HEALTH

FMI to host first annual Supermarket Health & Wellness Conference

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. The Food Marketing Institute on Thursday announced the first Supermarket Health & Wellness Conference will take place May 11 to 13 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The conference was developed by the FMI Health and Wellness Advisory Council.

“Supermarkets are unique providers of health and wellness to their customers,” stated Food Marketing Institute president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “They offer shoppers food, pharmacy and knowledgeable nutrition experts in one location to help their customers better manage diseases, lower stress, improve nutrition and enhance the quality of life through healthy eating.”

The inaugural Supermarket Health & Wellness Conference is designed to assist the industry in developing strategies and tactics to capitalize on emerging health-and-wellness opportunities across the entire store. The conference includes educational sessions to help build collaborative cross-department teams, develop health and wellness programs and market to the evolving shopper.

“Our shoppers are looking for health and wellness benefits in the foods they eat and the medications they take,” stated Helen Eddy, AVP of health and wellness at Hy-Vee and co-chairman of the Health &Wellness Advisory Council. “The Health & Wellness conference is aimed at helping retailers create a shopping experience that meets the needs of today’s customers.”

“Health and wellness is taking center stage at the grocery store,”  noted Thom Blischok, president of global innovation and shopper marketing at Information Resources Inc. and co-chairman of the advisory council. “There is a fundamental shape-shift occurring as shoppers are now making purchasing decisions in the home before they get into the store based on what is best for them and their family. It is an incredibly exciting and opportune time for retailers to show their customers the health and wellness benefits that can be found throughout the supermarket.”

FMI formed the Health and Wellness Advisory Council last year. It is made up of executives from retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies with a wide variety of responsibilities including nutrition, pharmacy, grocery, health and beauty care, consumer affairs and technology innovation. The council’s top priority was to launch a health-and-wellness conference with business opportunities and educational programming for retailers and suppliers.

The conference will be held in conjunction with FMI 2010. Anyone who registers for the Health & Wellness Conference will have full access to FMI 2010.

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Merix unveils new over-the-counter genital herpes treatment

BY Michael Johnsen

BARRINGTON, Ill. Merix Pharmaceutical unveiled its new Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment this month while attending the ECRM Cough, Cold and Allergy conference in Dallas.

The only OTC treatment for genital herpes, Fast-Results! answers an unmet need of people who suffer painful symptoms associated with genital herpes outbreaks. Designed to be used in conjunction with prescription medication, Fast-Results! also brings needed treatment to consumers who cannot afford prescription medication.

Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment is comprised of Merix’ patented technology Viracea, which contains an approved ingredient under the FDA OTC antiseptic/antimicrobial monograph, the company stated. At clinical trial, Viracea was shown to be effective in lesions caused by herpes.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of Americans currently suffer from genital herpes, which equates to approximately 37 million adults.

“We believe there is a very strong market need for this product,” stated Merix CEO Meryl Squires. Several major retailers have already committed to carrying Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment, Squires said. CVS will begin stocking in mid-May, soon thereafter followed by Rite Aid.

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CHPA president to retire, organization seeks new leader

BY Michael Johnsen

AVENTURA, Fla. Linda Suydam, Consumer Healthcare Products Association president, announced her retirement Friday morning at the over-the-counter medicine and dietary supplement trade association’s Annual Executive Conference.

Suydam will retire at the end of 2010 when her term ends.

Former CHPA chair of the Board of Directors Timothy Hayes, SVP and region head, North America, Bayer HealthCare, is leading the search effort to find the association’s next president.

Joining him on the search committee are CHPA chair Christopher DeWolf, president and CEO Lil’ Drug Store Products, who was elected as CHPA chair Thursday evening. Also on the committee are CHPA vice-chair James Mackey, SVP, sales and operations of Schering-Plough Consumer Healthcare; and board member Adam Rackzkowski, president and CEO for W.F. Young, Drug Store News has learned.

Suydam came to CHPA after serving 21 years at the Food and Drug Administration and an additional three years promoting public health initiatives at the University of New Mexico.

“Her expertise in the field and experience with FDA proved invaluable to advancing the mission of CHPA. Her leadership within the association led us to countless successes,” DeWolf said. “Under Linda’s direction, CHPA has supported the safety and efficacy of many key over-the-counter ingredients, established the CHPA Educational Foundation as a growing resource aimed at educating consumers on the safe and effective use of OTCs, and created the comprehensive StopMedicineAbuse.org effort integrating a host of partnering organizations into the fight against teen medicine abuse, particularly OTC cough medicines.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of CHPA for the past eight years,” Suydam said. “I firmly believe that consumer access to safe and effective over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements is vitally important, both to the nation’s healthcare system in general and to individual families’ health care in particular. I am personally and professionally gratified to have had a role in helping to advance this segment of consumer health care.”

One of the highlights of Suydam’s career came when she received FDA’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 for her “exceptional management of FDA programs in medical devices, radiological health, and agency-wide, and leadership to fight abuse and ensure safe use of over-the-counter medicines.” The recognition underscored Suydam’s ability to work across organizations and bring together different voices for the collective good, CHPA noted in a press release. During Suydam’s tenure at CHPA, she also testified before Congress, presented data and perspectives on behalf of the industry before FDA advisory committees, established partnerships with a host of healthcare-related organizations, and represented the association in front of international societies and government leaders.

“Because of my commitment to the industry and my admiration for my colleagues, my decision to leave was not easy,” Suydam said. “But, after 30 years of serving in this field, it is time to move on to the next part of my life. While this will be a big change for me, my passion will continue to keep me engaged in public health issues.”

In related news, newly elected to CHPA’s board of directors are Ed Kuehnle, president of Catalina Marketing Services; Diane Manwaring, president-North America for Lansinoh Laboratories; and Robert Wengel, SVP professional services at the Nielsen Company. Peter Stevens, assistant general counsel GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare was named CHPA’s government affairs committee chair and Paul Weninger, VP consumer healthcare global quality operations Perrigo was named chair for CHPA’s manufacturing controls committee.

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