HEALTH

Matrixx reports growth for Q2; strength in cold remedies market

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday reported an 18 percent increase of revenue to $33.6 million for its second quarter ending Sept. 30.

“We are pleased to report increased sales and income for the second quarter of fiscal 2009,” stated Bill Hemelt, acting president and chief operating officer for Matrixx. “Our growth has historically been from Zicam brand growth and the introduction of new and enhanced Zicam products,” he said, pointing to the company’s introduction of five new SKUs that are expected to help fuel growth in the coming cough/cold season.

The five new Zicam products include Cold Remedy RapidMelts + Vitamin C and Echinacea, Allergy Swabs, Cold Sore Swabs and Z-ssentials in orange and lemon-lime flavors.

Matrixx also achieved a new milestone and expanded across the U.S. border by introducing four Zicam products to the Canadian market. “We anticipate introducing several additional Zicam products—Congestion Relief, Sinus Relief, and Multi-Symptom—in Canada during the current quarter ending December 31,” Hemelt said.

“We are now focused on executing our marketing campaign for the upcoming cold season,” Hemelt said. “The Rhino campaign will be expanded to include television advertising, off-shelf display support, lifestyle placement at resorts and on airlines, as well as a ‘Save the Rhino not the Rhinovirus’ promotion with noted zoologist, Jack Hanna. We expect the marketing campaign will increase awareness and consumption of Zicam products by consumers who can’t afford to be sick,” he said.

Matrixx is expected to be less impacted by the confusion surrounding pediatric cough/cold formulations this year—the company does not field any products marketed toward children, either across its allopathic cough-cold symptom relieving remedies or its homeopathic zinc gluconate offerings.

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Continua to demonstrate interoperable products at Connected Health symposium

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. The Continua Health Alliance, an organization dedicated to enabling interoperable healthcare products and solutions, on Tuesday announced that the first demonstration of seamlessly connected Continua pre-certified products and solutions will take place Oct. 27 at the Partners Center for Connected Health 5th Annual Connected Health Symposium in Boston.

“With close to a quarter of the world’s population overweight, more than 600 million people with some form of chronic disease, and millions more reaching retirement age, the time for greater personal health management is now,” Dave Whitlinger, Continua Health Alliance president said. “Continua member companies are working on real solutions that will empower consumers and healthcare professionals to access and share information quickly and easily through connected products and solutions.”

A&D Medical, Cambridge Consultants, Cypak, FitLinxx, Google Health, IBM, Intel, National Health Service, Nonin Medical, Oracle, Partners, Philips, Roche Diagnostics and University Health Network will participate by providing devices and software solutions that support Continua’s upcoming Version One guidelines and share a common interface. The devices and solutions will be set in both home and professional settings. Audience members will see the benefits of real-time information sharing, including improved data for diagnostics and treatment, time and cost savings, and an improved patient experience.

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Continua taps Parker for executive director

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. The Continua Health Alliance on Tuesday named Charles Parker to the post of executive director. Parker was most recently the chief technology officer and senior vice president of business development and marketing at Masspro, a performance improvement organization dedicated to advancing healthcare quality.

Beginning in January, Parker will work with Continua’s board of directors to develop a vision and strategic plan for guiding new initiatives for growth, financial stability and services to membership.

“Continua is at the forefront of a revolution in personal healthcare,” Parker said. “By focusing on the creation of a new market of connected health and wellness devices and solutions, Continua is empowering healthcare professionals, individuals and their families to better manage health and wellness at every stage of life. I’m proud to join Continua and look forward to helping the organization achieve its goal of better health, through connectivity.”

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