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Allergy symptoms and pain are what consumers suffer from most often

BY DSN STAFF

Among those health conditions treated with OTCs, AccentHealth viewers reported that allergies, sinus/nasal congestion and pain — including back, muscle and menstrual — to be the most commonly suffered chronic conditions. And cold symptoms and headaches were the most commonly suffered acute conditions, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers that was conducted in September.

As many as 95% reported that either themselves or someone in their household had a cold, 92% suffered from a cough or sore throat, and 91% experienced a headache. The top conditions suffered chronically by respondents included sinus/nasal congestion (90%), muscle ache/pain (87%) and allergy (87%).

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected].

 

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

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Kroger 3Q earnings don’t disappoint as food retailer posts 36th consecutive same-store sales growth

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger remained one of the few outperforming supermarket operators Thursday morning as the grocer exceeded analyst consensus adjusted earnings per diluted share by 3 cents with 46 cents per share. Actual reported net earnings were even higher — 60 cents per share — as Kroger benefitted from a settlement with Visa and MasterCard and from a reduction in the company’s obligation to fund the UFCW consolidated pension fund created in January. 

Kroger shares were up 3.4% to $25.90 in late morning trading. 

Looking out over the coming holiday and into 2013, the news surrounding the fiscal cliff does hang as a potential pall over future sales executives noted, but generally the economy has been slowly improving among upper-income customers, as evidenced by the "slow, gradual improvement" in identical-store sales. 

For the third quarter ended Nov. 3, Kroger posted same-store sales growth of 3.2%, not including fuel sales, marking the company’s 36th consecutive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales. 

Credit Suisse analyst Ed Kelly predicted that Kroger would be able to maintain identical store sales increases of 3.5% through 2013 in a research note published Wednesday. "Improved volume growth should offset less inflation and the generic wave," he suggested. "Management’s comments on Q4 trends will also be important, although IDs seem poised to reaccelerate in 2013, given the return of inflation and diminishing generic impact."

"The economy is slowly improving, but value customers are still struggling," David Dillon, Kroger chairman and CEO told analysts Thursday morning. "Overall consumer confidence is up, but it remains fragile," he said, pointing to the increased attention the media has currently placed around the "fiscal cliff." 

Among Kroger’s loyalty card household base, units per trip has been climbing, too. That’s an indicator that on one hand, Kroger is satisfying more shopper needs — and on the other hand, that consumers are increasing their supermarket budgets. 

Total sales, including fuel, increased 5.9% to $21.8 billion. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.7%.

Kroger’s strong financial position has allowed the company to return more than $1.7 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends over the last four quarters. During the third quarter, Kroger repurchased 14.5 million common shares for a total investment of $333 million, the company reported. 

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Kinney Drugs announces retirement of industry veteran Wuest

BY Antoinette Alexander

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. — Regional player Kinney Drugs, which operates operates 95 stores in central and northern New York and Vermont, announced on Thursday that Jim Wuest, VP marketing, plans to retire at the end of the year.  
 


Wuest joined Kinney Drugs in 2006, and has been an active member of the executive team and an influential part of the company’s success over the years. He is an industry veteran whose contributions as VP marketing have been paramount to the advancement of Kinney’s marketing and merchandising strategies, the company stated.
 


“We are thankful for all the contributions that Jim has made to the evolution of our marketing and merchandising operations over the last several years,” said Bridget-Ann Hart, R.Ph., president of Kinney Healthcare Services. “It was an honor to have had Jim as a colleague, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.” 
 


On the heels of Wuest’s retirement, Rick Cognetti, VP merchandising, has been promoted to VP marketing and merchandising. In this expanded role, Cognetti will bring together the marketing and merchandising functions to enhance and support the company’s comprehensive business strategies.
 


Cognetti joined Kinney Drugs in 1994 as a store manager, and has progressed through various positions that have provided him with a wealth of retail experience and knowledge of all aspects of the chain drug store business. He will continue to report to Jim Spencer, COO of the drug stores.
 


Also upon Wuest’s retirement, Jennifer Whalen, director of marketing, will assume an expanded role in overseeing marketing initiatives and managing the day-to day operations. Cheri Taylor, director of merchandising, will also expand her current role to include management of Kinney’s merchandise presentation.  Whalen and Taylor will report to Cognetti.

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