HEALTH

Greenwood Group, NCL & Associates announce strategic alliance

BY Michael Johnsen

BUFFALO, N.Y. Greenwood Group and NCL & Associates on Tuesday announced a strategic alliance designed to offer a wide variety of services to companies that are at various stages of their development and to provide a platform for success.

Effective Sept. 1, NCL will focus its consulting work in four core areas — diabetes products, services and information; pre-market and pre-commercialization of healthcare products and related services; private equity/venture capital assistance and research; and consulting for retailers, wholesalers and other trade channels.

“NCL & Associates has consulted in these areas prior to me taking full-time positions with Bayer HealthCare as director of trade sales and marketing for [its] diabetes care division and then at Greenwood as VP strategy and consulting,” stated Neil Luckianow, head of NCL. “Re-opening NCL & Associates provides a venue to utilize my strength and supply clients with a focus on outcomes-based research with an emphasis for getting the businesses ready for their next phase and execution. NCL will furnish an integral precommercialization consulting role and deliver a variety of skills and experience to each project.”

“[Luckianow] has been a tremendous resource for us for the past 15 months” commented Patrick O’Leary, Greenwood Group president. “The greatest strength of this partnership is that we will continue everything we began just over a year ago. With NCL, we’ll both get a more independent view of the business environment, which we feel will help our constituents. Both of our companies, as a result, will perform even better and in the end net the kind of outcome that keeps us on our main task — building businesses.”

“From early-stage research and strategic planning through execution of plans and programs, this alliance will give us the opportunity to custom fit a number of services to each client’s business needs,” Luckianow added.

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WHAT’S HOT: Cane sheds light on seniors

BY DSN STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. —Drive Medical Design and Manufacturing recently launched a walking cane designed to suit seniors who need assistance making a midnight run to the restroom and who don’t want to wake their partners by turning on the lights.

The new Glow-and-Go walking cane lightly glows in the dark—absorbing enough ambient light during the day to glow sufficiently through the night. The cane may be especially appealing to those seniors suffering from nocturia—a condition defined as being awakened during the night in order to pass urine.

Walking canes are an impulse-driven business, and a cane featuring a new point of differentiation may just drive additional impulse purchases, suggested Vic Mazzacone, Drive CEO. Sales of all medical accessories (durable medical equipment) are up 1.1% to $327.6 million across food, drug and mass (including Walmart) for the 52 weeks ended June 12, according to data provided by the Nielsen Co.

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Q&A: Eyeing innovation

BY Michael Johnsen

Bausch & Lomb last month launched the latest innovation in lens care solutions—Biotrue—that is formulated to work like the eyes, with three bio-inspired attributes. Drug Store News caught up with Chris Huels, senior brand manager for lens care at Bausch & Lomb, to talk about the company’s launch plans.

Drug Store News: What is the media plan supporting the launch of Biotrue this fall?

Chris Huels: We have a multimillion-dollar integrative campaign incorporating television, online, PR efforts, some consumer promotions [and] in-store communications to the consumer, as well as various elements of social media. We’re trying to get a significant reach with a particular audience—women [ages] 25 to 44 [years] who wear contact lenses. There is a subset of this consumer called LOHAS [lifestyles of health and sustainability], which is a slightly different demographic. LOHAS consumers are in tune with what they’re putting into their bodies a little bit more than maybe the average person.

DSN: How will social media be utilized to promote Biotrue?

Huels: Social media is a very large part of our campaign, both [in] reaching consumers and [in reaching] healthcare professionals. We’ll be utilizing some of the bigger names like Facebook and Twitter, but also looking beyond those social media platforms to a variety of forums—blogs, message forums, [just about] any site where we think our consumers are going to be and [will be] in a mindset of thinking about eye care issues. Just to build on that, [the Internet] is really key as both consumers and professionals are looking for advice; they’re looking for product information [online]. We’ve always known that word-of-mouth is a big part of how you get your message out—it’s always been one of the best ways to get product news out there. These social media forums have helped facilitate that word-of-mouth. Social media really has to be an integral part of any campaign today.

DSN: How are you educating healthcare professionals around the benefits of Biotrue?

Huels: On the professional side, we’ve got a sales force that’s detailing doctors in a variety of settings using some new technologies. We’ve been utilizing iPads, which has been a great success for us [as compared to] the traditional paper detailing we’ve used in the past. The iPad has made maybe a 35-point difference in terms of the doctor recommendation rates…. We’ve got some more traditional elements like trade advertising, print ads to professionals, online advertisements to professionals, doctor events and also, as I’ve mentioned before, using social media. More and more, healthcare professionals are online looking for information on new products [and] handling questions or concerns from their peers through these forums. So we’re continuing to elevate online interactions as a more integral part of our campaign.

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