Allergy attack: Warmer weather ushers in an earlier season
A mild winter may be setting the stage for a particularly strong spring allergy season for sufferers allergic to tree pollens and mold. The incidence of seasonal allergy has been soft of late, but IMS Health is predicting a significant uptick in allergy sufferers in the coming months.
“It’s all relative,” Scott Hanslip, IMS Consumer Health director sales, shared with DSN Collaborative Care. Incidence across the 2011 fall allergy season was relatively flat; however, those allergy sufferers are being compared against fall 2010, which was a particularly strong season. Conversely, this coming spring season is expected to recover from what was considered a slow season last year at this time. “We’re expecting a fairly strong spring [allergy season] in 2012. We’re going to see more of a turn back to normalized conditions,” he said.
And this year the stronger spring allergy season will be felt particularly hard in the North and Northeast, where there is a strong predominance of allergy sufferers, Hanslip added.
Many allergy experts already have taken note of an early start to the spring allergy season on account of a mild winter — high tree pollens have been triggering allergies about a month earlier this year. And
while rain tends to keep tree pollen counts from getting too high, that
warmer weather combined with moisture make for ideal mold conditions.
Spring typically is considered to be a tree pollen season, followed by a prevalence of grass pollen allergens in the summer and ragweed allergens in the fall. Mold is considered a year-round allergy trigger but peaks in the spring when damp and rainy conditions, followed by warmer weather, lead to a high concentration of mold.
For a four-day allergy forecast in your area, go to Pollen.com.
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Express Scripts SEC filing: PBM expects to close Medco merger next week
ST. LOUIS — The Federal Trade Commission’s ruling on the Express Scripts and Medco merger may be imminent, Express Scripts noted in a Form 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
"Express Scripts and Medco have previously announced that the parties expected that the mergers will be completed by the earlier part of the second quarter of 2012," the company stated. "Express Scripts now expects the parties may be in a position to close the transaction as early as the week of April 2, 2012, subject to satisfaction or waiver of the remaining closing conditions. There is no assurance that the closing conditions will be satisfied or that the proposed mergers will be consummated."
According to published news reports, attorneys general in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and California are considering filing suit to block the proposed Express Scripts-Medco merger in anticipation of an FTC approval. On Tuesday, the American Antitrust Institute and American Consumer Institute announced they will join antitrust attorney and former Federal Trade Commission policy director David Balto on Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST to issue a call to action to all other state attorneys general to join this effort and protect patients and consumers from rising prescription prices and decreased pharmacy services by opposing the merger.
Report confirms strong connection between customer experience, loyalty
NEW YORK — Customer experience is highly correlated to loyalty in both the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a new report by Temkin Group.
According to "The ROI of Customer Experience" study, a $1 billion U.S. company can generate between $141 million and $382 million over three years if it makes a modest improvement in the customer experience it delivers.
In the United States, where Temkin Group analyzed 18 industries, the largest gains from customer experience improvements were experienced by fast food chains, retailers and supermarket chains.
The research compared customer experience leaders — those companies that significantly outperform their industry peers — with customer experience laggards that have poor customer experience ratings. Companies that are customer experience leaders in both countries enjoy at least a 16 percentage-point advantage over customer experience laggards in key loyalty areas, such as the willingness of consumers to buy more products from them, the reluctance of consumers to switch business away from them and the likelihood of consumers to recommend them to friends and colleagues.
The report can be accessed from the Temkin Group website at Temkingroup.com.