TRADE GROUP COMBATS SKIN CANCER

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- While this year's sun care selling season is in full swing, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores here has teamed with retailers and manufacturers to make next year's summer season a safer one for consumers.The NACDS Sun Safety Alliance formed a nonprofit coalition to create larger consumer awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and its link with the sun's rays. Several

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- While this year's sun care selling season is in full swing, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores here has teamed with retailers and manufacturers to make next year's summer season a safer one for consumers.

The NACDS Sun Safety Alliance formed a nonprofit coalition to create larger consumer awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and its link with the sun's rays. Several manufacturers, including Schering-Plough, maker of Coppertone and Ban de Soleil along with other summer product manufacturers, are supporting the new program.

"Our mission is to bring all parties together to create a sustained educational campaign targeting families and school children and create an awareness of good sun safety practices," said Phil Schneider, executive director of the Sun Safety Alliance and vice president of external affairs, NACDS.

To promote the Sun Safety Alliance, retailers will promote sun safety "zones" in stores, showcasing Sun Safety Alliance-related products with shelf tags. Manufacturers will also brand their products with the logo.

NACDS will harness the expertise of in-store pharmacists to relay further information to consumers, Schneider told SN. The alliance will provide in-store pharmacists educational pamphlets on different skin types, the sun protection factor scale and the Ultraviolet Index to display near pharmacy counters for customers. NACDS will also spearhead continuing education programs on sun safety for retail pharmacists.

With this program set to take off next year, Schneider said that it will "increase sales and we think that by branding products and creating awareness, it will benefit retailers."

NACDS will communicate the details of the Sun Safety Alliance to retail members before Labor Day, he said.