HEALTH

CastShield earns award for innovation

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO — MediShield was selected as a winner of the 11th Annual New York Venture Summit Top Innovator award last month by YoungStartup Ventures. The award recognizes privately held companies from across the United States that play a leading role in innovation.

MediShield was recognized for its CastShield line, which offers waterproof protection for casts, bandages, prosthetics and vascular compression products. CastShield is meeting a significant consumer demand, the company noted.

“This award is acknowledgement of … the strength of our CastShield line of products,” stated Coleen Wagner, director of MediShield.

MediShield recently completed the infrastructure build necessary to successfully manage the rapid adoption of the CastShield in both the retail sector and medical community, the company stated. The firm’s virtual business model was built to efficiently exploit the enormous, pre-existing demand for waterproof protection of casts, bandages and vascular compression products. “The CastShield line fills an obvious need with little or no alternative solutions for cast or wound care,” MediShield medical adviser Richard Gray said.

As one of the winners, MediShield was selected to have Gray and MediShield’s managing director Kevin Burns present information about the company at the 2011 New York Venture Summit on July 20 and 21 to a select group of 450 venture capitalists, private equity principals, entrepreneurs and corporate developers.

For more information on the summit, click here.

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St. Joseph Aspirin returns to store shelves with new look

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE — St. Joseph Aspirin has returned to store shelves with a series of product, packaging and retail enhancements, Ilex Consumer Products Group announced last month.

The new packaging will target baby boomers on a low-dose aspirin regimen, as recommended by doctors, to help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. The new packaging copy calls out the need for the consumer to engage in an “Aspirin Regimen.”

The new packaging allows for the 200- and 300-count sizes to be merchandized in a traditional horizontal position and a new vertical position. The latter display option decreases the shelf imprint by almost 50%, which increases the potential sales per linear foot, the company stated.

“We didn’t want to just rely on the equity of the St. Joseph brand to bring lapsed and new users of low-dose aspirin to the aisle,” stated Bernie Kropfelder, EVP sales and marketing for Ilex. “We spoke to a lot of retailers and consumers before deciding which improvements could best enhance retailer margins while also offering a better value to consumers. It’s best when you can create incremental value for both the consumer and the retailer.”

The new packaging has been significantly upgraded and is treated with a high-varnish finish and foil printing to help create shelf interruption. The product counts of St. Joseph Aspirin bottles have been changed to 36-, 120-, 200- and 300-counts (from 36-, 100-, 180- and 300-counts), to make it easier for consumers to compare. And all SKUs have been repriced in an effort to communicate value, the company said.

The relaunch also includes an integrated campaign with TV spots, consumer and trade print ads, public relations and social media outreach rolling out through the spring and summer. St. Joseph will provide several merchandising vehicles to help retailers highlight the brand during its relaunch phase, the company stated. A professional sampling program also will be initiated to drive consumption through doctor and cardiologist referrals.

In January 2011, Ilex Consumer Products Group purchased the legacy St. Joseph Aspirin brand from McNeil Consumer.

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Quit smoking queries see spike

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — New graphic cigarette warning labels released last month by the Food and Drug Administration already appear to be having one desired effect: an increase in "quit smoking" queries to the national 1-800-QUIT-NOW smoking cessation line, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

The new labels aren’t even on cigarette packages yet — the labels will be implemented next year.

“Calls to the national 1-800-QUIT-NOW smoking-cessation line surpassed 4,800 that Tuesday and 3,200 the next day,” AP reported. “A typical Tuesday or Wednesday in June sees about 2,000 calls.”

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