HEALTH

Surveys note disparity among consumers, pharmacists on how to treat common cold

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. A new national survey of U.S. adults has found the majority of Americans are misinformed about what causes the common cold, and how and when they should treat it. Nearly three-quarters of consumers (72%) believed there is not much they can do about a cold except mask the symptoms and wait it out. In fact, one-third of cold sufferers admitted they wait until they feel miserable before taking medications that can help.

According to a second survey of U.S. pharmacists, this consumer belief is in direct contrast to what the majority of U.S. pharmacists believed — 93% of pharmacists reported that early treatment of a cold actually can prevent a trip to the doctor’s office, and 84% of pharmacists believed consumers often make poor choices about the best treatments for their colds.

“Consumer misperceptions about how they catch a cold — and how and when they should treat a cold — are the most prevalent barriers to optimal treatment,” stated Fred Eckel, professor of pharmacy practice and experiential education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “As cold season approaches, it’s important for consumers to understand the benefits of early intervention against a cold, and to focus on effective ways to shorten its duration. The results of this survey mirror what pharmacists see every day: Our patients still believe many of the myths they grew up with, and they need better information on how to treat their colds.”

The surveys, commissioned by Matrixx Initiatives, also found that most consumers harbor myths about what causes a cold and what remedies are effective. While 86% of consumer survey respondents understood that colds are caused by viruses, 65% of consumer survey respondents also incorrectly believed that bacteria can cause a cold, and 53% of consumer survey respondents mistakenly believed a cold can be treated with antibiotics.

The top five myths about colds that pharmacists said are most difficult to debunk are:

  • Antibiotics can kill the germs that cause colds;
  • Changes in the weather can cause colds;
  • Getting wet and chilled can cause colds;
  • Sitting in a draft can cause colds; and
  • Avoiding changes in temperatures will help prevent colds.

“The surveys point to a clear need for pharmacists and doctors to educate consumers on early intervention, and help them identify the best remedies to treat the common cold early and help them get over it faster,” Eckel said.

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Mission Skincare gets MLB endorsement for muscle rub analgesic

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Mission Skincare on Monday announced a new licensing agreement with Major Leagure Baseball Properties around its external analgesic Mission maximum-strength muscle rub.

“The muscle rub market has lacked innovation for some time now, and we decided it was time to ‘change the game’ — again,” stated Mission president Josh Shaw. “Everything from the Arnica extract to the vanishing-scent menthol, and the roll-on ‘no-mess’ applicator to the travel-friendly-sized tube was deliberately designed for athletes and people who lead active lifestyles.”

 

“I’m excited to see this come together, especially since I’m an integral part of both organizations,” stated David Wright, New York Mets third baseman and one of the professional athlete co-founders of Mission. “Just like stretching after competition or even a workout, caring for muscles is essential to staying in shape and getting in the game to perform the next day.”

 

 

Added Howard Smith, SVP licensing at MLB, “Giving our players a recovery product is important. Our relationship with Mission will give our players additional tools to help protect them as they play, and support them as they recover to prepare for the next game.”

 

Mission’s new rub is available at Dick’s Sporting Goods, GNC and CVS/pharmacy.

 

In addition to Wright, Mission was founded in 2008 by professional athletes, including tennis great Serena Williams, Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash, soccer phenom Mia Hamm, Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard and golfer Sergio Garcia.

 

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Weis kicks off Little Ones program

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Monday announced the launch of its new Weis Little Ones program, allowing customers to donate diapers, baby wipes and other infant care products to babies and families in need throughout its market area.

“According to a recent study, 1-in-3 moms does not have enough diapers or other basic baby supplies to take care of her baby,” stated Karen Buch, Weis Markets director of lifestyle initiatives. “This is a particularly challenging issue. While parents in financial need may be eligible to apply for government funds through [Women, Infants and Childern] or [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] to offset food and formula costs, these supplemental funds cannot be used to purchase the other essential infant care items. With the support of our customers, we will help local food banks meet this critical need.”

Customers also can make monetary donations by purchasing $1, $3 and $5 vouchers. Weis Markets will match these customers’ donations, which then will be used to purchase Huggies diapers as part of the company’s Every Little Bottom program. All donations will be forwarded to local food banks that have agreed to dispense infant care items to families in need.

The program will run in Weis Markets’ stores Oct. 17 through Nov. 27.

Huggies Every Little Bottom study of 2,000 mothers in the United States and Canada noted that families who are unable to afford an adequate supply of diapers face difficult choices. Diaper need results in babies being kept in dirty diapers for longer periods or in them wearing washed disposable diapers, which result in increased irritation and make infants more prone to severe diaper rash.

The report found that mothers struggling with diaper needs miss school and work more frequently or they keep their child out of day care, which usually requires a day’s supply of diapers. In the report, one mother said, “Having a clean diaper not only keeps their child healthy and well, but lets them know that they’re cared for. I think it would be great if food banks and soup kitchens offered diapers also to those in need.”

Other major Weis Little Ones sponsors include Johnson’s, Weis Bear Essentials and Aveno Baby. Over the next six weeks, customers can purchase diapers, baby wipes, baby lotions, rattles or baby toys, baby shampoos, teethers, baby detergent and bibs or burp clothes, and can place them in designated donation carts.

A list of recipient organizations is available at WeisMarkets.com.

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