HEALTH

CDC: Flu incidence drops to 2.8%

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 2.8% for the week ended Feb. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday, a strong indicator that the 2012-2013 flu season is on its way out. Nevada, New Jersey and Vermont were still reporting high ILI activity; while 13 states and New York City reported moderate activity; 11 states reported low activity; and 23 states reported minimal activity.

CDC also reported that the cumulative rate of hospitalizations for the season came out to 34.2 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population. Of reported hospitalizations, more than 50% were among adults 65 years and older. The heavy prevalence of hospitalizations among seniors may be linked to the low effectiveness of the flu vaccine in that population this year. According to the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" published Friday, vaccine effectiveness this year was 9% for seniors

 

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C&D enters personal lubricant market, seeking to make Trojan intimacy health ‘mega-brand’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Trojan is about to enter the personal lubricant business, Jim Craigie, chairman and CEO for Church & Dwight, told analysts last week at the 2013 Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference. 

"Trojan, finally, is entering the sexual lubricant category with a brand called Crazy Sexy Feel, under the Trojan brand name," Craigie said. "We hope to do this category, what the AXE brand did to the deodorant category."

C&D will be introducing three SKUs and will be sampling heavily to help drive share, Craigie said. "Big category, $250 million in sales," Craigie said. "Actually been a little soft or stagnant the last few years, because of a lack of innovation. We’re going to bring it to the category." Craigie noted that while condom use declines as people age, personal lubricant and personal massager use remains high over the course of a person’s lifespan. "This is all part of our strategy to turn Trojan into our next megabrand," he said. 

C&D is looking to become the No. 1 brand across three intimacy health segments, Craigie said. That includes the condom category, a $500 million category of which Trojan has a 66% dollar share; the personal massager category, about a $300 million category; and personal lubricants.

"You’ve seen the category size and growth [across these three categories]," he said. "With the trends in America, driven by, whether it’s books [like Fifty Shades of Grey] or things like that, it’s become a mainstream [product]. I actually believe that, and we want to take the brand, it is the mainstream brand, and take it across all the categories and create our next mega-brand."


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Scimera BioScience launches probiotic to replace ‘good bacteria’ in the gut

BY Michael Johnsen

MIAMI — Scimera BioScience on Thursday announced the launch of a novel probiotic formulation, Asprega ProPac, to address the gastrointestinal side effects of antibiotic therapy including antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Unique to ProPac, Scimera packages its probiotic in a convenient 10-day course.

According to the company, as many as 30% of patients on an antibiotic regimen have gastrointestinal distress or ADD. ProPac, with a complex blend of 11 probiotic strains and saccharomyces boulardii yeast, addresses the "good bacteria" sometimes disturbed during antibiotic therapy.

"We have seen plenty of evidence over the past half-dozen years that probiotics can prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea for about 50% to 60% of patients who suffer from symptoms," stated Frederick Chaleff, president and CEO of Scimera BioScience. "Now, we can offer patients an affordable option to address the side effects from taking their antibiotics."


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