HEALTH

Hyland’s gets ‘Wild’

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Hyland’s on Thursday announced that it has signed an agreement with Wild Child, a Western Australia-based natural healthcare products company, for exclusive North American use of the Wild Child brand, and distribution of its pediculicide brands Quit Nits kit and Quit Nits preventative spray.

“At Hyland’s, we are committed to providing our consumers and their families with the safest, most effective natural health care products possible,” stated J.P. Borneman, Hyland’s chairman and CEO. “This partnership with Wild Child, a company that shares our vision, expands our offerings to now include a natural solution to a very common childhood condition, head lice.”

The Quit Nits offerings will retain the Wild Child branding, though the Hyland’s oval will be added to the distribution section of the drug facts label, a factor that should help bring loyal Hyland’s users to the brand. Quit Nits is currently distributed through more than 6,500 retail doors and additional distribution is pending, Borneman told Drug Store News.

“We are very pleased to be working with [Wild Child founder] Leanne Preston and Wild Child director and pharmaceutical chemist, John Found,” Borneman said. “We believe this is just the beginning of a long-term partnership that will benefit both of our companies and more importantly, our consumers.”

The two greatest synergies realized from this pairing will be distribution and marketing, Borneman noted. Quit Nits will now be offered as part of Hyland’s extensive portfolio of homeopathic remedies, he said. Similarly, Hyland’s will include Quit Nits in its marketing spend.

The Quit Nits kit contains two tubes of advance lice treatment cream and one everyday preventative spray. The advance lice treatment cream eliminates head lice and their eggs, or nits, in two easy steps.

And the Quit Nits everyday preventative spray is a topical spray that prevents lice infestation both prior to exposure as a proactive measure and after infestation to avoid reoccurrence.

Both products are formulated with certified natural active ingredients originating in the Australian outback, with no chemical pesticides. Traditional over-the-counter medicines for head lice include chemical insecticides that kill lice but are not able to kill their nits, which then require an additional tedious comb-out process.

According to a 2000 Lancet article, there is estimated between 6 million and 12 million cases of head lice annually in the United States. Of these, the highest prevalence is among pre-school and elementary school children, ages 3 to 12 years.

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HEALTH

H1N1 incidence rate climbs, CDC notes peak as ‘extremely unusual’

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009 continued to surge last week, as the number of states reporting widespread activity climbed to 46, barely a few weeks into the official 2009-2010 cold-and-flu season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefing held Friday.

The CDC update was soon followed by a national emergency declaration from the White House.

Tom Frieden, CDC director, suggested that in a typical season, 46 states reporting widespread activity would represent the peak of illness in the season. That’s not necessarily the case this year.

“To be basically in the peak of flu season in October is extremely unusual,” Frieden said. ”It is though a very different pattern and the fact that we’re having a young person’s flu now doesn’t mean we’re not going to have an older person’s flu later in the year.”

And while more people are suffering from flu-like symptoms, fewer people have been able to get the flu shot be it either seasonal or H1N1. The H1N1 vaccine has been trickling out to states even as most flu clinics have exhausted their supplies of seasonal vaccine because of record demand. Already, many companies that provide flu clinic services, including Maxim Health, have had to cancel clinic offerings due to lack of seasonal vaccine.

To date, more than 85 million doses of seasonal vaccine have been distributed, with an additional 30 million on its way. “[News of seasonal vaccine shortages] were surprising to us until we got back, this week, new data about the uptake of seasonal flu vaccination— which has been unprecedented,” Frieden said. “By our estimates, over 60 million people have been vaccinated already for seasonal influenza,” he added, noting that this many inoculations delivered this early in a season is unprecedented.

“At the government [level] we are doing everything we can to get [the H1N1] vaccine out as soon as it becomes available,” Frieden said. “Shipping is overnight. We’re distributing to literally tens of thousands of doctors, hospitals, health centers throughout the country,” he said, suggesting there now is a significant amount of H1N1 vaccine available. As of Friday, there were 16.1 million doses available for shipping.

But that “significant amount” is proving to be not enough, Frieden conceded.

“What we have learned more in the last couple of weeks is that not only is the virus unpredictable, but vaccine production is much less predictable than we wish. We are nowhere near where we thought we’d be by now. We are not near where the vaccine manufacturers predicted we would be,” he said. ”The technology we are using, although it’s tried and true, is not well suited for pandemics.”

The number of H1N1 cases to date already number in the millions, Frieden said, and is disproportionately impacting younger people as compared to the seasonal flu. “This remains largely a young person’s disease, but we are seeing it increasingly affect young adults as well as children,” he said. “We are still not seeing significant numbers of cases in the elderly, and that is a characteristic of this virus which has not changed since spring.”

The pandemic influenza  is currently in its second wave, Frieden added, with the first occurring in the spring.

So far, the mortality rate associated with H1N1 remains relatively mild, and the H1N1 virus remains susceptible to such antiviral medicines as Tamiflu.

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Carmex gives ‘kiss-off’ to customers in new campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

FRANKLIN, Wis. Carma Laboratories last week launched another viral campaign utilizing the Internet and e-mails to correspond with the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Visitors to www.mycarmexkiss.com will be able to send friends a virtual Carmex “kiss of death,” an animated set of lips superimposed on a photograph and sent via e-mail with a special message. Users can choose from four virtual animated kisses — Tingly Kiss, Kiss-Off!, French Kiss or the Kiss of Death.

The Kiss of Death features screaming, dripping vampire lips appropriate for Halloween greetings.

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