Alcon reports third-quarter eye care sales increase
HUNENBERG, Switzerland Alcon Thursday morning reported an increase in consumer eye care sales of 10.5 percent to $223.7 million for its third quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales of contact lens disinfectants grew 2.6 percent, as Opti-Free RepleniSH and Opti-Free Express multipurpose disinfecting solutions continued to maintain their combined market share in the United States.
Alcon currently fields a 38.7 percent market share of the U.S. contact lens care license market, the company reported, remaining the only branded marketer to own a greater market share than private label alternatives and exceeding market share of competitors Bausch & Lomb and AMO, which together possess less than 25 percent market share. “We gained significant market share on a global basis as a result of the product recalls by competitors in 2006 and 2007,” commented Cary Rayment, Alcon chairman, president and chief executive officer during a conference call with analysts. “We have been able to maintain the share we gained in the past two years,” he said.
“We are the only brand that exceeds private label in the U.S.,” he added. “We believe this is a result of our success in communicating the efficacy and safety of the Opti-Free RepleniSH brand to the professional channel where we get about seven out of 10 recommendations from optometrists in the U.S.”
Sales of artificial tears products increased 28 percent, led by increases in the global sales of Systane lubricant eye drops and the U.S. launch of Systane Ultra in July. “Quarterly sales have almost tripled in the last five years, reflecting increased market demand and market share gains in this segment,” Rayment said.
Alcon reported global sales of $1.5 billion for the third quarter, an increase of 14.1 percent.
Newly released pregnancy test tells gender of baby-to-be
SUNNYVALE, Calif. Consumer Genetics on Wednesday released a new pregnancy test kit that can also help identify the gender of the baby-to-be with a positive result.
As many as half of expectant parents want to know the gender of their child, the company stated, citing a 2007 Gallup Panel poll. Suggested retail price for the kit is $24.95.
Once a woman determines she is pregnant, she can use the included gender test kit as early as 7 weeks post-conception. The gender test involves a finger-prick blood sample for DNA collection and preservation. The kit is then mailed to the lab, with an additional lab fee of $199. Based on the company’s internal research study, the Consumer Genetics gender testing technology boasts slightly greater than 95 percent accuracy.
NACDS praises passing of legislation to curb methamphetamine production
ARLINGTON, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday applauded the enactment of legislation designed to prevent the production and abuse of methamphetamines. President Bush signed into law the Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act (S. 1276) on Tuesday, securing a win for pharmacies and law enforcement, the association noted.
The bipartisan bill will facilitate the use and adoption of methamphetamine precursor electronic logbook systems, thus providing law enforcement with easier access to information and streamlining recordkeeping requirements for pharmacies.
“NACDS has worked extensively with the bill’s sponsors to ensure that the new requirements are effective and do not impose unnecessary burdens on pharmacies,” stated Steven Anderson, NACDS president and chief executive officer. “As a result, this is strong legislation that will assist retailers and law enforcement to combat the serious problem of illicit methamphetamine production and abuse.”