Blacksmith Brands acquires five McNeil OTC brands, inks deal with The Emerson Group
NEW YORK An acquisition of second-tier brands like Efferdent and Luden’s can only be good news for the health of each of these brands, especially as Blacksmith Brands breathes some new life into each of these franchises.
And you can expect them to be successful. But don’t take our word for it – look at the last few issues of Drug Store News’ Niche Brands Report (published annually in May), where you’ll find that the success of many niche brands is predicated by being managed by a company that doesn’t outspend the competition, but better knows its buying demographics and better targets that demographic.
You’ll also find that companies described as master brokers, a moniker that in the past had been applied to such companies as The Emerson Group, really no longer accurately capture the breadth of offering — including marketing/merchandising or the vetting of the business from a mass capacity point-of-view — that these kinds of companies provide. And Blacksmith Brands will be armed with that Emerson pedigree right out of the gate.
Indeed, even though it’s a new company, it’s got a lot going for it. For starters, The Emerson Group is more than just a marketing/merchandising solutions firm, it’s an equity partner. And then you have senior management at Blacksmith, all with decades of experience in mass. There’s Peter Mann, former chairman and CEO of Prestige Brands, who now is heading up the Blacksmith team. Also from Prestige is Eric Millar, now Blacksmith COO. Prestige Brands has had a lot of success buttressing the performance of brands such as is now in the Blacksmith stable. And Michael Fink, former co-CEO of Nutrition 21, has assumed the reigns at Blacksmith as chief marketing officer for OTC products. Also, Gerry Butler, formerly co-CEO of Nutrition 21, has joined as chief sales officer.
FDA approves rare skin cancer treatment
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating a skin cancer that affects fewer than 20,000 people in the United States.
Gloucester Pharmaceuticals announced the FDA’s approval of Istodax (romidepsin) for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma also known as CTCL, in patients who have received at least one prior systemic therapy. The cancer affects between 16,000 and 20,000 people in the United States and is most common among men ages 50 years and older, according to the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation.
“CTCL is a devastating cancer in which many patients suffer from disfiguring tumors, horribly itchy and infected skin and, in advanced stages, lesions in other organs,” Stanford Cancer Center professor and Istodax clinical trial investigator Youn Kim stated. “Current systemic therapies have proved inadequate, and patients with CTCL desperately need treatment options that can offer sustained relief from their disease so they can live fuller lives.”
Price Chopper opens new Mass.-based store
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Northeastern supermarket chain Price Chopper has opened a new store in Shrewsbury, Mass., the company said.
The 64,000-sq.-ft. store incorporates numerous environmentally friendly features and was designed to win silver-level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Features include skylights, freezers and cases lit with LED lightbulbs and a composting system for unused, produce, meat, seafood and deli products.
“We are so pleased to offer a brand new, state-of-the-art supermarket here in Shrewsbury that contains many of our signature products and services,” Price Chopper CEO and chairman Neil Golub said. “We look forward to providing Price Chopper quality, value and customer service to all those who enter our doors and relish the opportunity to continue supporting local projects and events that nourish the community around us.”
The store also includes a full-service pharmacy offering the chain’s 30-day and 90-day generic discount programs and the Diabetes AdvantEdge disease management program.