HEALTH

Danisco introduces Howaru Protect to fight cold, flu symptoms

BY Anna Mcgrath

MADISON, Wis. Danisco announced the release of its Howaru Protect, a probiotic formulation to enhance the body’s natural defenses and reduce cold and flu symptoms in children.

Howaru Protect is available in capsules, powder sachets, chewable tablets and as an ingredient in dairy applications. For more information visit www.howaru.com.

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MinuteClinic inks deal with American CareSource

BY DSN STAFF

MinuteClinic’s partnership with ancillary care network services company American CareSource not only underscores the fact that the medical community is embracing the clinic model and encouraging use, but it also aims to help reduce healthcare insurance expenses for ACS members at a time when healthcare costs and reform are top of mind.

 

According to David Boone, CEO of ACS, a primary objective of the company is to provide clients, and ultimately the consumer, with more cost effective and convenient alternatives to hospital- and physician office-based services. Obviously, ACS understands the importance and value of the convenient care industry given that it selected CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic business to help it meet that goal.

 

 

As previously reported by Drug Store News, a 2008 HealthPartners study found that care delivered in such retail-based medical clinics as MinuteClinic are between 32% and 35% less, compared with care delivered in physician offices and urgent care locations. That study which was one of the first to analyze cost and care in retail clinics, examined five of the most common conditions seen in MinuteClinics: sore throat, ear infections, sinus infections, pink eye and bladder and kidney infections.

 

 

Meanwhile, for the convenient care industry, news of the partnership between MinuteClinic and ACS is yet one more nod to the fact that the medical community is embracing the retail-based clinic model and understands the quality, affordable care that these clinics offer patients.

 

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Drugstore.com reports booming business, plans for expansion with microsite

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. While retailers have experienced flat to declining revenues through the current recession, Drugstore.com’s online business is booming on account of two trends: 1. over-the-counter medicines and beauty products which are historically recession-resistant, and 2. more consumers are turning to the Internet in their search of deals.

“Overall revenues [for the quarter] were $100.3 million, the highest in company history,” Dawn Lepore, Drugstore.com CEO and chairman, told analysts Thursday evening. “OTC revenue grew 10% despite flat-to-declining e-commerce industry trends.”

And the online West Coast retailer envisions that OTC revenue continue its upward climb by hundreds of basis points going forward, thanks in part to Drugstore.com’s corporate partnerships with Medco and Rite Aid and the imminent launch of a new Drugstore.com concept called “microsites,” where Drugstore.com will create an online destination center around specific OTC categories that go beyond the offerings available on its core site.

Drugstore.com on June 1 officially launched its online Medco Health Store — a branded Medco site powered by Drugstore.com where Medco’s 60-million-plus covered can order over-the-counter medicines online.

“This is an exciting opportunity especially when you consider that $20 billion in pharmaceutical drug [sales] are expected to go OTC in the next five years,” Lepore said. “We offer over 20,000 of our SKUs on their site categorized [by] healthcare condition.”

And the e-retailer plans to launch its first microsite — Sexualwellbeing.com — next week with the goal of being the low-cost leader specifically in that category. “We are able to leverage our existing inventory and organization to cost-effectively launch a series of sites dedicated to specific areas,” Lepore explained. “Sexual well-being is an obvious category for a microsite. There [will be] some additional products [on that site] that may not be appropriate for the Drugstore.com site,” she added. “There are a number of categories — everything from mens to allergy — that are very promising microsites.”

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