Walgreens Begins Offering Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator Without A Prescription
Nation’s Largest Drugstore Chain to Carry Award-Winning Safety Device
DEERFIELD, Ill., March 30, 2005, — Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG, AEX: PHI) and Walgreen Co. (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG), the nation’s largest drugstore chain, today announced that the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator is now available to consumers without a prescription via Walgreens.com and Walgreens toll free number 866-522-8007. Walgreens will be the first drugstore chain to carry the device since its clearance for sale without a prescription on September 16, 2004.
The HeartStart Home Defibrillator is designed specifically for home use by virtually anyone to provide treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming approximately 340,000 lives each year. In fact, SCA deaths are more prevalent than deaths from traffic accidents, house fires, handguns, breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined. Defibrillators provide treatment for ventricular fibrillation, the most common cause of SCA, by delivering a controlled electrical shock to restore a normal heart rhythm. For each minute that passes before defibrillation therapy is administered to a victim, the chance for survival decreases by about 10 percent. It takes an average of nine minutes for emergency professionals to reach a victim in a typical community, and today, fewer than five percent of SCA victims survive. Nearly 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home.
“This exciting new partnership with Walgreens promises to significantly increase consumer exposure to the HeartStart Home Defibrillator, and provide easy access to the product for those who want to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest,” said Deborah DiSanzo, vice president and general manager, cardiac systems, for Philips Medical Systems. “Walgreens will be a vital component of our efforts to create a network of broad access to the HeartStart Home Defibrillator, so that more lives could be saved.”
“We are pleased to offer customers immediate access to this potentially life-saving device,” said Walgreens vice president of purchasing Robert Kral. “People are beginning to realize the critical need for timely treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. Meeting that need extends our heritage of leadership and innovation in drugstore retailing.”
Patented technologies and an award-winning design make the HeartStart Home Defibrillator easy to learn and use. Designed around the user, it provides clear, calm voice instructions that guide responders through every step of the defibrillation process. It even reminds them to call for emergency help and offers instructions for administering CPR. Patented voice coaching for both adult and infant/child CPR provides audio cues for each breath as well as the appropriate number and rate of chest compressions. Advanced SMART Pad technology senses the responder’s actions with the pads and automatically adjusts the pace of the voice instructions to meet the individual responder’s needs.
Daily self-tests of multiple system components, including a check for pads readiness, renders the device virtually maintenance free. A loud chirp alerts family members when any part of the system needs attention. The specially designed Infant/Child SMART Pads cartridge, available by prescription, makes the HeartStart Home Defibrillator more appropriate for use on infants and children under the age of 8 or weighing less than 55 lbs.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of $ 37.66 Billion (EUR 30.3 billion) in 2004. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 161,500 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
Walgreen Co. is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2004 sales of $37.5 billion. The company operates 4,738 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico, and plans to open about 450 new stores nationwide in fiscal 2005. Walgreens also provides additional services to pharmacy patients and prescription drug plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives (a pharmacy benefits manager), Walgreens Mail Service, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy and Walgreens Home Care.
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