HEALTH

Massive changes under way for supplement industry, experts say

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The dietary supplement industry will likely contract through acquisition, witness changes in consumer activity and more emphasis on manufacturing standards within the next 18 to 24 months, according to a panel of experts who spoke at the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s recent annual meeting, the association stated Thursday.

The panel experts agreed that the slumping economy will have a negative effect in terms of growth on the number of dietary supplement companies in the marketplace. Harvey Kamil, whose company, NBTY, has grown over the past several years in part by purchasing other dietary supplement companies, noted the economy is already affecting the availability of financial capital. He added that consolidation will continue and that financial issues will also play a role in shrinking the number of companies manufacturing and marketing supplements. “With the new good manufacturing practices, as well as other financial pressures, we’ll see that many companies can’t handle the financial pressures and the industry will shrink in size.”

However, the current focus by the presidential candidates on preventative healthcare could help the dietary supplement industry gain consumer growth, particularly if that emphasis continues following the November elections. “I believe that we’ll see a growth in nutraceuticals over the next few years, in part, due to the [high] cost of pharmaceuticals,” commented George Pontiakos, president and chief executive officer of BI Nutraceuticals. “Consumers increasingly recognize that they own the responsibility of their healthcare.”

The panel participants also suggested that one of the greatest opportunities in the supplement industry is helping consumers and the medical community recognize that dietary supplements are mainstream, and are no longer “alternative” products, but rather are an integral part of health and wellness.

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Walgreens gives customers direction on cough-cold OTC dosing for children

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has said that it will advise its customers on the proper, safe use of over-the-counter cough and cold remedies by adding in-store signage to shelves and making its pharmacists available for consultations.

After the announcement from the CHPA Tuesday that cough-cold remedies should not be administered to children under age 4, many cough-cold remedy makers are revising their product labels to reflect the new dosing recommendations before the upcoming cold season. Walgreens has made a commitment to make sure the most current labeled cough and cold remedies will be available during the label-upgrading swap, and newly labeled products will be on shelves as soon as they are available.

The FDA has issued a statement that parents should take precautions when administering cough-cold medicines to children, including, checking active ingredients on the Drug Facts product labeling, avoiding given children two products with the same active ingredients at the same time, following directions, using the appropriate measuring instruments, selecting cough-cold medicines with child-proof caps, recognizing that cough-old remedies do not shorten the length of illness but only treat symptoms, not using cough-cold products for sedation and calling a doctor or pharmacist if any adverse reactions occur after administering.

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Perrigo announces acquisition of Laboratorios Diba for $25 million

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. An American generic drug maker has acquired a Mexican manufacturer of store-brand OTC and prescription drugs.

Perrigo announced Tuesday that it had bought Guadalajara, Mexico-based Laboratorios Diba for $25 million in cash. The Allegan, Mich.-based Perrigo expects the acquisition to add $15 million to annual sales.

“Perrigo has been in the Mexican market for more than 65 years and is the leading supplier of prescription and OTC store-brand products there,” Perrigo chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Papa said in a statement. “The acquisition of Laboratorios Diba will enable us to market an additional 150 formulas and 50 trademarks into the rapidly growing Mexican store-brand market, saving consumers money on their healthcare options.”

The purchase of the Mexican company follows Perrigo’s September acquisition of Holland, Mich.-based JB Laboratories.

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