HEALTH

AAFA, Alcon team up to spread allergy awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas An eye care company will work with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to educate patients about treating allergy symptoms quickly and efficiently.

The AAFA and Alcon announced Friday that they will begin spreading the word about seasonal allergies and treatment through media outlets.

“There are some new concepts and new treatments for the springtime problems people are already experiencing,” University of North Texas Health Science Center clinical professor Bobby Lanier said. “Doctors have just completed their annual conference on allergy and are eager to join our friends at AAFA and communicate about these advances.”

Seasonal allergies affect 40 to 50 million people in the United States and are one of the major reasons for work and school absenteeism, according to the AAFA.

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Survey shows that women frequent pharmacy based on convenience, location

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTERVILLE, Ohio As many as 68% of women choose a pharmacy based on convenience/location, compared with only 48% of men, according to the Winter 2009 Ad-ology Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey released Wednesday.

Women prefer to fill prescriptions at a grocery store pharmacy, with more than twice as many females than males saying loyalty programs and rewards are “very important.”

Overall, 53% of pharmacy customers still prefer to fill their prescriptions at a drug store, versus at a grocery store or online.

“Grocery stores have been successful getting women into their pharmacies,” stated Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. “There’s opportunity for other pharmacies to attract this demographic by highlighting convenience and their own rewards programs – especially online.”

Although most customers prefer to refill prescriptions offline, many are influenced by online content. Almost 1-in-5 reported that a store/pharmacy Web site provided “significant” or “some” influence on their choice of which pharmacy to use, with slightly more males than females influenced by store/pharmacy Web sites. Social media also was an influence: positive comments/reviews from other shoppers influenced 20% of customers.

Other key findings from the survey:

  • In the last year, nearly half of pharmacy customers 65 years old and older initiated a conversation with their doctor about a specific brand of medication
  • Out-of-pocket costs, knowledgeable pharmacists, and availability of generic medications are the most significant factors when selecting a pharmacy
  • Hispanics more than other ethnic groups prefer filling prescriptions at drug stores (72.7%)
  • Slightly more males than females were influenced by store/pharmacy web sites
  • Of traditional media types, newspapers (21.8%) and television (20.1%) had the most influence on pharmacy choice

The Media Influence on Consumer Choice survey is conducted quarterly by Ad-ology Research to study on- and off-line media influence on buying decisions.

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SCA Personal Care to increase advertising support for its bladder-control products

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA SCA Personal Care North America on Tuesday announced that it will be increasing its advertising support behind its Tena bladder-control products in 2009.

“More than 25 million men and women in the United States currently suffer from bladder control issues,” stated Bruno Zepeda, president of SCA Personal Care in North America.

The Tena brand, formerly known as Serenity in the U.S., will begin offering its first gender-specific protective underwear line this month, the supplies stated, which will be coupled with an aggressive education campaign to increase awareness of and understanding about bladder control.

“Our internal research shows that the majority of men who suffer from bladder control issues don’t use products designed specifically for them, and that 60% of them do not use any protection at all,” stated Spencer Deane, VP marketing for SCA Personal Care in North America. “Our new Tena Men products are designed specifically for the male anatomy to provide comfortable and discreet protection where men need it most.”

The education campaign kicks off this month with an alliance with two leading men’s health organizations — Men’s Health Network and Us TOO International — to bring bladder control information, advice and solutions to men coping with this condition.

The campaign will begin with the launch of an educational web site about male bladder control, where men can go for information and advice.

“Not surprisingly, research indicates that the Internet is a man’s No. 1 source for information about sensitive health topics such as bladder control issues,” Deane said.

SC Personal Care launched its Core Wellness program for women in January. Core Wellness is a free pelvic health initiative with international pelvic fitness expert Kari Bo. Women with a given a free DVD of exercises that help strengthen pelvic floor muscles —the group of muscles located on the underside of the pelvis responsible for bladder control — thereby improving or curing symptoms of bladder weakness.

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