HEALTH

Price, value sway U.S. consumers when choosing OTC medicines

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. Consumers in the United States place more importance on price and value when buying OTC medications compared to global consumers, according to an online survey conducted by The Nielsen Company and the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry.

Results of the survey, released Monday, showed that Americans ranked second in considering price of OTC products important, at 30 percent, compared to 33 percent of consumers in Japan. At the same time, 17 percent of global consumers consider price. A quarter of American consumers consider whether the product is a good value for money, compared to 15 percent of global consumers.

“With increasing medical costs and a fragile economy, the U.S. consumer is more price and value centric than ever,” NielsenHealth managing director Matt Dumas said. ”These findings highlight the rising importance of generic drugs in the U.S. market, which is underscored by low OTC product loyalty scores versus global markets.”

The survey included 28,253 Internet users in 51 markets in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East and was conducted between April and May.

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Yakult to host probiotics seminar

BY Michael Johnsen

TORRANCE, Calif. In conjunction with the American Dietetic Association’s Annual Food & Nutrition Conference in Chicago, probiotics company Yakult will hold a free probiotics seminar for dietitians Oct. 28, the company announced Thursday.

“The concept of probiotics is new to American dietitians,” stated Rhonda Weidelman, health advisory board member for Yakult, who is giving the presentation. “Patients are turning to their dietitians for advice on these commercially-available products [and] I hope to provide other dietitians with a clear view on probiotics, what they are and how they can benefit their patients’ health.”

Yakult cited the need for educating dieticians on the benefits of probiotics given reports that North Americans will purchase roughly $1.7 billion worth of probiotic products per year by 2013.

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GTC Nutrition, Ganeden Biotech to develop prebiotic, probiotic ingredients

BY Michael Johnsen

GOLDEN, Colo. GTC Nutrition, a business unit of Corn Products International, on Thursday announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Ganeden Biotech, to work together in the development of prebiotic and probiotic ingredients.

“Partnering with an industry leader such as GTC Nutrition will enable us to broaden the applications of GanedenBC30 into more functional foods and beverages, nutraceuticals and animal health applications,” stated Andrew Lefkowitz, Ganeden’s president and chief executive officer.

Probiotics are “good for you” bacteria that are similar to the good bacteria found naturally in the body’s digestive tract that can support healthy digestive and immune systems. Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics. A prebiotic is a non-digestible carbohydrate that works in the intestines to nourish and stimulate the growth of the good bacteria, which, in turn. helps to maintain a healthy digestive environment. Prebiotics and probiotics work synergistically to maintain healthy digestion and support immune system strength.

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