Citi: Flu season to peak later in 2012 than it did last year
NEW YORK — Citi Investment Research & Analysis is projecting that the peak of flu season may occur beyond last season’s peak of January/February, a factor that may place a negative drag on retail same-store sales results over first quarter 2012.
"Flu activity in week 44 (the week ended Nov. 5) decreased significantly year over year and also declined versus last week," wrote Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig in a research note earlier this week. "Due to the weak early season result, we believe the 2011-2012 flu season could peak later than 2010-2011’s January/February peak, which will likely have a negative impact on Rx same-store sales during the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012," she noted. "In addition, we believe that increased competition among the drug stores, supermarkets and discounters has resulted in lower flu vaccination numbers at each retailer versus last year. We will continue to monitor this season’s flu numbers and gauge its impact on the drug stores’ same-store sales results."
Season-to-date through week 44, the number of positive reports of influenza as a percentage of total cases tested was 0.8%, versus 3.9% during the same week-ending date last year (62 cases-to-date TY vs. 395 LY). And the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network reported that 1.3% of patient visits in week 44 were due to ILI, which is below the national baseline of 2.4%, above the 1.2% reported last week, and in line with the 1.3% reported during the same week-ending date last year.
Cold-Eeze wins Parent Tested, Parent Approved seal
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Thursday announced that its Cold-Eeze product has been awarded the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Winner’s Seal of Approval.
PTPA Media has North America’s largest volunteer parent testing community, with more than 40,000 parents. The seal of approval is awarded based on quality, effectiveness and value.
"This Seal of Approval reflects the high standards that we set for Cold-Eeze, and we are honored to receive this award," stated Ted Karkus, chairman and CEO ProPhase Labs. "This recognition highlights the benefits and value that Cold-Eeze offers to families during the cough and cold season."
"At PTPA Media, we are proud to play a role in certifying innovative products that families can trust," stated PTPA CEO Sharon Vinderine. "When consumers search for our Seal of Approval on product packaging and websites, they are essentially searching for validation from their peers."
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Pfizer Consumer teams with Yankee Brett Gardner on Bronx school library opening
MADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare on Tuesday unveiled a new library at P.S. 130 in the Bronx as part of its Advil Congestion Relief Project. New York Yankee fan favorite Brett Gardner helped unveil a newly decongested library with improved access to computers and books.
“Before our students had to crowd around a few computers when I was trying to teach them about online research, typing and other technology skills, and due to our limited book collection, there were often long waits for the children to check out their favorite books,” stated David Levin, the school’s library teacher who has taught at P.S. 130 for more than 10 years. “Now, thanks to the Advil Congestion Relief Project, our space looks so much more inviting, every student has access to a laptop when they attend class in the library, and we were able to order multiple copies of our most popular books.”
The project is part of a new philanthropic initiative from Pfizer in support of its Advil brand. The company has taken its Advil tagline — "The Right Relief for the Real Problem" — and applied that to communities. "Advil Congestion Relief wants to partner with you to help relieve congestion in your town," the company stated on its consumer website featuring the program. "Not just sinus congestion, but all the other ways congestion may be affecting your community. So tell us, how does congestion affect your community? Is it long lines at the library? Over-crowded parks?"
In the coming months, the project will be visiting communities around the United States to provide literal congestion relief to real problems ranging from undersupplied schools to congested traffic lanes. The Advil Congestion Relief Project plans to hit Chicago next month, and in early 2012, the brand will be bringing congestion relief to communities identified by consumers, who can win a prize worth up to $30,000 for their community.