HEALTH

IRI and AnalyticsIQ help marketers better connect to influencers

BY Michael Johnsen

IRI and AnalyticsIQ on Wednesday announced a partnership that empowers CPG digital marketers to more effectively target the most active and influential users of major social media platforms.

“Instagram and other platforms are the go-to place for many shoppers, who connect with influencers on a personal level,” Nishat Mehta, president of IRI’s Media Center of Excellence, said. “Consumers are looking for advice from those they trust. The advent of social media creates a circle of connections that can influence the consumer far better than other forms of advertising. We are excited to partner with AnalyticsIQ and help marketers broaden their reach by talking to consumers that are open to trying products and sharing their authentic experience with others.”

“It’s clear that the worlds of CPG shopping and social media are converging, and there has never been a more opportune time for marketers to tap into the power of these platforms and influencers,” Anna Brantley, chief revenue officer for AnalyticsIQ, said. “We are thrilled to collaborate with IRI and provide advertisers with actionable audiences that allow them to target individuals likely to see and appreciate their message.”

Combining IRI’s predictive audiences and shopper data and AnalyticsIQ’s social media intelligence, the partnership offers advertisers the tools they need to ensure that the creative they are running on social platforms reaches the highest value users both from an engagement and purchase propensity perspective.

More than 95 new audience segments from IRI and AnalyticsIQ are available now through Acxiom company, LiveRamp’s Data Innovators program. Marketers now can download more audience information and access unique and in-demand audiences via the LiveRamp Data Store.

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HEALTH

Viagra Connect available OTC in the U.K.

BY Michael Johnsen

Pfizer on Tuesday announced its erectile dysfunction remedy Viagra Connect is now available without a prescription in the U.K. It will be exclusively available through Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Boots pharmacies for two weeks, the company stated.

“The launch of Viagra Connect offers men a new and convenient route of access to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. It’s important to remember that erectile dysfunction is a medical condition, and that the impact often goes beyond the physical symptoms – it can lead to men feeling anxious, depressed and lacking in confidence,” Kristie Sourial medical manager, Pfizer, said. “Our hope is that the availability of Viagra Connect in pharmacies will encourage men who do nothing about their ED to seek help, and encourage those who are inclined to seek help to do so sooner.”

“We believe this is a great step in making this medicine more widely available to our customers,” Richard Bradley, pharmacy director, Boots U.K., said. “Boots is the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in the U.K. with over 2,500 stores, making this medicine widely accessible. … This launch further expands the role of community pharmacy and we hope that it will play a part in reducing pressures on the overall healthcare system. Erectile dysfunction can have a big impact on confidence and relationships so we hope providing better and convenient access to this treatment will help encourage men to seek help via a simple, discreet consultation in store.”

The U.K. model may inform the possible switch of erectile dysfunction remedies from prescription-only to OTC in the U.S. The generic patents protecting both Lilly’s Cialis and Pfizer’s Viagra expired last year.

If Cialis does make the transformation from Rx-only to OTC, it will be done under the guidance of Sanofi Consumer, which bought the OTC rights to the ED remedy from Lilly in 2014.

Men can purchase Viagra Connect in pharmacies and online after answering a series of straightforward questions to help determine if the product is suitable for them. Their answers will be checked over by a pharmacist before they receive the product. In-store, men can ask to speak to a pharmacist in a private consultation room if preferred.

Where Viagra Connect is supplied, pharmacists will advise men to follow-up with their doctor at their earliest convenience – no later than six months after first being supplied the product, so that any potential underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease can be investigated.

It is estimated that erectile problems affect up to 21% of men – or roughly 4.3 million men in the U.K. Despite this, a new study shows that 44% of men with erectile dysfunction aged 40 and over have not sought medical help, even though it can have a significant impact on their confidence and self-esteem. Of those men that have sought help, as many as 27% admitted that they wished that they had sought help sooner.

Viagra Connect will sell for £19.99 for a 4 tablet pack and £34.99 for an 8 tablet pack. That represents approximately $30 and $50, respectively.

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New Heel Defender orthotic helps kick foot pain

BY Michael Johnsen

Defender Operations introduces its new Heel Defender product line of innovative shoe orthotics on Wednesday. The new Heel Defender orthotics are bioengineered to assist in the management of pathologies that cause heel pain.

This new heel orthotic shoe insert has been shown to be effective in transferring weight off the heel, thereby reducing the impact force and shock felt from standing, walking or running. “Simply the best device for decreasing pressure on the heel,” Jason Hanft, founder Miami-based Defender Operations, said. “As a foot specialist, inventor, and user of his own product, [I] can truthfully say this is the best device out there for decreasing pressure on the heel.”

Hanft is a foot and ankle surgeon with more than 30 years of experience. Heel Defender was born out of a personal experience when Hanft accidentally shattered his own heel into multiple pieces. He suffered an interarticular calcaneal fracture, which caused chronic heel pain and limited mobility.

This product was recently launched nationwide and is new for 2018. Other innovative products will be coming soon, the company reported.

Defender Opertations noted that heel pain can impact a person’s ability to work or move about, and affects up to 25% of the population of the United States.

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