HEALTH

Weis Markets strengthens diabetes offering through Omnis Health

BY Michael Johnsen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Omnis Health recently announced that Weis Markets has agreed to add its line of Embrace products to their blood glucose monitoring planogram, including the EmbracePRO system, the EmbraceEVO system, and the EmbraceEVO Complete Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Kit.
 
To combat the recent reduction in competitive bidding, Omnis Health has launched the EmbracePRO into the retail pharmacy chain as a viable solution to the ever-changing reimbursement landscape for diabetes testing, the company noted. 
 
“Once previously available only to healthcare professionals, the EmbracePRO will help upgrade the diabetes category at Weis Markets," stated Cathy Pereira, EVP global sales and marketing, Omnis Health. "It addresses everyone’s needs. Value-conscious patients will benefit from a low-cost system that delivers the accurate, reliable results demanded by healthcare professionals. And at its acquisition cost, it provides an opportunity for retail pharmacy to maintain margins.” 
 
Included in the offering, the EmbraceEVO Complete Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Kit represents a diabetes category first and includes a nine-week supply of high-quality testing supplies. The kit features the company’s EmbraceEVO compact meter and includes 250 test strips, 300 lancets and a lancing device, among other testing accessories. 
 
Pharmacies adding the Omnis Health Embrace portfolio to their planograms will have access to Embrace Better Care, a continuum of care program that provides pharmacies the ability to develop a closer, more proactive connection with their customers with diabetes that was featured in the May ‘Diabetes in America’ supplement within USA Today. Members of the Embrace Better Care program have instant online access to information to encourage a healthy diet, safely exercise and understand how to maintain their glucose levels. 
 
In addition, they’ll have access to pharmacy-specific, money-saving coupons for Embrace brand test strips and ancillary diabetes management products. 
 
At the heart of Embrace Better Care program is the free EmbraceIt app. EmbraceIt helps create an even more robust customer connection by putting enhanced tools and resources in the palms of the customers’ hands. With the geo location and push notifications built into the app it creates an effective way to drive the customer back to the pharmacy where they previously purchased their Embrace brand of products.
 
“Retailers are recognizing that Omnis Health has emerged as a value-segment leader in the diabetes category,” Pereira said. “As retail pricing in the category continues to rise while at the same time insurance co-pays increase and high deductible plans become more prevalent, the need for a high-performance, low-cost product is critical. As we add even more value with programs like Embrace Better Care and the EmbraceIt app, it becomes an easy decision to add our products to the planogram.” 
 
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i-Health launches Culturelle Kids Regularity Gentle-Go Formula

BY Michael Johnsen
CROMWELL, Conn. – I-Health on Thursday introduced its Culturelle Kids Regularity Gentle-Go Formula, combining probiotics with dietary fiber sourced from kiwi and chicory root for children. 
 
"Our research has shown that kids' regularity is a top concern for parents, in particular when transitioning their toddler to solid foods," commented Nicole Bourdeau, senior brand manager for Culturelle Kids. "And as a brand parents trust with their children's digestive health, we felt we had a responsibility to offer an easy to use, drug-free option."
 
Each packet of the new child-specific product contains 2.5 billion active cultures of Lactobacillus GG with 3.5 grams of dietary fiber to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria in the digestive tract and promote daily regularity.
 
"Parents typically call the minute their child's bathroom routine becomes inconsistent, so having an option like Culturelle Kids Regularity Gentle-Go Formula to turn to at a moment's notice will provide a great solution," stated Jennifer Trachtenberg, product spokesperson. "By adding fiber and a proven beneficial probiotic to their child's routine, parents can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their children's digestive health can easily get back on track."
 
The new product is available at all major retailers, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, with a suggested retail price of $26.49.
 
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Targeting active consumers, HotShot launches to break down muscle cramps

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — HotShot on Thursday launched a sports nutrition shot formulated to help prevent exercise-associated muscle cramps. Millions of athletes and fitness enthusiasts suffer from them – even the best trained and most nutritionally-savvy, the company noted. They're painful, unpredictable and can rob an athlete of performance and confidence.

"I have been an endurance athlete for over 20 years," noted Craig "Crowie" Alexander, Five-time Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Champion. "Muscle cramps are a source of concern for me because they put a brake on your momentum. They can strike at the beginning of the race or when you are meters from the finish line. A cramp can paralyze you mentally, and physically, and cost you crucial time. So HotShot is a big confidence-builder and game changer in endurance sports, knowing you won't be stopped in your tracks by cramping."

Breakthrough research, to be presented June 2 at the American College of Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting and published in the Journal of the American Medical Athletic Association later this month, has led to the development of a new sports shot, HotShot, that is scientifically proven to prevent and treat muscle cramps by stopping them where they start – at the nerve.

Rod MacKinnon, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist, along with colleague Bruce Bean, a neurobiology professor at Harvard Medical School, sought to find a cure for cramping after a life-threatening event occurred off the coast of Cape Cod in 2010. The pair was enjoying a long-distance sea kayaking trip when almost simultaneously their arms seized up miles from shore. Both were surprised by the muscle cramps because they had taken precautions to stay well-hydrated and topped up on electrolytes.

Curious as to what was known about the cause and cure of muscle cramps, MacKinnon and Bean dug into the literature and realized that cramping is not caused by dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, but instead originates from hyper-excited motor-nerves in the spinal cord.

Building off MacKinnon's Nobel Prize-winning research on ion channels, they hypothesized that activating certain Transient Receptor Potential ion channels in sensory nerves in the mouth, throat and esophagus could send signals to calm those hyper-excited motor neurons, thereby stopping muscle cramps before they start.

"This is a brand new concept in sports nutrition: how to stimulate sensory nerves as a way to affect your muscle function," MacKinnon stated. "This is cool science. The breakthrough and what we now know is how to prevent and treat muscle cramps. However, what intrigues me is what I'm hearing from athletes about other potential benefits. This is only the beginning."

HotShot is a 1.7 fluid ounce sports shot that facilitates the synchronization of communication between the nerve and muscle thereby giving athletes greater control over the way their nerves and muscles work together, boosting their Neuro Muscular Performance to prevent and treat muscle cramps.

The proprietary HotShot formulation is NSF Certified for Sport and has been extensively tested by amateur and world-class athletes across endurance sports, track and field, professional football and tennis. In addition to elite athletes like Alexander, who are the company's brand ambassadors and rely on the product's NMP benefits, are U.S. National Team distance runners expected to compete on the world stage this summer, includingn Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg, Colleen Quigley and Evan Jager, as well as neurosurgical consultant to the Denver Broncos Chad Prusmack.

HotShot is available online at www.TeamHOTSHOT.com and at select specialty retailers in Los Angeles, Boulder, Colo. and Boston.  A single serve bottle is $7, while six-bottle and 12-bottle packs are $35 and $65, respectively.

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