HEALTH

Hisamitsu America innovates analgesics aisle with new Lidocaine Plus line

BY Michael Johnsen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Hisamitsu America on Tuesday announced the Lidocaine Plus product line with the introduction of the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid.

“The Lidocaine Plus products contain two powerful anesthetics including long-lasting 4% lidocaine which is the maximum strength available without a prescription and fast-acting 10% benzyl alcohol,” stated John Incledon, president and CEO, Hisamitsu America. “The Salonpas Lidocaine Plus products desensitize aggravated nerves for temporary relief of back, neck, shoulder, knee and elbow pain.”

“I have been using the new Salonpas Lidocaine Plus products to address knee and elbow pain after my rigorous work-outs and found that the cream and liquid worked effectively,” said journalist Bob Arnot, author of twelve books on nutrition and health and host of the "Dr. Danger" reality TV series, and previously chief medical correspondent for NBC and CBS News.

Both Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid will retail for a suiggested $12.99. All of the Salonpas lidocaine products, including the Lidocaine 4% Pain Relieving Patch, are unscented.
 

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‘For sale’ sign could soon hang over Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Tuesday might be putting its $3.4 billion consumer healthcare business on the sales block, noting that all scenarios would be considered during a strategic review of its options, which include a full or partial separation of the business from Pfizer through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.

Of course, Pfizer may ultimately determine to retain the business, the company added.

“Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is a leading player in the largest OTC categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals,” stated Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and CEO. “By exploring strategic options, we can evaluate how best to fuel the future success and expansion of Consumer Healthcare while simultaneously unlocking potential value for our shareholders.”

One key question that would accompany a decision to sell the business would be whether the list of likely suitors would come from the echelon of top-10 OTC manufacturers.

According to Kline Group, based on 2016 sales Bayer (8.2% market share), Johnson & Johnson (7.5%) and GSK Consumer Healthcare (6.5%) were all bigger than Pfizer (6.2%), which stood at No. 4 on that list, followed by Procter & Gamble (4.5%), Sanofi (4.4%), Reckitt Benckiser (4%), Prestige Brands (1.9%), Church & Dwight (1.2%) and Carlyle Group (1%). The marketshare figures are attributable to Kline & Company’s latest "Nonprescription Drugs USA" study.

Many of the companies that fall below Pfizer on that top 10 list got to where they are today through acquisition. That would inlclude Reckitt Benckiser, which ranked ninth in OTC sales in 2010 but by 2016 leapfrogged into becoming the seventh-largest competitor after acquiring the Schiff and Airborne businesses.

Sanofi acquired Chattem in 2010 and then used that platform to switch OTC blockbusters Allegra and Nasacort. Sanofi also acquired the OTC rights to the erectile dysfunction remedy Cialis. If they were to successfully switch that remedy, Pfizer's Viagra would be ready for the OTC market by 2020. And last year, Sanofi executed an asset swap and acquired the consumer health business of Boehringer Ingelheim.

Prestige Brands and Church & Dwight, neither of which appeared in the top 10 OTC companies in 2010, ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, six years later in 2016.

Prestige Brands has grown by way of acquisitions, adding 17 OTC brands from GSK Consumer Healthcare. Also, its acquisition of Insight Pharmaceuticals brought the Monistat feminine product franchise and, earlier this year, the company added Summer's Eve, Fleet and Pedia-Lax to its product portfolio through the acquisition of C.B. Fleet.

Meanwhile, Church & Dwight has growth significantly following its acquisition of the Vitafusion line of vitamins.

And in the "for what it's worth" department, it was only a month ago that  KKR's Nature's Bounty onboarded 30-year consumer healthcare vet Paul Sturman, who until recently captained Pfizer's OTC business.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare markets two of the 10 best-selling consumer healthcare brands globally — Centrum and Advil. In addition, the business has 10 brands that each exceeded $100 million in 2016 sales, and several local brands that are top-ranked in their respective markets, the company reported.  

Pfizer's major categories and product lines include:

  • Dietary Supplements: Centrum, Caltrate and Emergen-C;
  • Pain Management: Advil and Thermacare;
  • Gastrointestinal: Nexium 24 Hour and Preparation H;
  • Respiratory: Robitussin and Advil Cold and Sinus; and
  • Personal Care: ChapStick and Anbesol

“Consumers are taking more ownership of their health and wellness through OTC products, preventative treatments and alternative health paths,” said Albert Bourla, group president, Pfizer Innovative Health. “Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is playing an important role in changing the world’s well-being. Our colleagues are passionate about empowering consumers around the world to improve their health and wellness through our trusted brands, innovation, and thought leadership.”

Pfizer has engaged Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co. as financial advisors for the strategic review process. Pfizer expects that any decision regarding strategic alternatives for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare would be made during 2018. The company does not plan to make any further statements about the strategic review process until a decision has been reached or upon the completion of the strategic review.

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CityMD survey uncovers germiest places during flu season

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — As flu season kicks off and the probability of catching the flu is a real concern, a majority of Americans admit to taking actions that may contribute to the spread of this highly contagious virus.

According to a new survey, roughly three out of five Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms (61%) admitted to being out and about the last time they felt sick, putting others at risk, likely without them knowing.

"The fact that many people with the flu or flu-like symptoms are leaving home to go to the store, work or the ATM and are not taking precautions is creating environments that can infect others and spread what is a very underestimated disease," stated David Shih, EVP strategy, health and innovation at CityMD. "This is why getting the flu shot is so important. You never know where you can contract flu germs. And please, if you feel sick, wash your hands often."

Where did they go? Unfortunately, they went all over town, according to the survey.

Germiest Places During Flu Season

When asked where they went the last time they felt sick, those who left the house indicated:

  • Drug store/pharmacy – 69%;
  • Grocery store – 43%;
  • Workplace – 39%;
  • Friend/family member's house – 20%;
  • Restaurant/deli – 16%;
  • ATM – 14%;
  • Public transportation – 10%;
  • Gym – 8%;
  • School/daycare – 7%; and
  • Party – 5%.

As many as 75% of parents with children under 18 who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms left home the last time they felt sick. Millennials (ages 18-34) who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms were much more likely than those 35 and older to have ventured out the last time they felt sick (76% vs. 56%).

The CityMD survey also found that some Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms did not take standard precautionary measures to prevent the spread of germs the last time they felt sick. More than half (51%) did not use hand sanitizer after they coughed/sneezed, 57% did not use disinfectant wipes on surfaces they touched and roughly one in four (26%) did not wash their hands after coughing/sneezing.

The online survey was conducted among over 1,800 Americans ages 18 and older who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms by Harris Poll on behalf of CityMD, a network of more than 75 urgent care centers in the New York City Tristate area and Seattle, Wash.

 

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