HEALTH

CHPA advises parents not to give cough-cold remedies to infants, toddlers

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday announced that the industry will voluntarily advise parents not to administer cough-cold medicines to children under the age of four. CHPA members last year voluntarily removed from the market any medicines marketed or merchandised to infants under the age of two; the under-four label change will be sold-through this cough-cold season, however.

CVS/pharmacy released a statement Tuesday morning supporting the label changes. “The health and safety of our customers is our highest priority and we support CHPA’s voluntary action,” stated Michael Bloom, senior vice president of merchandising at CVS/pharmacy. “As pediatric cough and cold medicines have been declared safe and effective by the FDA, it is also important that our customers have access to these products during cough and cold season while our suppliers transition to labels with new pediatric dosing directions.”

CVS/pharmacy is working with its suppliers to ensure that the OTC medicines will be available in its stores with new pediatric dosing directions as quickly as possible, the pharmacy operator stated. In the meantime, CVS will continue to keep the current versions of the 130 products it offers available for customers who rely on these medicines to treat their families’ cold and allergy symptoms.

“Research shows that dosing errors and accidental ingestions—not the safety of the ingredients themselves when properly dosed—are the leading causes of rare adverse events in young children,” stated Linda Suydam, president of CHPA. “As a result, the leading manufacturers of oral OTC pediatric cough and cold medicines are moving forward on both the design and implementation of initiatives aimed at encouraging the appropriate use of these medicines.”

CHPA consulted with FDA in the aftermath of last week’s public meeting regarding whether or not several monographed cough/cold medicines were appropriate for use in children under the age of six. After that meeting, the FDA promised action, however acknowledged that that action, in the form of rulemaking, could take several months before a proposed rule change to the governing monographs would be introduced.

In addition to the marketing ban on children under the age of four, CHPA manufacturers are voluntarily adding new language that warns parents not to use antihistamine products to sedate or make a child sleepy.

Throughout the 2008-2009 cough and cold season, manufacturers will be transitioning onto store shelves oral OTC pediatric cough and cold medicines with the new labels and packaging. “As with other OTC labeling changes in the past, FDA has indicated it does not believe this labeling change warrants the removal of products with the existing labeling from store shelves during this time of transition,” Suydam said.

CHPA has also expanded its national education program aimed at parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals on appropriate dosing and use of OTC medicines in children.

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HEALTH

Data shows use of Alli could also impact household members’ habits

BY Jenna Duncan

PHOENIX and PITTSBURGH New data released during proceedings at this year’s Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society said that people taking FDA-approved weight-loss pill Alli also tend to make healthier grocery shopping decisions, a trend that is positively influencing families.

A 26-week study reviewed the shopping habits of 15,156 households in which one or more members were taking Alli. The study showed that shoppers in these households were also purchasing items such as cereals, diet control bars, multi-vitamins and yogurt, among other “healthy” options.

Study co-author, Rebecca Reeves, of Baylor College of Medicine, said, “What is so unique and exciting about the data in this abstract is the evidence that people taking Alli made changes in their purchase patterns toward healthier foods. These data show that households purchasing Alli more than once increased their buying of healthier products compared to the previous year.”

The National Institutes of Health have reported that about 65 percent of U.S. adults are obese or overweight. Persons dealing with too much weight are more likely to face health problems such as heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, the National Institutes said.

Taking Alli, combined with a low-calorie, encourages healthy, modest weight-loss, maker GlaxoSmithKline has said.

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Aisle7 launches new programs to manage store planning

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. Aisle7 (formerly Healthnotes), will unveil its new flagship product: Aisle7 IN-STORE 2009 on Tuesday, the company announced.

Featuring interactive shopping guides, easy-to-use shopping tools and a new suite of applications, retailers are able to engage shoppers on several top-of-mind issues for the consumer, notably wellness, sustainability and saving money.

Aisle7 IN-STORE 2009 features a new campaign-driven architecture allowing retailers to create unique wellness campaigns that match their own marketing calendars and allow them to deliver relevant shopping ideas and targeted messages in high-margin departments throughout the store. 

“Shopper marketing is the fastest growing segment of retailers’ marketing budgets and grocers are in need of flexible, customizable, storewide programs that can amplify their marketing messages and brand,” stated Jeffrey Beyer, Aisle7 chief executive officer. “Our solutions help retailers capitalize on this growing trend by inspiring new ideas and driving incremental sales.”

To help retail marketers engage shoppers, align marketing initiatives and leverage existing investments, Aisle7 IN-STORE 2009 provides a new suite of applications and customization options that extend the base program, including:

• Aisle7 Brand allows retailers to customize programming and directly integrate marketing initiatives for additional leverage and consistency;

• Aisle7 Promote delivers a contextual marketing solution to promote private label, store programs and promotions alongside engaging, relevant content;

• Aisle7 Scan provides shoppers relevant product information, product tips and cross-sell suggestions with a simple bar code scan;

• Aisle7 Locate allows shoppers to locate products throughout the store through an integrated planogram;

• Aisle7 Target integrates with retailers’ existing loyalty programs to present shoppers with targeted shopping ideas, offers and wellness tips.

“In today’s competitive environment, retailers need to make it easy to connect shoppers with their products,” added Robert Johnson, president of TreoSystems. “We are excited to be working with Aisle7 to offer retailers integrated item locator solutions to help shoppers find the products they’re looking for, along with relevant promotions and cross-sell recommendations that can drive additional sales.”

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