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Reporters Notebook

BY DSN STAFF

Supplier News

Garden House Labs is making a big push against the Hispanic community with its natural laxative Prunelax, the company announced.

Based on the laxative properties of prunes and senna, Prunelax has become one of the top-selling brands in 17 countries, primarily in South America where the product is branded Ciruelax. Part of that success is borne out of differentiating between each of the Spanish segments, not only in terms of country of origin, but also in terms of generation. For example, first-generation Hispanic-Americans can be best reached through such networks as Univision and Telemundo, but their children and grandchildren are best reached through more mainstream media.

The product currently is sold through more than 30,000 doors in the United States, the company stated, and has achieved significant success. In Miami, for example, Prunelax’s average weekly sales at major mass retailers reached 6.5 units per store, the company noted. And recent studies among Hispanics in cities with high Hispanic concentrations, such as New York, Los Angeles and cities in Florida, found that Prunelax maintained higher levels of brand awareness among Hispanics as compared with many of the mainstream brands, including Metamucil, Benefiber, Fibercon, Ex-Lax or Dulcolax.

Nutramax Labs last month announced the launch of its Start Cosamin program, which enables consumers to try Cosamin ASU Joint Health Supplement for free.

“We want to provide a fast and easy way for consumers to try Cosamin ASU,” stated Troy Henderson, VP corporate operations and professional services at Nutramax Labs. “With a free 60-capsule bottle, a $10 coupon off their first purchase and only a $9.95 shipping charge, there is no reason to wait.”

Cosamin ASU is a dual synergistic formula; its specific combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate has demonstrated synergy in stimulating cartilage production, while ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables) also acts synergistically with glucosamine. In laboratory cell culture studies of inflammatory markers associated with joint discomfort and cartilage breakdown, it was found that the combination of ASU plus glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was better than the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in reducing inflammatory markers.

Lil’ Drug Store Products last month announced the launch of CryoStat, a hemorrhoid treatment that uses cold therapy to reduce swelling.

“Cold therapy helps provide analgesia by reducing blood flow and reducing cellular metabolism, as well as by decreasing sensory nerve conductivity and sensitivity,” stated Bartley Pickron, colon and rectal surgeon at Methodist Hospital and the Woman’s Hospital of Texas, and Lil’ Drug Store Products spokesman. “Cold therapy also reduces tissue swelling and edema by producing local vasoconstriction.”

The cold therapy pack is surrounded by a soft cloth that is disposable and convenient without the use of gels or creams.

Executive News

Prestige Brands last month named Tim Connors—who most recently served as VP marketing at Matrixx Initiatives—to the position of chief marketing officer.

“We are excited to have [Connors] leading our marketing organization at Prestige,” stated Matthew Mannelly, Prestige president and CEO. “He brings a terrific combination of consumer and customer focus to our team. His marketing expertise, strategic thinking and entrepreneurial spirit will serve our iconic brands well as we continue to build our brands in the marketplace.”

Prestige markets and distributes brand-name OTC healthcare, personal care and household products throughout the United States, Canada and certain international markets. Key brands include Compound W wart treatments, Chloraseptic sore throat and allergy treatments, New Skin liquid bandage, Clear Eyes and Murine eye and ear care products, Little Remedies pediatric OTC healthcare products, The Doctor’s Night-Guard dental protector, Cutex nail polish remover, and both Comet and Spic and Span household cleaners.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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