HEALTH

GNC launches Total Lean Challenge and Sweepstakes

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Health and wellness products retailer GNC is sponsoring a 12-week effort to encourage consumers to transform eating and exercise habits for long-term weight management, the company said.

GNC Holdings, the retailer’s parent company, announced the Total Lean Challenge and Sweepstakes, which offers a chance for consumers to win $25,000 in cash prizes, as well as serving as an introduction to the company’s Lifestyle Diet approach to weight loss and a way to promote products like the Lean Shake and Total Lean Watertex.

Rite Aid, which operates GNC sections in many of its stores, will play a small role by promoting the campaign on its Facebook page, Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower said.

"At GNC, we understand how difficult it can be to get started on a weight-loss program that’s right for you," GNC EVP, chief merchandising officer and general manager Tom Dowd said. "That’s why we created Total Lean, a line of products perfect for anyone on a weight management journey."


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Survey: Most practitioners recommend OTC before prescription-only

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Nearly 98% of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists trust and recommend over-the-counter medicines to their patients, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. Nearly three-fourths of primary care physicians recommend OTC medicines to relieve symptoms before recommending a prescription treatment.

“This new survey clearly shows that, amid a changing healthcare landscape, consumers and healthcare providers agree that OTC medicines are a trusted first line of treatment to alleviate symptoms,” stated Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. “The more consumers educate themselves about their OTC treatment choices — and continue to talk with their physicians and pharmacists about their healthcare options — the better that is for improving the health of all Americans and delivering healthcare savings throughout the healthcare system.”

As many as 84% of consumers say they trust their healthcare provider’s advice on what OTC medicine they should take or give to others. Across a range of illnesses, 8-in-10 consumers use OTC medicines to relieve their symptoms without having to see a healthcare professional and more than two-thirds of consumers prefer to use OTC medicines instead of a prescription when available. This is most prevalent across allergy sufferers — half of all those with allergies readily use OTC medicines to alleviate symptoms. 

The findings expand on data from a January 2012 study by Booz & Co. conducted on behalf of CHPA, which found that OTC medicines save consumers and the healthcare system billions of dollars each year. The study found that for every dollar spent on OTC medicines, the U.S. healthcare system saves $6 to $7 — providing $102 billion in value each year. This includes $25 billion in drug cost savings annually through the use of less expensive OTC medicines over prescription drugs, as well as $77 billion in clinical cost savings from avoided doctor’s office visits and diagnostic testing.

For a white paper based on the findings, click here

The survey was conducted by Nielsen and IMS, on behalf of CHPA. 

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HRG co-owner to present session on front-end business to pharmacy students

BY Alaric DeArment

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group will present a session about pharmacy layout, design and OTC merchandising principles to first-year students at Campbell University’s pharmacy school, the retail consumer healthcare industry market research firm said Wednesday.

The company said that this would be the fifth year in which HRG co-owner and national account manager Tom Boyer would present at the school, in Buies Creek, N.C. The presentation will take place March 13. The company said the purpose of the session was to help students understand the importance of a pharmacy’s nonprescription business.

"It’s helpful to expose the students to these ideas early on, and the session is a great catalyst for further discussion," Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences professor Bob Cisneros said. "Tom, with all of his years of experience, makes the principles relatable for the students."

 

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