HEALTH

Cough-cold, flu season just starting to move

BY Michael Johnsen

As of early February, incidence of cough-cold and influenza still was relatively low, but the season has yet to peak and that means there could be demand for symptomatic relief through March.


“Fever is just starting to move,” noted Scott Hanslip, director of sales for IMS Consumer Health, in the first week of February. However, overall incidence of upper respiratory illness was down 7.5% from September through Jan. 21, 
according to IMS Health tracking.


Annual category sales suggested a different story. According to SymphonyIRI Group data, sales of cough-cold tablets were up 4.2% to $2.7 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).


However, those sales figures still may reflect some reverberation from the 2009-2010 H1N1 season, Hanslip cautioned. “If you go back to Q4 2009, what’s happening is the amplitude of sales has really not caught up yet with what’s actually going on,” he said. “The inflationary buying that occurred for the pandemic forced an awful lot of adult-type consumption that was false.” Consequently, sales of cough-cold products in first quarter 2010 were so low that the first quarter of 2011, included in the present annualized sales figures, was significantly higher.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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HEALTH

Parents erring with kids’ fevers

BY Michael Johnsen

According to two new surveys of parents and pediatricians from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, more than half of all parents reported feeling anxious, fearful or helpless when their child comes down with a fever. In addition, many parents are not managing the fever correctly.


The “Dose of Reality” survey exposed several areas in which parents may be making unintended mistakes in treating their child’s fever. For example, more than half of parents surveyed (54%) woke their child up in the middle of the night just to give them fever medication. However, most pediatricians believe a sleeping child should not be disturbed only to administer fever medication.


And nearly 1-in-4 parents admitted to giving their children an adult over-the-counter fever medication at an estimated lower dose, rather than giving children a medication made for children. This is something that one-third of pediatricians actually reported hearing from their patients.


Also, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their child home from school or daycare until the child is fever-free for at least 24 hours, 52% of parents admitted to sending their children back to school or daycare less than 24 hours after their fever passed.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Strong allergy season ahead

BY Michael Johnsen

A wet spring last year made for ideal allergen-
creating conditions heading into summer 2011 — the growth of ragweed and an increase in mold. According to a Quest Diagnostics study published in 2011, sensitization to common ragweed has grown 15% nationally since 2000, while mold grew 12%. IMS Health projected a strong spring allergy season, especially across the north and northeast.


Similasan currently is pitching some of its allergy-relief eye care products as a synergistic incremental sale to cough-cold and allergy tablet remedies. “Our homeopathic Dry Eye Relief and Irritated Eye Relief are natural items to tie in with our cough-cold products,” stated Similasan product manager Melissa Mursch. “Dry and irritated eyes are very common during the cough-cold season, and this makes for [a] one-stop-shop, all-natural homeopathic cough-cold solution center.”


Last year, Similasan launched Nasal Allergy Relief Preservative Free Nasal Mist. Many popular preservatives used in allergy sprays, such as benzalkonium chloride and phenyl­carbinol, potentially end up exacerbating allergy symptoms, leaving the consumer in search of preservative-free solutions.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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