as directed in proposed labeling. The manufacturer must show that consumers can understand how to use the drug safely and effectively without the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Pataday Twice Daily Relief was first approved by the FDA in 1996 under the name Patanol as a prescription drug and was indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis (referring to ocular redness and itching due to allergies). Pataday – now Pataday Once Daily Relief – was first approved by the FDA in 2004 as a prescription drug and was indicated for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. These drugs are mast cell stabilizers, which work by preventing the release of histamine and therefore prevent or control allergic disorders.

The products will be marketed in the U.S. as nonprescription drugs and will no longer be available as prescription drugs.

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Optical Centers Planned for 4 Oklahoma Sam’s Club Stores As a Result of New Law

They’re expected to open within the next few months.

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Optical centers will open in four Sam’s Club stores in Oklahoma City, KFOR-TV reports.

The plans follow the passage of legislation allowing optometrists to practice within retail settings. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law in May 2019.

The optical centers are expected to open within the next few months. and 10 more centers are expected to open in the state by summer, according to KFOR.

Retailers are permitted to sell lenses and frames under the new legislation. But optometrists cannot be employees of retailers.

The law also does not allow retailers have control over any aspect of the eye exam.

The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians has stated that the new legislation “will protect Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers.”

Read more at KFOR-TV

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Video: Burglar Makes Off with $19K in Eyewear

The crime took place at about 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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A burglar made off with more than $19,000 in frames from the office of a California ECP.

The thief took 82 frames from Signature Optometry in Freson, CA, YourCentralValley.com reports.

The burgalry occurred at about 7 p.m. on Sunday. Dr. Chris Fisher, owner of the business, was alerted when five alarms went off.

He was quoted saying: “It was a mess. There were frames on the floor, there was garbage on the floor, there was glass all over the front.”

The crime remains under investigation.

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