Kids cough-cold hype quiets, but sales significantly drop
NEW YORK —The meeting on kids cough-cold held in October certainly kicked off this year’s cough-cold season on a dour note, but it does not appear that the echoes of that meeting reverberating through the consumer press will have any lasting effect on the category. In fact, it may turn out that having this meeting just before the cough-cold season really takes off was a blessing in disguise—the news already will have moved onto the next big topic before any real illness activity takes off—leaving the question of efficacy and safety in kids cough-cold meds a fading memory.
Already, the buzz surrounding kids cough-cold is quieting. “The whole month of October was fairly dedicated to a lot of noise [around kids cough-cold],” stated Scott Hanslip, vice president of global sales with Surveillance Data Inc., a company that tracks both media impressions and upper respiratory illness trends. “Most of that [on] network television followed by some newspapers.” However, it clearly was an October phenomena. Into November, the number of media mentions concerning kids cough-cold has dropped significantly, he reported.
The most immediate impact appears to be the 16 percent drop-off in sales of kids cough-cold medicines for the four weeks ended Nov. 3, according to the Nielsen Co. tracking sales across food, drug and mass (minus Wal-Mart), which reflects both the voluntary withdrawal of kids cough-cold medicines marketed toward children under the age of 2, as well as any market reaction to the October kids cough-cold meeting. And there’s no telling how much of that drop-off also can be attributed to a slow start of the season.
A sharp sales decline in cough-cold medicines that correlated with an increase in patient visits over respiratory concerns was likewise attributed to the January 2006 American College of Chest Physicians’ claim that cough medicines were ineffective.
And while the cold season has not necessarily kicked off with a slew of coughs and colds in classrooms and offices, there are early indicators that this may be a strong season with regard to illness. “We are seeing strong pediatric markets, and big population markets, moving into pre-alert status,” Hanslip stated in early November. “Of those pre-alert markets, there’re some good quality markets—New York, Chicago, San Antonio. These big markets didn’t move at this pace this early into a pre-alert status condition until well into December [last year].”
Stick Me Designs adds style to glucose meter bags
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. Stick Me Designs, an emerging accessory designer of diabetes glucose carrying cases for women, teens and children, announced the launch of their glucose meter bag collection Friday.
“While the medical supply industry is busy working on adding color, convenience and function to their meters, they’ve forgotten the most important aspect of their portability—the carrying case,” stated Rickina Velte, founder of Stick Me Designs. “We’ve taken on the task of infusing design, style and function that adds personality to an everyday necessity for people with diabetes.”
The new diabetes bags offer choices in color, fabrics, design and functionality.
The first collection features four contemporary designs created for the One Touch Ultra glucose meter and other more traditional larger-style testing meters. The bags have elastic placeholders for lancet devices, testing strips and glucose tabs or candy. They also feature interior open and zippered pockets for such everyday essentials as credit cards, identification, money, sanitizing wipes and an outside zipper pocket for other essentials.
Stick Me Designs’ introductory collection also features hand-selected faux suedes, designer upholsteries and cotton fabrics in retro and contemporary styles and colors.
Suggested retail prices will range from $32.99 to $45.99, the company reported.
Continucare opens first clinic at Navarro
MIAMI Continucare Corp. has announced the opening of its first ValuClinic in-store health clinic within a Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hollywood, Fla.
Similar to many other retail-based clinic models, the walk-in clinic will treat acute conditions and will be staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
According to Gabe Navarro, chief executive officer of the Miami-based pharmacy chain, Continucare was on the verge of opening a few locations in the recently acquired Sedano’s stores, so Navarro proceeded with the openings.
In October, it was announced that Navarro Discount Pharmacy would merge its operations with Sedano’s Pharmacy & Discount Store. Sedano’s is a Hispanic drug retail company with 11 pharmacies in the southern Florida market. Combined, the entity has more than 30 stores with annual revenues of more than $350 million. All of the stores are operating under the Navarro banner in the southern Florida market.
According to Navarro, plans call for Continucare to have three ValuClinics open in Navarro stores by the end of the year. It expects to have a total of 15 clinics in operation in 2008.
In late 2006 it was announced that Navarro had partnered with Express Clinics to introduce in-store health clinics to the southern Florida market; however, it is possible that partnership will come to an end.
“It is uncertain whether Express Clinics will continue to operate clinics in our stores,” Navarro told Drug Store News. “[We] should know more in the coming weeks.”