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Survey: Millennials worry about their health as much as Boomers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Adult millennials ages years 18 to 32 years worry about their health and access to health care as much as their baby boomer elders, according to a survey conducted by Allidura Consumer and GSW, both part of inVentiv Health, and Harris Poll.
 
“As society shifts its focus from relying on HCPs to treat disease to taking individual responsibility for prevention and wellness, we wanted to understand how attuned millennials are to their health now, and how it factors into their everyday decision making,” said Tracy Naden, managing director of Allidura Consumer. “What we learned is that millennials’ mindset about health is very much an ever present personal journey of wellness fueled by food, exercise and social connections.” 
 
The survey report, “Millennial Mindset: The Worried Well,”  notes that as creators of the quantified-self movement, millennials are often perceived as healthier than their boomer counterparts. Yet, one commonality this generation may not have expected at such an early stage of adulthood is that they worry about their health almost exactly as much as boomers (77% of both generations say they worry at least a little about getting a serious illness; 77% of adult millennials and 74% of boomers say they worry at least a little about affording the cost of healthcare). In fact, millennial adults worry about their access to health care even more than boomers (69% vs. 60% worry at least a little). 
 
The study suggests that millennials see the mind-body connection as important to overall health. With 69% of millennials reporting they stress about their personal health, it seems many are beginning to prioritize mental well-being as a key factor to physical health. In fact, survey results show that 35% of millennials believe seeing a therapist or psychiatrist regularly is important to good health. Millennials are the first generation to grow up with “doctor Google” at their fingertips. According to Derek Flanzraich, CEO of Greatist.com, a popular health-and-wellness website for millennials, “There's never been more health information for millennials to find, so it only makes sense that it's never been more difficult for them to properly screen, analyze and act on the right data.” 
 
This is supported by survey data that finds 37% of millennials sometimes self-diagnose with health problems that they don’t have. Perpetuating this “search and stress” cycle, 44% say that viewing health information online causes them to worry about their health. “For millennials, the question isn’t who can help them be healthy, but rather what can help them,” said Leigh Householder, chief innovation officer at GSW. “To millennials, physical health is intricately connected with mental health. So, for brand marketers to be successful in reaching this audience, they must think about health and wellness the same way, and create solutions that inspire millennials to experience health at any given moment and throughout all aspects of their lives.”
 
 
The online survey included responses from 3,530 teens and adults, including 2,015 adult millennials.
 
 
 
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Amneal Pharmaceuticals named ‘Company of the Year’

BY Michael Johnsen

 

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday announced that the company has won the global “Company of the Year" Award from Generics bulletin, a newsletter which provides commercial and regulatory information for the global generics and biosimilars industries. Presented on Oct. 7 at the Global Generics & Biosimilars Awards 2014 held in Paris, France, the award recognizes Amneal’s rapid growth in North America.  
 
Amneal is the 7th largest U.S. generics manufacturer based on prescriptions dispensed, according to IMS Health. The company’s 76 Food and Drug Administration-approved generic medications and pipeline of 264 products filed with the FDA or in development cover a broad range of therapeutic categories. In addition to high-volume commodity medicines, Amneal’s portfolio contains many high-barrier-to-entry and difficult-to-formulate products and spans almost the entire range of dosage forms in the market.  
 
The company will spend more than $400 million on R&D and capital improvements to its nine manufacturing plants in the U.S. and India over the next two years. Amneal has also invested considerable resources in human capital as well as product development and now employs over 2,600 worldwide.  
 
In addition to its U.S. operations, Amneal is expanding internationally by establishing front-end marketing and distribution capabilities in the U.K., Spain, Germany, the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Australia. The company is also pursuing acquisitions and evaluating strategic partners in Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America.  
 
“We are deeply honored to be recognized as global ‘Company of the Year’,” said Amneal Co-CEO and Co-Chairman Chirag Patel. “This award lets us know we’re doing all the right things to run a successful, growing enterprise while remaining true to our values – dedication to quality across all operations, maintaining our high standards and ethics and total commitment to our customers, partners and employees.”
 

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JAMA study criticizes FDA regulation of supplements for failure to remove banned substances from market

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — A JAMA study noted that about two-thirds of dietary supplements recalled by the Food and Drug Administration still contained banned ingredients at least six months after being recalled, according to a study in the journal's October 22/29 issue.
 
"Action by the FDA has not been completely effective in eliminating all potentially dangerous adulterated supplements from the U.S. marketplace," said Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School, who conducted the study. "More aggressive enforcement of the law, changes to the law to increase the FDA's enforcement powers, or both will be required if sales of these products are to be prevented in the future."
 
“Any time adulterated health products get to consumers or remain on the market after the FDA has determined they are potentially unsafe illustrates a weakness in the enforcement of the nation’s food and drug laws," stated Steve Mister, president and CEO for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "Responsible manufacturers and marketers of dietary supplements applaud strong enforcement measures by FDA to address illegal products that contain undisclosed, active pharmaceutical ingredients. We have zero tolerance for this problem and welcome not only recalls, but also criminal enforcement against companies that put consumers at risk."
 
The Natural Products Association also announced its support of FDA’s efforts to crack down on any manufacturer selling adulterated dietary supplements. "Studies like this should remind consumers that it is very important to be wary of promises that sound too good to be true and products which primarily are offered online," observed NPA CEO and executive director Daniel Fabricant. "Unfortunately, there are scam artists whose only motivation is money, not consumer safety, and these are the ones continuing to put consumers at risk.”
 
According to the study, the FDA recalled 274 dietary supplements between January 2009 and December 2012. Twenty-seven of the 274 recalled supplements (9.9%) met inclusion criteria for the study and were analyzed using the same methods at the FDA's laboratories (e.g., gas chromatography/mass spectrometry). Supplements were purchased an average of 34.3 months (range 8-52 months) after the FDA recall. As many as 74% of supplements were produced by U.S. manufacturers.
 
The researchers found that one or more pharmaceutical adulterant was identified in 66.7% (18 out of 27) of recalled supplements still available for purchase. Supplements remained adulterated in 85% (11/13) of those for sports enhancement, 67% (6/9) for weight loss and 20% (1/5) for sexual enhancement. Of the subset of supplements produced by U.S. manufacturers, 65% (13/20) remained adulterated with banned ingredients.
 
Turning the research on its head, CRN noted that nine in 10 banned supplements are no longer available for purchase, suggesting that the FDA action is largely successful. "Of the 27 remaining, 18 of the products were identified as containing APIs after being recalled; the other nine had been reformulated. In other words, the FDA’s recall efforts had a more than 93% success rate (256 out of 274)."
 
"We note also, that once these products were identified by FDA as containing undisclosed APIs, they were recalled under FDA’s ample authority for regulating adulterated drugs — because they are just that, adulterated drugs, regardless of how they were marketed," Mister said. "Increased resources to enforce the nation’s drug laws would more directly address the problem and help reduce the number of unrepentant products to zero. Yet the researchers jump to the recommendation that changes in the law to increase FDA’s powers over dietary supplements are needed, illustrating their call to action is a ‘solution in search of a problem.’" 
 
Banned substances identified in recalled supplements included sibutramine, sibutramine analogs, sildenafil, fluoxetine, phenolphthalein, aromatase inhibitor, and various anabolic steroids.
 
The FDA initiates class I drug recalls when products have the reasonable possibility of causing serious adverse health consequences or death. Recently, the FDA has used class I drug recalls in an effort to remove dietary supplements adulterated with pharmaceutical ingredients from U.S. markets. According to Cohen, prior research has found that even after FDA recalls, dietary supplements remain available on store shelves. 
 
 
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