HEALTH

Actavis names OTC director

BY Michael Johnsen

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Actavis last week named Lisa Buono to lead its over-the-counter drug division as part of the company’s strategic expansion of the division.

As director of OTC, Buono will oversee the division’s day-to-day operations and will focus on identifying and capitalizing on new product opportunities. Actavis manufactures and distributes numerous nonprescription liquids, creams and ointments sold under the Actavis label and its customers’ own brands, as well as FeverAll brand acetaminophen suppositories.

Buono joined the company in mid-January, reporting to VP commercial development Terry Fullem. “We are delighted to welcome Lisa to Actavis and [are] confident that her experience in brand management and marketing, combined with her knowledge of pharmaceutical science and policy, make her the ideal person to lead our growth in OTC,” Fullem stated.

Buono brings nearly 30 years of experience in nonprescription pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare marketing and management, including 10 years in various associate VP positions with Wyeth (now Pfizer) Consumer Healthcare.

Immediately prior to joining Actavis, Buono was a marketing consultant to OTC start-up Blacksmith Brands and to Prestige Brands. She holds an MBA in marketing from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Montclair State University.

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HEALTH

GNC making push into mass market

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — General Nutrition is looking to get into the health diagnostics business with Monday’s announcement of a licensing agreement with technology and consumer products manufacturer Sakar International on a line of more than two dozen branded health-and-wellness products.

The announcement comes on the heels of another distribution agreement brokered by GNC: distribution of its GNC-branded supplements through approximately 400 Sam’s Club locations.

"Until now, the GNC brand has been largely confined to our 7,100-plus GNC stores," stated Tom Dowd, EVP stores, operations and development for GNC. "This license reflects a strategic decision to leverage our strong brand recognition in order to provide consumers with health-and-wellness products offering GNC reliability regardless of where they are shopping."

"GNC is synonymous with health and wellness. It’s a name that consumers trust," added Liza Abrams, Sakar VP licensing. "Partnering with GNC gives us an opportunity to join that circle of trust with a suite of products that helps people both monitor and improve their own health profiles."

The line’s initial merchandise offerings will range from heart-rate and blood-pressure monitors to weight scales, exercise accessories and electronic pill boxes that will be distributed through drug stores, home stores, supermarkets, mass market retailers and other locations in addition to GNC stores.

The first SKUs are scheduled to hit store shelves in the fourth quarter.

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NPA celebrates 75th anniversary

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association last week celebrated 75 years of advocacy for the natural products industry.

"The Natural Products Association, as the leading voice of the natural products industry, represents more than 1,900 members who share a vision of a healthier America,” stated John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO. “Our 75th anniversary focuses on the valuable contribution that our industry makes to the health and well-being of millions of people. With [more than] $108 billion of natural products sold in the United States each year, this growing industry not only helps Americans lead more healthful lives; it also supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs."

"As a long-time supplement retailer, I am proud to celebrate the important role that natural products play in achieving a sustainable and healthy future for all Americans," said Pat Sardell, NPA president. "The benefits of these products to our country are far-reaching, both in healthcare savings and in strengthening our nation’s economy. NPA members — both retailers and suppliers — create jobs, generate revenue and contribute significant tax dollars to local communities."

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