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FDA highlights rare instance of burns associated with use of external analgesics

BY Michael Johnsen

 SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday alerted the public that certain external analgesics have been associated with burns. Most of the reported cases involved products containing higher concentrations of menthol and methyl salicylate (greater than 3% menthol or 10% methyl salicylate). Few of the cases involved capsaicin, the FDA reported. 

Over 42 years, as many as 43 reported cases of burns associated with use of external pain relievers for muscle pain or joint pain have been reported, noted FDA chemist Reynold Tan. While that represents a small incidence relative to the number of external analgesics sold, those products should not be causing burns. 

"[However,] existing Tentative Final Monograph does not at this time require labels of OTC topical muscle and joint pain relievers to carry a warning that use of the products could result in serious burns," the FDA stated. The FDA advised consumers using these products to not bandage the area of pain tightly or apply local heat (e.g., heating pads, lamps, hot water). Further, the FDA advised consumers to not use external analgesics on broken or irritated skin. 

For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12, sales of external analgesic rubs totaled $305.9 million, up 1.7%, across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) channels, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 

 

 

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Stop & Shop’s school rewards program returns

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass., and PURCHASE, N.Y. — School is back in session, and so is Stop & Shop’s rewards program.

Customers once again are encouraged to sign up for the A+ School Rewards school fundraiser, a program launched in 2009 to support local schools throughout participating markets. During the 2012-2013 school year, Stop & Shop said it will donate $2.5 million through the program. More than $4 million has been donated to local schools since the program’s inception.

How it works: A+ School Rewards are accrued with each purchase a customer makes using his or her Stop & Shop card. Points also can accrue when shopping with a Stop & Shop card on Peapod.com. To participate in the program, customers must sign up and designate their chosen school(s) at Stopandshop.com. Shoppers can designate up to two schools to benefit from the program and are required to re-designate each year. Participants are encouraged to sign up or re-designate as soon as possible so their chosen schools can begin earning points when the program begins. Beginning in November, current school totals can be found on the A+ website at Stopandshop.com/aplus.

The program, which runs from Oct. 5 through March 28, allows Stop & Shop customers to help local schools earn cash for technology, scholarship programs, summer programs, field trips, playgrounds and other educational needs.

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SymphonyIRI: Younger boomers shift to dollar channel versus drug in vitamins, internal analgesics

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Drug channel retailers hold a lower than average share among younger baby boomers, likely due to a particularly low share across sizeable categories, such as vitamins and internal analgesics, within the younger boomer cohort, SymphonyIRI Group reported Thursday as part of its latest Times & Trends Report, "Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity." In contrast, dollar channel spending among younger boomers is above average across each of these categories.

“Boomers will experience a broad range of lifestyle changes in the coming years that will dramatically change where and how they shop for consumer packaged goods and what they buy,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends at SymphonyIRI. “The important thing for CPG marketers to remember is that boomers are not a homogeneous group, so sweeping strategies will not be effective. By developing highly-targeted marketing strategies that are aligned with the needs of key shoppers and consumers, retailers and manufacturers can create shopping experiences that will win share of spending and ongoing loyalty.”

Boomers’ concern about healthcare cuts across several prevalent health conditions. For instance, 70% of younger boomers and 71% of older boomers feel they are overweight. Boomers also show above average concern with cholesterol and cardiac health.


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