Q&A Impact of withdrawl: Keith Wypszynski, GMDC
In October, the Food and Drug Administration hosted a joint advisory committee to discuss the appropriateness of cough-cold products marketed for use in children. While experts continue to weigh in on whether marketing OTC products for kids is good or bad, Drug Store News caught up with Keith Wypyszynski, vice president of business development and chief member officer of the Global Market Development Center’s for some insight on how this news could potentially impact the supply chain.
Drug Store News: What is the GMDC’s take on the October kids cough-cold FDA advisory committee meeting?
Wypyszynski: If you’re a consumer, and particularly in this case, a parent, they relied on these products when a child had a cough, a cold or sniffle. We know that, in a lot of cases to comfort those children, [these medicines] were an important way to relieve those symptoms. We have always believed that the data show that they are very safe when used appropriately, and have been for a long time. Having them conveniently available, especially at retail, to assist those consumers is of great importance to consumers.
The voluntary recall of infant cough-cold products was due to the potential misuse of how the medicines were being administered, not really the product safety.
To have these products [potentially] pulled off the market will leave a lot of consumers looking for something because their children are still going to be suffering.
DrSN: What would be the potential ramifications of a pulled kids cough-cold set?
Wypyszynski: If you look at overall cough-cold, it’s $4 billion at retail. When you have that large of a sales category, it plays an important role. If those products were suddenly not available to consumers, even just the kids set, you’re going to have a couple things happen. First, the pharmacies and doctors offices will become a lot busier because consumers will be looking for some relief. Second, consumers will be searching for alternative products, that could either be natural remedies or vapor rubs, which will see an increase in sales.
If parents were to take it upon themselves to administer cough-cold products marketed against adults to their children, based on prior experience, you’re going to go back to the issues of incorrect dosing, which caused a lot of these problems from the start. That would just cause a bigger issue moving forward than actually addressing the issue, and may even start placing those adult products at risk from an incorrect dosing standpoint.
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.”