HEALTH

Poll shows Advil, Aleve most popular choice to treat back pain

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Half of back pain sufferers reach for Advil or Aleve for relief, according to a poll conducted by Spine-health.com that was released Thursday.

The poll, which ran on www.spine-health.com from March to April 2008, asked 899 consumers which over-the-counter pain reliever they prefer for treating back pain or neck pain. The respondents were offered the choice of several brand name OTC pain relievers, and a write-in option.

Ibuprofen in general (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin combined) accounted for 39 percent of the responses. More than 25 percent of the respondents said Advil (ibuprofen) is their first choice for OTC pain relief, while 24 percent selected Aleve (naproxen). Tylenol (acetaminophen) was chosen by 11 percent, and aspirin was selected by 5 percent. “Other” accounted for 15 percent and responses ranged from various prescription drugs to no alternative specified.

“NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, are most often recommended for treating activity-related pain or discomfort—pain that follows sports, housework, shoveling snow, or other exertion—pain related to muscle strain in the low back, and neck stiffness related to muscle, ligament or tendon strains or damage,” stated Dr. Stephen Hochschuler, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute and a medical advisor for Spine-health.com.

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Nielsen releases Zyrtec OTC panel results

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK NielsenHealth, a Nielsen Company service focused on healthcare, released findings Thursday that found that 62 percent of Zyrtec OTC buyers took an allergy prescription in the last 12 months, and of those buyers, more than 53 percent claimed to be “very satisfied” with their Rx allergy medication at the time.

“This is an important finding,” stated Matt Dumas, managing director of NielsenHealth. “[It’s] a signal that OTC alternatives to allergy prescriptions may become the preference to both consumers and managed care providers in large part due to efficacy and price.”

The findings are from NielsenHealth’s newly launched Allergy Panel, one of 32 new NielsenHealth Ailment Panels being launched to provide manufacturers and retailers insights into consumer related attitudes and behaviors of patients with specific conditions.

Additional findings from the Allergy Panel found that 42 percent of Zyrtec OTC buyers who claim to experience spring time allergies have severe allergy symptoms. The research also found that 22 percent of the allergy sufferers in the panel treat their condition with Rx medication alone and 23 percent use concomitant Rx/OTC therapies. “This could have a significant impact on the holistic allergy market because it suggests that severe sufferers see OTC as an option whereas before this patient tended to migrate to Rx options only or concomitant Rx-OTC usage,” Dumas said. “It would not be surprising to see sufferers shift more to using OTC medications only over the next 6-12 months.”

The NielsenHealth Ailment Panels consist of 110,000 U.S. consumers identified as suffering from one or more ailments tracked by Nielsen, including allergy, gastro-intestinal ailments and conditions like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Each Panel tracks panelists suffering a specific condition and their actual purchases, demographics, as well as critical patient facts relating to their specific conditions and treatment regimes.

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Unilever sues Global Health Technologies over Slim-Fast infringement

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Unilever earlier this week filed suit against Global Health Technologies and other companies for infringing upon its Slim-Fast trademark.

According to court documents, Unilever is targeting the makers and marketers of Slimquick, seeking to stop distribution of the products and to destroy stock that’s already on retail shelves.

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