Competitive bidding to hurt independents
Beyond 2013, competitive bidding around durable medical equipment supplies could push many pharmacy operations out of the diabetes business altogether. “By 2016, all durable medical equipment suppliers, mail-order and retail, will be subject to competitive bidding or competitive bidding pricing for [diabetes testing supplies],” noted the NCPA in recent written testimony to Congress. According to an NCPA poll, that could drive as many as 92% of independents out of the diabetes business.
NCPA has been lobbying for passage of the Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act, a bipartisan bill that would exempt small pharmacy operations of less than 10 locations from competitive bidding restrictions.
Sales of lancets and devices across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) totaled $17.2 million for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12, up 3.1%, according to SymphonyIRI group data. But that is a far cry from representing the total value of a diabetes patient. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than the expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. More than half of diabetes patients utilizing Medicare visit their neighborhood pharmacies as many as three times each month, according to an NCPA poll.
Then there are ancillary conditions for which diabetics may seek treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19.9% of U.S. adults with diabetes smoked in 2010; 56.9% were obese, based on self-reported height and weight; 85.7% were overweight or obese; and 36.1% reported being physically inactive. In 2009, 57.9% of U.S. adults with diabetes reported having hypertension, and 58.4% reported that their cholesterol was high.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diabetes Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Happy pets, happy owners
ST. LOUIS — Nestle Purina PetCare Company is touting its newest pet food brand, Be Happy, as a brand that “celebrate[s] our pets as our happiness heroes.” In just three months, the brand’s Facebook page has grown to more than 100,000 fans. Be Happy is available in two varieties for cats — Deep Sea Duos Crunchies with Ocean Fish and Salmon Flavors, and Poultry Pair-adise Crunchies with Chicken and Turkey Flavors — and two varieties for dogs — beef and chicken.
ReportersNotebook — General Merchandise, 10/15/12
SUPPLIER NEWS — A remedy for odors that lurk in trash cans has entered the market. Trash Dash, a new item marketed under the BestAir brand, is a sodium bicarbonate-based product that is designed to enhance indoor air quality and add a fresh scent to trash or recycling containers by absorbing odors. Available in citrus burst or lavender vanilla scents, BestAir Trash Dash is available in 8-oz. containers and carries a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.49.
Duracell has tapped National Football League All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis for the brand’s Trust Your Power program. Duracell said Willis is sharing his journey of how he learned “to trust the power within” via a YouTube video, and is inviting consumers to do the same. Fans who share their stories by using the #TrustYourPower hashtag on Twitter or via Duracell’s Facebook page will trigger a $1 commitment (up to $200,000) from Duracell to ProCamps, an organization that runs professional athletes’ personal sports camps for children ages 7 to 14 years.
Energizer has overhauled the packaging design of its coin lithium batteries to reduce the occurrence of ingestion of coin-sized button batteries by children and meet the strict guidelines set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission for child-resistant packaging. Energizer also has added easily understood icons on the front of the package to let parents know to keep the batteries away from small children and how to get help if batteries are swallowed.