Committee to investigate McNeil, FDA practices
WASHINGTON Drug Store News went to press. —The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last month opened an investigation into McNeil Consumer Healthcare around its latest recall of children’s cough-cold products and the closure of its Fort Washington, Pa., plant. A hearing was imminent at the time
In addition to researching the root cause behind three McNeil recalls in the past year—the most recent of which left more than 40 empty facings across children’s cold and allergy sets—the investigation is expected to scrutinize Food and Drug Administration oversight practices.
“We are deeply concerned about the recall of popular pediatric medications widely used by infants and children across the country,” stated Reps. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., and Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “When a recall of this nature occurs, it is our responsibility to bring attention to the issue as a public service, and to fulfill our oversight responsibility by asking tough questions about the conditions of the manufacturing plant and controls put in place by the drug company’s management, and about whether FDA’s inspection and recall procedures were sufficient.”
Sales of Children’s Tylenol alone represent some 6% of the dollar share in liquid cold and allergy remedies. Overall, sales of cold-and-cough liquid remedies totaled $616 million for the 52 weeks ended April 18 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group.
NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market
SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.
“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.
This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.
Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.
(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)
As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.
It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.
Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.
Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.
Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.
Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.