HEALTH

Donnenfeld to lead Advanced Vision Research

BY Michael Johnsen

WOBURN, Mass. Advanced Vision Research on Friday named Neil Donnenfeld the company’s new CEO and director.

Donnenfeld most recently served as SVP global sales and marketing, a position he held since 2005. Donnenfeld, 48, joined AVR in May 1998, shortly after Advanced Vision Research was originally formed as an over-the-counter eye care company to market and distribute TheraTears products.

Donnenfeld succeeds Jeffrey Gilbard, the company’s founder, who passed in August following a bicycle accident.

“I’m honored to have been chosen as the new CEO of Advanced Vision Research where we are dedicated to continuing the path blazed by Dr. Gilbard,” Donnenfeld stated. “We are eager to introduce revolutionary new products that are already in the pipeline, and look forward to the development of new advances in eye care treatment that improve patients’ lives.”

Donnenfeld has been involved in most aspects of building Advanced Vision Research and its brand portfolio, most notably for engineering 12 consecutive years of record sales and profitability for the company across its OTC offerings. Advanced Vision Research was recognized three times by INC magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America and by Drug Store News as one of the top niche brands for the past four years.

Prior to joining Advanced Vision Research, Donnenfeld was director of marketing at NutraMax Products, a leader in private label health and beauty care. Before that he managed the Bain de Soleil Suncare Brand at Procter & Gamble and worked on other P&G brands including Dramamine, Icy Hot, Clearasil and Oil of Olay.

A resident of Swampscott, Mass., where he resides with his wife Liz and their two daughters, Donnenfeld attended Dartmouth College and received his MBA in Marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Pediatric hospital dispels rumors that Motrin-Robitussin combo is fatal

BY Alaric DeArment

DALLAS A viral e-mail currently making the rounds between private accounts and public message boards warning of a danger posed by mixing over-the-counter medications Motrin and Robitussin is unfounded, the Children’s Medical Center, a pediatric hospital, reported Friday afternoon.

The e-mail falsely suggests a female patient (usually named Madison or Madeline) died from cardiac arrest after her parents gave her a combination of Motrin and Robitussin. Different versions of the e-mail have been circulating the Internet for more than a year.

In 2009, a Children’s employee received the e-mail from a friend and inadvertently forwarded it from a work account. Because the employee’s professional signature was included at the bottom of the e-mail, the information appeared to come from a reliable source at Children’s Medical Center. This is not the case.

While no child younger than 4 years should be given cough-cold medicines, the Food and Drug Administration has approved combination drugs that mix ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Motrin) and dextromethorphan and/or pseudoephedrine (the active ingredients in Robitussin medications) for older children and adults. There is no evidence to suggest that ibuprofen, dextromethorphan or pseudoephedrine can cause heart attacks in otherwise healthy children or adults when combined.

All medications can have side effects, the hospital noted, and parents of children with underlying medical conditions must always be vigilant about the medications their child is taking. When in doubt, parents should consult their child’s healthcare provider or a pharmacist before mixing over-the-counter medications.

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New survey sheds light on cough-cold medicine purchases

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND According to a review of BIGresearch’s December 2009 “Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” by WorkPlace Media, the recession economy is pressuring employees to work and perform through any upper respiratory illness during this year’s cough-cold season.

In the survey, both employed and unemployed Americans were asked how often they bought cough-cold and flu medication, and in every instance, employed Americans reported a greater frequency of purchase. In fact, when compared to the general population, employed consumers purchased over-the-counter cough medication 28% more often on a weekly basis (20% for OTC cold and flu medication).

“Employed Americans are naturally concerned about their health,” stated Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, a marketing solutions firm that specializes in targeting advertising messages to people at the office. “And the reality is, when you feel bad during the workday, you’re not going to wait until the weekend to purchase a remedy. You’re going to reach in your desk and pull something out or slip out to a local retailer and get what you need. This significant opportunity for brands is why we’ve been helping them get their cough, cold & flu advertising messages into cubicles across the country.”

When it came to actual brands, Americans turned to Vicks the most for cold and flu symptom relief and Robitussin for cough relief. However, more than half of Americans (54%) make that brand purchase decision at shelf, the survey found.

The Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was conducted by BIGresearch in December 2009 among 9,929 consumers.  For more information and complimentary research and charts, visit www.workplacemedia.com and click on “Complimentary Research.”

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