Diabetes management earns front-end spot
As more Americans join the ranks of diabetics, the opportunity to target these consumers at the shelf becomes more crucial.
Retailers like Rite Aid are using pull-box displays that allow customers to physically handle a blood-glucose meter before they make that purchase decision. That kind of consumer engagement, evident throughout Rite Aid’s latest Wellness format store, for example, helps anchor diabetes as a front-end destination center.
Sales of glucose meters were down 6.1% to $182.3 million for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data. But with the continued rise of diabetes diagnoses, there is opportunity beyond meters and lancets.
“There’s actually a place in the category for smoking cessation,” Dave Wendland, VP Hamacher Resource Group, noted. “I know that sounds odd, but there’s a link between those conditions [diabetes and smoking],” he said. “If you place products in a destination that meets more of their needs, they will buy more,” he said. That factor lends itself to dual placement opportunities and strategically-placed shelf talkers.
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.
OTC use on rise as self-care trend grows
Over-the-counter medications continue to gain in popularity among consumers, who — whether as a matter of cost savings or convenience — are increasingly turning to OTCs to treat their conditions, including both acute, episodic conditions like the common cold and such chronic conditions as frequent pain and allergy.
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According to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September, one-quarter of patients say they have increased their use of OTC products in the past year.
More and more, consumers are turning to OTCs as the first line of defense when they first get sick — regardless of the condition suffered — and that appears to be consistent among AccentHealth viewers.
“However, the extent to which OTCs are used varies by condition,” explained AccentHealth senior research analyst Sara Mawhinney. “Headache sufferers reported using OTC medications most often (89%), while sufferers of certain digestive disorders use OTCs less often (53%).”
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.
In the Dec. 10 issue of DSN, Patient Views will examine the reasons behind consumers’ increased OTC usage, attitudes and perceptions around safety and efficacy, and a look at how Accent-Health viewers make OTC product choices.
Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as in 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]
FDA panel advises against Merck’s Oxytrol patch Rx-to-OTC switch application
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee on Friday voted against Merck’s application to switch its Oxytrol patch from prescription-only to over the counter, citing concerns over use of therapy for an overactive bladder in women without a doctor’s intervention.
The committee voted five in favor and six opposed, also citing concerns that men might inappropriately choose to use the product as well.
Panelists opposed to the switch suggested that consumers would have a difficult time self-diagnosing an overactive bladder, as symptoms are similar to those of a number of more serious conditions like bladder malignancy or diabetes.
Proponents of the switch argued that women with overactive bladders may go years before consulting a physician and that an OTC option might encourage therapy sooner.
The Drug Facts label of the proposed OTC Oxytrol patch included a warning that use should be restricted to two weeks if it doesn’t work.
The FDA is expected to issue a decision on the switch application in January 2013.