HEALTH

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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Diagnostic Devices in contract with two states for Medicaid-covered blood glucose monitoring systems

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Diagnostic Devices on Wednesday announced contracts with the states of Illinois and Missouri around Medicaid coverage of its Prodigy line of blood glucose monitoring systems and test strips.

“We will continue working with other states for coverage under their Medicaid programs, and to demonstrate to them the savings Illinois and Missouri taxpayers will realize with the Prodigy family of products,” stated Rick Admani Abulhaj, Diagnostic COO.

A recent study by University of Florida PharmD candidates found the “talking” feature of the Prodigy AutoCode meter made a “significant improvement” in overall diabetes control and compliance among patients who took part, the company noted.

The Prodigy Voice meter for blind or low-vision diabetes patients has been honored with awards from both the National Federation of the Blind and the American Foundation for the Blind, the company added.

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Fairhaven Health presents clinical study results for FertilAid for Men

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLINGHAM, Wash. Fairhaven Health, which manufactures a male fertility supplement, recently presented a clinical study at the American Society of Andrology’s annual meeting, the company announced Tuesday.

Results from a recent clinical study indicate that FertilAid for Men provides significant improvements in sperm quality for men with abnormal sperm parameters. In particular, results of the 90-day, double blind, placebo-controlled study suggest that FertilAid for Men supports significant increases in the total number of normal motile sperm. Previous clinical studies have suggested a strong relationship between the “total normal-motile sperm count” and the fertility of the man.

“Most of the men that had increased sperm counts while taking FertilAid for Men also showed improvements of 20% or more in the number of healthy sperm,” stated lead researcher J. Ellington.

FertilAid for Men is a male fertility supplement that integrates vitamins, antioxidants, a proprietary blend of herbal ingredients and the amino acid, l-carnitine. Scientific literature suggests that antioxidants can improve male fertility by reducing oxidative stress and damage to spermatozoa, while supporting fundamental protective functions of the seminal plasma which insulate and nourish sperm. In independent studies, antioxidants reduce “free-radical” damage, in particular to the sperm’s DNA or genetic material, resulting in better pregnancy outcomes.

Research on the amino acid, l-carnitine, yields similar pro-fertility findings: L-carnitine supports “sperm metabolism”, or the ability for sperm to break down complex molecules to produce energy. L-carnitine has been shown in a number of clinical studies to enhance several fundamental sperm parameters, including sperm concentration, motility and normal morphology.

Fairhaven Health’s distribution partners include drugstore.com, BabyCenter and CVS.com, as well as a number of clinics and private practices nationwide.

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