HEALTH

Diabetic patients: Technology’s useful to communicate with docs, as long as it’s free

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Patients with diabetes may seek information from their physicians outside of scheduled office visits but are not willing to pay for such services, according to a new study presented at the American Osteopathic Association’s 115th Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition.

Among 300 patients with diabetes, the study authors noted, 42% communicated with their physicians by telephone outside of scheduled office visits and 13% used e-mail. However, 62% of patients said they would not pay to communicate with their physicians outside of scheduled office visits.

“Patients want some way to communicate with their physicians, such as by phone or pager, to ask questions about managing their diabetes or to share information about their condition, such as their blood sugar levels,” said study co-author Jay Shubrook, an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician from Athens, Ohio. “They like the access, but they don’t want to pay for it.”

The study also found older respondents, who averaged between ages 51 years and 60 years, did not use Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their physician. What’s more, only 69% of respondents had Internet access at home. This could be because older adults do not find paying for the Internet a priority compared with their other expenses, including those related to other medical conditions, Shubrook said.

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HEALTH

Matrixx reports Q2 decline but hopes new campaign will boost business

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Monday reported a decline of 17% in net sales to $21.3 million for the company’s second quarter ended Sept. 30. The decline, Matrixx president and CEO Bill Hemelt explained to analysts Tuesday morning, represented a course correction of sorts. The sales decline was “due to lower upfront buys by retailers,” Hemelt said. Last year, all of the hype around H1N1 drove retailers to heavily stock in cough-and-cold supplies. This year, that industry level has dropped to more historical levels, Hemelt suggested, particularly across the drug channel.

Hemelt shared with analysts the company’s new advertising campaign, which begins airing in earnest a week following the November elections. The new campaign features three iconic TV moms — "The Brady Bunch’s" Florence Henderson, "Family Ties’" Meredith Baxter and "Seinfeld’s" Estelle Harris — who make up the “Mom Squad” and save cold sufferers from various treatment myths, such as “freezing out” a cold or consuming onions to help relieve the cold.

“We believe our new creative will continue to differentiate our products from general symptom relief products and help increase consumer awareness,” Hemelt said. “All of these [initiatives] will be supported by strong retail marketing support that has already begun,” Hemelt added during his conference call with analysts.

 

Last week, Matrixx released a new national survey of U.S. adults that found the majority of Americans are misinformed about what causes the common cold, and how and when they should treat it. Nearly three-quarters of consumers (72%) believed there was not much they could do about a cold except mask the symptoms and wait it out. The top five myths about colds that pharmacists reported were most difficult to debunk:

  • Antibiotics can kill the germs that cause colds;
  • Changes in the weather can cause colds;
  • Getting wet and chilled can cause colds;
  • Sitting in a draft can cause colds; and
  • Avoiding changes in temperatures will help prevent colds.

 

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Prilosec OTC taps two football stars for Living Proof campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble on Tuesday announced the signing of two NFL offensive linemen — New York Giants’ David Diehl and Minnesota Vikings’ Anthony Herrera — as spokesmen of the frequent-heartburn remedy Prilosec OTC. The two NFL players will be part of the Prilosec OTC Living Proof campaign to share their heartburn protection stories over the course of the 2010-2011 NFL season.

 

The Prilosec OTC Living Proof campaign will feature Diehl and Herrera’s stories about the importance of powerful protection on PrilosecOTC.com, and will be supported by television and digital advertising also featuring the players.

 

 

"David Diehl and Anthony Herrera are living proof that heartburn can happen to even the toughest people," stated Phil McWaters, Prilosec OTC brand manager. "These players will help people understand that frequent heartburn doesn’t have to get in the way of their daily activities and that Prilosec OTC can them help manage and protect against it."

 

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