HEALTH

Home Diagnostics, Inc. reports spike in retail sales

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Home Diagnostics, Inc. on Thursday realized a 45.2% increase in retail channel sales for the second quarter ended June 30, the company announced.

Retail sales were driven by the continued national rollout of the TRUEresult and TRUE2go blood glucose monitoring systems and the expanded product portfolio at Walmart. Though total revenue for the second quarter was $32.7 million, a decrease of 2.1%.  International sales decreased 22.3%, reflecting lower sales in Latin America following the company’s decision to limit its exposure in that region due to poor economic conditions.

“We are particularly pleased with our domestic sales which grew during the quarter, outpacing the reported results of the majority of our branded competitors, which reported sales declines for the quarter,” stated Joseph Capper, president and CEO of HDI. “This reflects our position as a leading provider of value-priced, high-quality blood glucose monitoring products. We achieved 45% growth in our retail channel, driven by strong reception of our new products, TRUEresult and TRUE2go, as well as organic growth of existing products with our major retail partners.”

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Consumer Reports discusses H1N1 precautions in new issue

BY Allison Cerra

YONKERS, N.Y. As the U.S. prepares for a possible second wave of the novel H1N1 pandemic, as well as for the annual scourge of seasonal flu and colds, a new report from Consumer Reports helps households prepare for, prevent, and treat cold and flu symptoms safely and effectively, including recommendations for what to pack in an emergency kit for a flu outbreak.

Consumer Reports discusses the “what if?” in their newest issue, suggesting that if a second wave of H1N1 is severe enough to warrant home confinement, consumers should pack an emergency kit in advance, which should include:

  • A two-week supply of food and water.
  • Such fever reducers as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • Cough and cold medications containing chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, oxymetazoline, and pseudoephedrine and lozenges with dyclonine, glycerin, or honey can help ease symptoms.
  • Electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, to keep you hydrated.
  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, such as Purell, to kill viruses when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Surgical masks with an FDA rating of at least N-95 to help prevent spreading the flu. Masks need to be replaced often and disposed of after use.

For all emergencies, Consumer Reports recommends packing at least three days’ worth of nonperishable food; at least one gallon of water per person, per day; a first-aid kit that includes any prescription or over-the-counter medications your family might need; as well as antihistamines for allergic reactions, pain relievers, stomach and antidiarrhea remedies, and antacids.

Consumer Reports also points out that it recommends everyone — but especially high-risk people — get vaccinated against regular, seasonal flu before the year’s end.

“This could be an especially big year for flu, so people need to take every precaution and double their efforts to safeguard their families,” said Joel Keehn, senior editor, Consumer Reports. “Even when the vaccine doesn’t prevent seasonal flu, it often lessens its symptoms. In terms of treatments, certain antiviral drugs can not only ease symptoms of seasonal flu but also shorten its duration and possibly prevent complications as well. Some of those drugs probably help against swine flu too. Antivirals work best if taken early on in the illness, so it’s best to take them at the first sign of symptoms.”

Additionally, the new report also discusses which cold and allergy medications are the best remedies for ailments, as Consumer Reports discusses both “at-home remedies” and generic versions of over-the-counter medications.

The report is available in the September 2009 issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org.

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Church & Dwight Co. report strong Q2 earnings

BY Anna Mcgrath

PRINCETON, N.J. Church & Dwight Co. reported a net-income increase for the quarter ended June 26 to $58.2 million, compared with last year’s $45.8 million.

Net sales for the second quarter rose approximately 5% to $623.1 million.

“We are very pleased with our solid second quarter results, particularly in this difficult economic environment. We were able to increase market share for six of our eight “power brands” in the quarter, achieve continued strong organic sales growth in our household product line and effect a turnaround to positive organic sales growth in our personal care product line. Our results also reflect exceptional gross and operating margin expansion. The improved gross margin reflects lower commodity costs, pricing, acquisition benefits relating to the businesses acquired from Coty and our continuing robust cost reduction programs,” said chairman and CEO James R. Craigie.

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