Reporters Notebook — Over The Counter, 12/13/10

Supplier News — Cirrus Healthcare Products recently introduced its ClearEars product, earplugs that contain a polymer that draws water from the ears. ClearEars also is appropriate to alleviate symptoms of glue ear, a condition in which thick, sticky fluid collects behind the eardrum.


Left untreated, glue ear can cause temporary hearing loss and may affect a child’s behavior. Adults with glue ear also find it difficult to use regular earplugs to reduce noise, or for water protection while swimming. Consumers with glue ear have reported that soft, comfortable ClearEars may be used while sleeping to reduce noise and also alleviate the moist, sticky glue ear feeling.


New Business Solutions recently introduced its Product Protection System, a loss-prevention shelving sol­ution. The new shelving unit helps thwart professional shoplifting groups by eliminating the ability to sweep a shelf by dumping an entire shelf of merchandise into a duffel 
bag at once.


However, the unit does not inhibit legitimate customers from accessing the product. The gravity feed front orientation of a PPS designed to display baby formula, for example, allows one canister of formula to be dispensed at a time. There is a 20-second delay before another canister can be accessed, and no power supply is required, the company stated. The PPS can be customized to accommodate various product sizes and fit into an assortment of planograms, the company noted.


Save Flexible Spending Plans — a national grassroots advocacy organization sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation — called on the new leaders in Congress to remove the soon-to-be-
imposed restrictions on employer-provided 
flexible spending accounts immediately 
following the election.


The more immediate restriction is the Jan. 1, 2011, requirement that over-the-counter medicines be prescribed in order to be eligible for reimbursement from a FSA. That will force consumers to spend upward of $40 on doctor-visit co-pays in order to save some $2.50 for every $10 spent on 
nonprescription items.

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