HEALTH

Strong allergy season ahead

BY Michael Johnsen

A wet spring last year made for ideal allergen-
creating conditions heading into summer 2011 — the growth of ragweed and an increase in mold. According to a Quest Diagnostics study published in 2011, sensitization to common ragweed has grown 15% nationally since 2000, while mold grew 12%. IMS Health projected a strong spring allergy season, especially across the north and northeast.


Similasan currently is pitching some of its allergy-relief eye care products as a synergistic incremental sale to cough-cold and allergy tablet remedies. “Our homeopathic Dry Eye Relief and Irritated Eye Relief are natural items to tie in with our cough-cold products,” stated Similasan product manager Melissa Mursch. “Dry and irritated eyes are very common during the cough-cold season, and this makes for [a] one-stop-shop, all-natural homeopathic cough-cold solution center.”


Last year, Similasan launched Nasal Allergy Relief Preservative Free Nasal Mist. Many popular preservatives used in allergy sprays, such as benzalkonium chloride and phenyl­carbinol, potentially end up exacerbating allergy symptoms, leaving the consumer in search of preservative-free solutions.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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HEALTH

Breathing OTC life into asthma

BY Michael Johnsen

Asthma has been becoming more relevant in the nonprescription aisles of late. Even as Armstrong Pharmaceuticals phases out what was an almost $100 million-and-growing brand in Primatene Mist 
— the Food and Drug Administration has removed any inhalers containing 
chlorofluorocarbons from the market — homeopathic supplier King Bio is currently presenting an alternative in its AsthmaCare product.


And IMSHealth in the fall launched the site Azma.com — an asthma-related site where content has been organized into three distinct categories by demographics and features a four-day forecast on air quality and potential asthma triggers by zip code. IMSHealth, which also manages pollen.com, is in the beginning stages of marketing its asthma site.


Asthma is already relevant for patients — 7 million children and 18.7 million adults have asthma. And asthma is the primary diagnosis for as many as 17 million annual visits to a healthcare professional on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


There is even a seasonality associated with asthma that mirrors allergy season. “There is a very strong co-morbidity between allergy and asthma,” Scott Hanslip, director of sales at IMS Consumer Health told DSN. “In particular, you’re talking about a 30% base that suffers from both fronts, particularly for kids.”

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Homeopathy stocks kids’ cough-cold

BY Michael Johnsen

The kids’ cough-cold space has become a significant category for homeopathic manufacturers. With the safety and efficacy of cough-cold medicines called into question several years ago, the category now is stocked with homeopathic remedies and reformulated/repackaged allopathic medicines.


“Since that shakeup of [about] five years ago … those products have either gone away or reformulated,” noted Dale Nepsa, Hyland’s president. That situation gave many homeopathic manufacturers an entrée into the kids cough-cold sets, he added. And the section has been doing well; at one major retailer, Hyland’s has been seeing turns of between seven and eight pieces per store, per week, versus an average two turns per store, per week.


In January, Hyland’s fortified its presence within the children’s cough-cold set with the launch of Hyland’s Baby cough syrup.


Zarbee’s also has been expanding its pediatric natural cough-cold line featuring buckwheat honey with the launch of Zarbee’s Nighttime cough and sleep drink. “In this product, we’ve taken the dark honeys, but we’ve put it in a granulated form so that it can be mixed in hot water,” noted Zak Zarbock, the pediatrician who created the product. In the first two months on shelf, Zarbee’s Nighttime moved more than 180,000 units across one national pharmacy retailer.

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