HEALTH

GNC highlights endurance selection

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GNC on Thursday announced it would highlight its new “Endurance Wall,” which includes as many as 50 SKUs, at two upcoming endurance events.

“The GNC endurance selection is an amazing array of products designed to meet the specific needs of serious athletes across all sports and activities. No matter what their level of experience, GNC has the right product,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP store operations and development.

The new wall will house the on-course drinks for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 9, and from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10.

“GNC supports a wide range of athletic events around the country, but these two events symbolize the GNC Live Well premise –– that all athletes, whether professionals or serious amateurs, can participate in open events that provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate that their training, with its highs and lows, is worth it all,” stated Dave Sims, GNC VP direct marketing and two-time Hawaii Ironman participant.

In Kona, the PowerBar Ironman Perform is the on-course drink for the race. GNC’s Kona store is only two blocks from the start/finish line and the bike and run components of the race go past it on the way out and coming back. More than 1,800 participants are expected in the Hawaii Ironman event, with thousands more cheering them on.

In Chicago, Gatorade’s G Series Pro 02 endurance formula is the on-course drink for the 33rd running of the marathon. In addition to on-course availability, marathoners and spectators alike will be able to find G Series Pro 02 at GNC stores in the area. As well as the thousands of spectators in downtown Chicago, there will be 38,000 runners, including more than 20,000 from outside Illinois.

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NCPA to CMS: Medicaid reimbursements should adhere to healthcare-reform law provisions

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow guidance that Congress included in the healthcare-reform law in its implementation of a new Medicaid generic drug reimbursement formula based on average manufacturer price, the organization said Tuesday.

CMS recently withdrew provisions that would have dramatically cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement to community pharmacies from a previously proposed AMP rule due to an injunction that the NCPA obtained in 2007.

 

In a letter to Congress, the NCPA recommended giving manufacturers more direction in calculating their AMPs, such as requiring them to only include prices paid by wholesalers for drugs subsequently sold at pharmacies; recognizing the ill effect that the NCPA said curtailed generic drug reimbursements would have on retail pharmacies; and setting up a process by which revised federal upper limits resulting from the revised AMP data will be implemented in order to minimize disruption for patients and pharmacies.

 

 

“In many ways, independent community pharmacies are the backbone of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Pharmacies will become an even more important source of health care-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries as new healthcare reform provisions are implemented.”

 

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Internet is go-to for health-and-wellness information, study shows

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The types of websites consumers turn to for health-and-wellness information and the reasons they go online for such information are greatly influenced by the stage of the condition they are experiencing and varies by ailment type, age and gender, according to research released Wednesday by Kantar Media.

 

“The Internet has become the source people turn to for health information,” stated Jayne Krahn, VP consumer health and custom research for Kantar Media. “While much is known about website visitation and patterns, less is known about the why and when, in terms of ailment conditions and stages,” she said. “This in-depth information … can help marketers and content creators better plan, position and develop creative. It also has relevance for magazine publishers looking to demonstrate how their digital offerings can provide unique reach and build frequency for advertisers.”

 

 

While health-information websites were used more often than search engines across all stages of the 40 ailments covered in the study, search engines were the preferred next option at early stages of a condition. However, for those recently diagnosed, in recovery or living with an ongoing condition, websites dedicated to a particular condition were preferred over search engines.

 

 

Online behavior also is defined by type of ailment when it comes to those sites best able to drive visitors back. For example, the study found that those who used the Internet for diabetes information were twice as likely to go back to websites that offered helpful tools or connected them to a larger community of people with the same condition. Sites that offer easy access to medical professionals are favored by those researching cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.

 

 

Findings also indicated that men and women use online health research differently. Nearly 84% of women researched for someone else, compared with 75% of men who researched for others. When it comes to reading reviews or ratings about doctors, however, men were just as likely to do so as women.

 

 

With regard to age, 18 to 34 year olds were more likely to go online to find healthcare professionals and read reviews or ratings about physicians, while those older than 50 years sought information about a condition or treatment after visiting a doctor.

 

 

The analysis comes out of the MARS 2010 Online Behavior Study. The study, conducted among more than 5,000 respondents in the second quarter of this year, is an extension of the 2010 MARS OTC/DTC Study.

 

 

Among other findings:

  • Of the 178 million Americans who have gone online in the past month, more than 89% have used the Internet for health research, with the typical user being female and younger than 50 years of age;
  • The primary reason for going online for health information was to gain general knowledge about a condition (71%), followed by researching symptoms that either the individual or someone else was experiencing (59%);
  • 56% of respondents said a healthcare professional recommendation makes a health website trustworthy, followed by 46% who said the inclusion of academic articles or scientific research does, and 39% who said having information that is easy to understand does;
  • 79% said that they felt the Internet provides a wealth of resources when they are searching for health-and-wellness information, while 74% said they were very cautious about which websites they accessed for health-and-wellness information; and
  • For those recently diagnosed with a condition, 77% said they first turned to online sources for information, second only to 81% who said they turned to a healthcare professional. Nearly 51% relied on magazines, pamphlets or other print publications.

 

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