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Abbott launches wearable glucose sensor in Europe

BY Michael Johnsen

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott on Wednesday announced that it has received CE Mark (Conformite Europeenne) for its FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, a revolutionary new glucose sensing technology for people with diabetes. The system eliminates the need for routine finger pricks, reading glucose levels through a sensor that can be worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days. In addition, no finger prick calibration is needed, a key differentiator from current continuous glucose monitoring systems. 
 
The system will be available in seven countries across Europe in the coming weeks.
 
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre System consists of a small, round sensor worn on the back of the upper arm, which measures glucose every minute in interstitial fluid through a small filament that is inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. A reader is scanned over the sensor to get a glucose result painlessly in less than one second. Scanning can take place while the sensor is under clothing, making testing more discreet and convenient. Each scan displays a real-time glucose result, a historical trend and the direction the glucose is heading. The reader holds up to 90 days of data, providing a historical snapshot of glucose levels over time. The FreeStyle Libre System software enables the data to be presented in a visual chart for both healthcare professionals and patients.
 
"The FreeStyle Libre System fulfills a major need for people living with diabetes," stated Robert Ford, SVP Diabetes Care, Abbott. "Our customers told us that the pain, inconvenience and indiscretion of finger pricking were the key reasons they weren't managing their diabetes as well as they should. Addressing these concerns has guided the development of FreeStyle Libre – a transformational product designed to not only remove the pain of finger pricking but also seamlessly integrate into their daily lives." 
 
 

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IRI: Investing in Hispanic outreach to pay significant dividends

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — IRI on Wednesday released a new “Point of View: Winning with the Hispanic Consumer Today" study to help CPG marketers connect with this diverse, rapidly expanding customer group. According to IRI, the U.S. Hispanic market's purchasing power will total $1.3 trillion by 2015.  IRI analysis found that a $1 billion CPG company can earn an extra $71 million in revenue annually by investing more effectively in the Hispanic consumer.
 
Today, Hispanics account for one in six Americans, or 53 million people. Hispanic families consume more media and are more responsive to media than the general population. Additionally, 70% of Hispanics are under age 40, making investment in this group a wise long-term proposition.
 
"Hispanics are a powerful, growing group, and marketers who make special efforts to satisfy these consumers will certainly reap many rewards," stated Joy Joseph, principal and practice leader, Global Analytics and Consulting, IRI. "Highly targeted, well-executed Hispanic campaigns grounded in a thorough understanding of the Hispanic shopper can directly stimulate revenue increases and market share growth. In fact, our analysis of 10 CPG product portfolios shows that more aggressive spending on Hispanic campaigns can yield outsized results."
 
IRI recommends that CPG companies start with a “total market” strategy when approaching the Hispanic segment. There are many definitions of total market being discussed in the industry today, but Latinum Network, a multicultural research and strategy firm with more than 85 active Fortune 1,000 clients, defines a total market company as having three key traits:
 
  • Upstream integrated planning: total market companies make cultural segments a required input to strategic and financial plans well before a single campaign brief is written;
  • Multiculturally led insights: total market companies make cultural consumers at least equal partners in the insights generation process, with oversampling of Hispanic, African-American and Asian segments, and look for transcending multicultural insights to drive to Total Market ideas; and
  • Integrated execution: multicultural talent both inside and outside the total market organization is given the opportunity to perform “traditional” work, and vice versa; the best talent and the best ideas win, from creative to media to distribution.
 
Given these key traits, it is perhaps not surprising that total market companies spend more on multicultural segments — these segments are made a part of the strategy from the outset.
 
This new point of view is IRI’s most recent strategy piece related to the Hispanic market. In July, the company hosted a webinar also titled, "Winning with the Hispanic Consumer Today," hosted by IRI’s Joseph and Andy Hasselwander, VP Latinum Network.

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CVS Caremark changes corporate name to reflect commitment to health care

BY Teresa Dombach

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced today that it is changing its corporate name to CVS Health to reflect its broader health care commitment and its expertise-driven approach to driving innovation in health care.

“For our patients and customers, health is everything and CVS Health is changing the way health care is delivered to increase access, lower costs and improve quality,” announced Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health.  “As a pharmacy innovation company at the forefront of a changing healthcare landscape, we are delivering breakthrough products and services, from advising on prescriptions to helping manage chronic and specialty conditions.”

CVS Health includes the company’s retail business, which continues to be called CVS/pharmacy; its pharmacy benefit management business,  CVS/caremark; its walk-in medical clinics, CVS/minuteclinic; and its growing specialty pharmacy services, CVS/specialty. All told, the company includes 7,700 retail pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics, a pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members and expanding specialty pharmacy services.

“Each year, CVS Health touches more than 100 million people by playing an active, supportive role in each person’s unique health experience and in the greater healthcare environment,” said Merlo.  “Consumers are increasingly taking control of their own health and, through our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners, we are helping people on their path to better health.”

CVS Health has a portfolio of programs to help people manage chronic disease and connects patients with pharmacists. Digital capabilities are supplementing these programs to give customers a full view of their prescriptions. CVS Health’s Specialty Connect and Maintenance Choice programs integrate the company’s mail and retail capabilities, providing choice and convenience for patients. CVS Health also is forging strategic alliances with physicians and health plans through both CVS/pharmacy and CVS/minuteclinic to provide clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs for their members.

As a further demonstration of its commitment to health, CVS Health also announced the end of tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy as of Sept. 3, nearly a month ahead of the previously targeted date of Oct. 1. In February, the company announced that it would end the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores, making CVS/pharmacy the first and only national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

“Along with the start of CVS Health, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy ends today. By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans,” Merlo declared.

“The sale of tobacco in a retail pharmacy conflicts with the purpose of the healthcare services delivered there,” added Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer of CVS Health. “Even more important, there is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”

Results of a new study from CVS Health, included in a Health Affairs blog, show that the enactment of policies to eliminate the sale of tobacco products at retailers with pharmacies in San Francisco and Boston was associated with up to a 13.3% reduction in purchasers of tobacco products.

“Today should mark a call to action by all retailers involved in health care,” said Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We urge other retailers with pharmacies to follow the powerful example set by CVS/pharmacy and end tobacco sales.”

In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, CVS Health kicked off a comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking-cessation campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.

“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and protect the health of your family, but quitting isn’t easy,” said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS/pharmacy.

The CVS Health smoking cessation program, designed with input from national experts, combines the efforts of CVS/pharmacy, CVS/minuteclinic and CVS/caremark to help smokers quit, and includes four critical components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco, and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.

“We learned following our announcement in February that nearly everyone has a tobacco story and was eager to tell it,” Foulkes continued. “So, today we are launching a social campaign — #OneGoodReason — in which we are inviting everyone to share their personal stories of how smoking and tobacco use has affected their lives.  Our hope is that through the sharing of these stories we can spark a movement that will make lasting improvements in health across our country.”

“Today, as CVS Health, we are tobacco-free, reinventing pharmacy and taking our place among leaders in the healthcare community,” Merlo concluded.

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