HEALTH

Randob Labs acquires heritage skin protectant brand Balmex

BY Michael Johnsen

Privately-held Randob Labs on Thursday acquired the Balmex brand of skin protectants from Moberg Pharma as part of a $4.3 million deal.

“We are excited to add the Balmex brand to our OTC lineup at Randob, which already includes the core and expanding Dormin sleep aid and Sting-Kill anti-itch brands,” Jim Creagan, president of the Cornwall, N.Y.-based supplier, said. “Balmex, which will celebrate 65 years in 2018, has had a loyal following for generations of mothers because it provides the gentle, yet effective care that all mothers want for their babies.”

Randob Labs has built a reputation around taking heritage brands and making them relevant to today’s marketplace. “We plan to increase the Balmex brand’s relevance, distribution and sales by tapping into the channels and conversations that moms and those who influence them are having online, similar to the strategies we are using to grow our Dormin and Sting-Kill brands,” Creagan said. “In addition to baby care, there are also expansion opportunities in the adult market as boomers age and have specific skincare needs.”

Creagan noted that the 3.3% growth in the diaper rash category is twice that of overall OTC market growth (1.8%). In addition to the approxiate 4 million births every year, more than 15% of the U.S. population is over the age of 70.

The transaction, expected to close in April, includes four baby care SKUs and two adult care SKUs. The brand was originally acquired from Chattem (now Sanofi Consumer Healthcare) in April 2015, Moberg Pharma reported.

 

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higi ties health kiosk readings to EHRs through Rush partnership

BY Michael Johnsen

Higi, a Chicago company that operates a national network of more than 11,000 health self-screening stations for population health enablement, on Thursday announced the development of a new app that will allow higi users to have data from their screening shared with health care providers who maintain electronic health records (EHRs) in Epic, the most widely-used system. The Rush University Medical Center in Chicago built the app in conjunction with higi.

“Higi is proud to partner with Rush on this important integration, which enables Rush and other organizations who use the Epic EHRs to connect with our more than 11,000 publicly-accessible higi stations to extend their reach into communities, enable more convenient measurement of health data, gain insight into social determinants of health and inform patient treatment plans,” Jeff Bennett, CEO higi, said.

“At Rush, we are focused on improving the health of our surrounding communities,” Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and chief information officer at Rush, said. “A leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Chicago’s West Side is unmanaged hypertension and heart disease. By connecting higi health stations with Epic workflows, we are trying to improve access to care, regularly measure biometrics and work with our community partners to better understand and address social determinants of health.”

In the initial launch of the higi-Epic EHR integration, planned to begin during the third quarter of 2018, Rush patients who receive specialized care for hypertension will be able to measure their biometrics at 211 Jewel-Osco, Meijer, Sams Club and select CVS pharmacy locations across the Chicago area. With the patients’ consent, data from higi will be shared immediately and securely with trusted Rush care providers in Epic’s hypertension registries to decrease the need for blood pressure check visits to Rush clinics.

Based on the results of the launch, this program will be extended to 60,000 additional Rush patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension, pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Also as part of this initiative, Rush is placing additional higi stations into community centers, high schools and other locations to improve access and to address social needs that affect overall health and well-being. Rush’s first higi station deployment was to Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph, a not-for-profit homeless shelter near Rush on Chicago’s West Side where Rush clinicians and students provide free medical services.

At Franciscan House, the Rush team detected a prevalence of severe hypertension in residents that was multiple times higher than for people in the greater Chicago area. This finding inspired Rush’s information technology team to create an interoperable integration with Rush’s Epic EHRs to ensure that data from higi is accessible in real time for Rush clinicians or other community-based providers.

In addition, the higi team is working with the Rush IT team to make the higi – Epic EHR integration application available on the Epic App Orchard marketplace for adoption by other health systems and physician groups that use Epic EHR solutions.

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GMDC ups research maven to VP insights and communications

BY Michael Johnsen

The Global Market Development Center on Tuesday promoted Mark Mechelse to vice president, insights and communications. Mechelse, who joined GMDC in 2011 as director of research, industry insights and communications, is charged with advancing the association’s mission of advocating for the general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness categories on behalf of members.

“Mark has worked tirelessly to grow the awareness of GMDC within the industry and his efforts have not gone unnoticed,” Patrick Spear, GMDC president and CEO, said. “The initiatives he has launched have played a significant role in positioning the organization and its members as powerful innovators and thought leaders in the marketplace.”

Those initiatives include leading the association’s Education Leadership Council, which drives an essential part of GMDC’s mission by providing strategic direction for retail insights. Within this role, Mechelse works with members to produce breakthrough industry research, provide unique perspectives and consumer driven “next practices” designed to help members interpret research and trends, and develop strategies for driving new business.

Mechelse has also been instrumental in advancing the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based association’s Retail Tomorrow initiative to leverage innovation in the marketplace through development and advancement of unique and first-mover products, services and technologies. “Consumers demand ideas, products, services and technologies that are truly revolutionary,” Spear said. “While many companies, and even other associations, are talking about innovation, Retail Tomorrow delivers these opportunities to our members.”

Launched in May 2016, Retail Tomorrow is opening pathways of discovery for provocative, product-and process-changing solutions in the marketplace.

Mechelse began his career in marketing and advertising with the launch of a private ad agency in Toronto, Ontario that focused on brand invention for localized companies and corporate sponsorship in the motorsports industry. He later joined the social expressions trade, serving as creative and marketing communications director of Paramount Cards/Image Craft, the third largest greeting card company in the world. Mechelse also led custom product and private label development teams for AIM Global of Nashville, Tenn., producing successful consumer offerings for Costco, QVC, Barnes & Noble, Vera Bradley, Thomas Nelson and Dave Ramsey.

 

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