HEALTH

Glucose meter sales follow diabetes increase

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales of glucose meters were slightly up over the holidays, reaching $67.7 million for the 12 weeks ended Dec. 30 across U.S. multi-outlets, according to SymphonyIRI Group data.

With a new diabetes diagnosis being made once every 21 seconds, coupled with the coming expansion of Medicaid requirements across at least some states, there will be a significant consumer demand for blood-glucose meters and the test strips that supply them for some time to come.

So it can’t hurt having earned a "highest satisfaction" rating from J.D. Power and Associates’ inaugural 2012 Blood-Glucose Meter Satisfaction Survey. That was a distinction earned by Roche Diagnostics’ Accu-Chek meter, with Abbott Diabetes Care’s Freestyle and Bayer Diabetes Care’s Countour meters ranking No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Out of Roche’s Accu-Chek brand family, Aviva Plus has been earning "highest satisfaction" at the register, generating $3.3 million across the fourth quarter of 2012, according to SymphonyIRI Group data.

 

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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HEALTH

Benzocaine warning helps Hyland’s sales

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Last year the Food and Drug Administration warned parents against using the ingredient benzocaine in children to relieve oral pain. Children under the age of 2 years who are teething and given benzocaine should be under the supervision of a doctor, the agency warned.

"Benzocaine is a local anesthetic and can be found in such over-the-counter products as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel and Orabase," the agency stated. "But the use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious — and sometimes fatal — condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced."

Yet the category is still up slightly by 1.5% to $187.1 million across U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 30, according to SymphonyIRI Group.

Hyland’s is certainly a direct benefactor of that news with sales up 96.9% to $12.2 million. A homeopathic remedy, Hyland’s has a strong following of mommy-bloggers who collectively swear by Hyland’s teething tablets and more recent teething gel. "We’re building off of the success that we’ve had over many years with Hyland’s teething tablets, colic tablets and other items specifically formulated for babies," Hyland’s president Dale Nepsa told DSN.

Church & Dwight has responded to the FDA warning with the launch of benzocaine-free Baby Orajel Naturals, a homeopathic remedy.

 

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

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Branded pain relief tablets battle for sales

BY Michael Johnsen

With private label across analgesics up an estimated 11.3% to $1.7 billion, retailers are going to need to make some tough decisions as two internal analgesic powerhouses — McNeil’s Tylenol and Novartis’ Excedrin — make their way back onto market after respective recalls. Within internal analgesic tablets, sales of store brand equivalents were up 15% off of a 2011 base of around $1.2 billion. The branded competition also were benefactors — both Pfizer’s Advil and Bayer’s Aleve generated more than $50 million in incremental sales on top of 2011 sales.

The battle for pain relief is expected to heat up this year as both Tylenol and Excedrin return to market backed by some pretty significant marketing heft. However, don’t expect other manufacturers to give up their newly captured market share without a fight. For example, when Novartis brought back Excedrin Migraine in the fall, Bayer launched with its own Bayer Migraine product.

The category as a whole should grow again in the low-single digits based on how products returning to market have performed in liquid analgesics in the past year. According to SymphonyIRI Group’s U.S. multi-outlet sales data, sales of liquid analgesics were up slightly by 1.8% to $369.4 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 30. It may be a harbinger of what’s to come across tablets because Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin were among the first SKUs brought back to shelf by McNeil.

McNeil’s OTC comeback is being directed by Sandy Peterson, according to Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky.

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets is performing well within children’s teething and oral analgesic sets. A homeopathic remedy, Hyland’s received a sales boost out of a recent Food and Drug Administration consumer warning on the dangers associated with children and benzocaine, the main ingredient in Church & Dwight’s Orajel. Since the FDA publicized that warning, C&D has responded with the launch of benzocaine-free Baby Orajel Naturals, which like Hyland’s is a homeopathic remedy.

And Hisamitsu America’s Salonpas has been experiencing significant growth in the past year with sales of $35.7 million, up 48.9%. Hisamitsu last year expanded the Salonpas brand beyond patches with the launch of Salonpas Pain Relieving Massage Foam and Salonpas Pain Relieving Jet Spray.

 

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

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