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Convenience equals growth

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales of home-testing kits, not including pregnancy test kits or ovulation test kits, have grown just under 8% over the past year, according to Angie Echele, VP at Genesis Sales and Marketing. And as pharmacy continues to realize its role as a community healthcare hub, the business of home-testing kits is only going to grow, Echele added.


“Many families choose a 
pharmacy for flu shots, immunizations and school physicals because pharmacies are approachable and offer a familiar environment,” she said. But there are many other services that pharmacies have yet to tap into — collecting and processing specimen samples for test kits sold off of the shelf may be one opportunity to expand health-related services, she said.


Two of the more recent product introductions into the market, Identigene’s DNA paternity test and STD test, have been doing well. Sales of the DNA paternity test kit were up 19.2% in the past year, Echele said, and the STD test, though not yet back on the market, “is part of a wave of new tests striving to answer real health needs within this ‘sweet spot’ of accessibility and affordability,” Echele added. The STD test currently is undergoing FDA clinical trials, and Identigene expects to have the test back to shelf in 2012.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diagnostics Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Consumer awareness boosts probiotics

BY Michael Johnsen

Probiotics are fast moving from a “what’s that?” category to a “what’s hot” category. Most people today know the health benefits associated with probiotic use — a 2010 MaCorr Research consumer survey reported that 73% of consumers correctly identified probiotic use, up from only 47% in 2007 — and that’s thanks in large part to the educational efforts of Procter & Gamble with its Align launch two years ago, and prior to that, Danone with its Activia yogurt launch.


Now advertising for the category is moving into a product differentiation phase. In addition to P&G — which according to reports has switched gears from educating consumers on probiotic use to promoting specific use of Align — there is Schiff Nutritional, which earlier this year acquired probiotic brands Sustenex and Digestive Advantage.


“The integration [of the probiotic brands] is now complete,” Schiff CEO, president and director Tarang Amin told analysts in September. “In the first quarter, we turned on advertising support and are pursuing further distribution opportunities.” With that acquisition, Schiff will be looking to increase trial across a category already realizing more than 80% annualized growth, according to SymphonyIRI Group data.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Digestives Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Antacids expect some upset

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales of antacid tablets are up almost 3%. And while nobody is suggesting that upward trajectory is going to change anytime soon, there will be a decent amount of volatility in the coming year.


Proton-pump inhibitors Prevacid 24HR and Zegerid OTC now have been on the shelf for a little more than a year, and those products appear to have generated accretive sales to the category, as opposed to stealing share from their competitors. In fact, only two antacid brands realized a decline in sales over the past year — Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC and McNeil Consumer’s Pepcid brand family.


The less-than-4% decline in Prilosec OTC sales is nominal, considering the brand faced down both PPI introductions and continued store-brand erosion, and it still is the No. 1 antacid by a more than $150 million margin. Sales declines across the Pepcid brand are attributed to the number of product recalls McNeil Consumer had to make in the past two years.


The volatility in the category will be generated by McNeil’s Pepcid and GlaxoSmithKline’s Tagamet. McNeil is close to relaunching many of those recalled products — some in late 2011 and the rest in 2012 — and the speculation is the marketing behind that reintroduction will be considerable. And GlaxoSmithKline’s Tagamet HB 200 is one of the brands on the sales block, suggesting any acquiring company will at least breathe some new marketing life into that brand through social media.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Digestives Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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