HEALTH

Prestige Brands plans to boost support of Little Remedies

BY Michael Johnsen

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Prestige Brands plans to pour more advertising and promotion dollars behind its pediatric cough/cold brand Little Remedies in the mass marketplace, outgoing Prestige Brands president and CEO Matthew Mannelly told analysts Thursday. 
 
"Little Remedies continues to have very strong consumption gains across all segments and that's as a result of really an integrated program in terms of TV and digital marketing support," Mannelly said. "Little Remedies had a terrific year and we believe Little Remedies' differentiation really positions it well for long-term success. Little Remedies will be our lead pediatric brand moving forward because of that differentiation in the marketplace versus the competitive brands," he added. "And you can see the growth that new products has helped deliver for Little Remedies, as well as we've done quite a bit of digital advertising around Little Remedies for really the last five years."
 
The proof is in the results, Mannelly said. Consumption of Little Remedies across its brand portfolio is up 3.7% in the latest 26 weeks and nearly 8.5% in the latest 12 weeks, Mannelly noted, citing IRI multi-outlet and C-Store, for the periods ending March 22.
 
"We're quite pleased with the momentum of Little Remedies, we're also quite pleased in the competitive environment how Little Remedies' point of difference and differentiation versus the competition is resonating so strong with the consumers," Mannelly added. 
 
Meanwhile, Prestige will position its PediaCare line against ethnic consumers and the dollar channel. "We're still going to support PediaCare," Mannelly said. "We have some exciting things with PediaCare in terms of target audiences and things we're doing with the Hispanic community with PediaCare. We also have some exciting things that we're looking at in terms of channels of distribution and better leveraging PediaCare in the dollar channel."
 
Presently, both brands are represented in all of the major accounts, Mannelly noted. Though there has been some distribution and facing losses for PediaCare this year, he confirmed. 
 
Thursday also marked Mannelly's last quarterly conference call as Prestige president and CEO as he retires effective June 1. Succeeding Mannelly will be Ron Lombardi, presently CFO, who will assume the reigns as both president and CEO. The company has commenced a search for a new CFO.
 
“Ron and Matt have worked together for 10 years including five years at Prestige Brands. During their tenure at Prestige, they developed and successfully executed against a very specific strategy,” stated Gary Costley, lead director of the board of directors at Prestige, when the company made the announcement. “We will continue to execute against this proven strategy with Ron Lombardi as our chief executive officer.”
 
Lombardi joined Prestige in December 2010. His experience includes five years as CFO and COO for Cannondale Sports Group/Dorel Recreation and Leisure, a consumer sporting equipment and apparel company. He has also held leadership positions in finance at Gerber Scientific and at Emerson Electric, two large publicly traded companies.
 
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Natural Resources Defense Council lists 35 worst cities for allergy sufferers

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – One-in-three Americans lives in the "sneeziest and wheeziest" cities and regions where they are exposed to both ragweed pollen and ozone smog pollution that can worsen respiratory allergies and asthma, a new Natural Resources Defense Council report released Wednesday found.
 
As a consequence, these 109 million Americans are more likely to suffer itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezing, and may find it hard to breathe. And they become more ill than those exposed to only ragweed or ozone pollution.
 
The report, "Sneezing and Wheezing: How Climate Change Could Increase Ragweed Allergies, Air Pollution and Asthma," is among the first to map the intersection of ragweed prevalence and high ozone smog, which can magnify respiratory allergies and asthma.
 
It carries a dire warning for policymakers and the nation's leaders: As climate change warms our planet, millions more Americans could become ill with potentially severe respiratory allergies and asthma.
 
That underscores the need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finalize standards to strengthen the health standard for ozone pollution and to slash carbon pollution from the nation's power plants, which helps create ground-level ozone and fuels climate change. The pollutants that form health-harming ozone smog are emitted from the same fossil fuel burning that produces heat-trapping carbon pollution.
 
NRDC's report finds that 35 major cities where people are exposed to both ragweed pollen and ozone smog. The most vulnerable regions are the Los Angeles Basin, the St. Louis area, the Great Lakes Region, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, the NRDC report found.
 
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Diana Baum says:
May-15-2015 11:31 am

Where is the St. Louis region coming from in the last paragraph? It is not listed in the 35 cities at the beginning of the article??? Was it identified as a top allergy region?

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NACDS highlights role of community pharmacy in statement on chronic care Senate hearing

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — In lead-up to Thursday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing, “A Pathway to Improving Care for Medicare Patients with Chronic Conditions,” the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted comments highlighting pharmacy’s role in helping patients manage their chronic conditions.

In its comments, NACDS emphasized the role of community pharmacies and pharmacists in providing access to prescription medications and OTC products, as well as cost-effective health services such as immunizations and disease screenings.

“Access to these types of services is especially vital for Medicare beneficiaries as nearly two-thirds are suffering from multiple chronic conditions. Through personal interactions with patients, face-to-face consultations, and convenient access to preventive care services, local pharmacists are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow—in partnership with doctors, nurses, and others,” NACDS wrote.

NACDS cited pharmacist-provided medication therapy management in improving medication adherence, which also helps lower overall healthcare costs. In addition, NACDS emphasized the accessibility of retail pharmacies for patients who are medically underserved, including seniors, and may have chronic conditions, urging support for legislation (S. 314 and H.R. 471) that would help ensure access to requisite healthcare services for these vulnerable populations.

“The ‘Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act’ would allow Medicare Part B to utilize pharmacists to their full capability by providing those underserved beneficiaries with services not currently reaching them (subject to state scope of practice laws),” NACDS wrote in its comments.

NACDS further emphasized that this legislation would lead not only to a reduction in overall healthcare costs, but also to increased access to healthcare services and improved healthcare quality for underserved patients, and especially for patients with chronic conditions.   

“We look forward to working with policymakers and stakeholders on looking to find ways to improve care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions,” NACDS said.

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