Health Mart introduces private-label supplements, Internet research tool
SAN FRANCISCO — Health Mart, a network of more than 2,900 independently owned pharmacies, on Wednesday announced the introduction of Health Mart-branded vitamins and nutritional supplements, the latest addition to its line of private-label, over-the-counter healthcare products.
Health Mart also is launching the 2012 Vitamin Finder — available at Healthmart.com — in conjunction with the Health Mart-branded vitamins. The Vitamin Finder is an Internet based, personalized wellness-driven vitamin-recommendation tool that leverages the fact that 79% of consumers use the Internet to research nutrition products. This new tool will provide consumers with accessibility to make smart choices on quality Health Mart items, and strengthen their relationship with their Health Mart pharmacist.
“As more and more Americans choose to take control of their health, vitamins are becoming an increasingly important part of their daily routines,” said Matt Lowe, VP retail marketing at McKesson, which operates the Health Mart chain. “Vitamin consumers are savvy shoppers that read and compare labels. We are excited to offer a full line of high-quality vitamins and supplements and expect the new Vitamin Finder to be a valuable tool to help Health Mart customers find the vitamin products that most closely meet their needs in terms of formula, count size and dosage form.”
Health Mart launched the private label with diabetes care products in November 2011 and recently added smoking-cessation and analgesics products. The distinctive Health Mart private-label package design features a white lab coat combined with the iconic mortar and pestle to reinforce the personalized patient care that Health Mart customers already receive from their trusted local Health Mart pharmacist. To help community pharmacies build closer customer relationships and enhance the pharmacist’s image as a healthcare provider, additional healthcare categories will be added throughout 2012.
Citing SymphonyIRI Group, Health Mart defined vitamins as a $3.3 billion category that has grown nearly 5% over the past year. Store-brand vitamins have reached $0.9 billion in sales, approximately 26% of category sales. The largest segments in the category and for store brands are multivitamins, bone/joint, letters and h
Psi Bands recipient of Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies MomInspired Grant
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. — Psi Bands on Wednesday announced its line of fashionable nausea-relief bands recently was recognized with Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies MomInspired Grant, a grant program designed to recognize and support inspirational and entrepreneurial moms.
Psi Bands are FDA-cleared, acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/travel, chemotherapy and anesthesia. The Psi Bands are available in five different designs (two of them unisex), and are uniquely adjustable at two areas, around the wrist like a watch and at the acupressure point for personalized comfort and fit.
Psi Bands come two to a set (one is worn on each wrist) and sell for approximately $15/set depending on retailer and location.
The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program will issue $15,000 in seed money, as well as business resources to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses in 2012.
Psi Bands recently gained additional distriubtion through Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us and Wegmans, Psi Bands stated.
Study: Prescription-only PSE laws have no impact on number of meth labs, meth abusers
PORTLAND, Ore. — Prescription-only pseudoephedrine regulation has no impact on the methamphetamine trade, according to a Cascade Policy Institute study on the 2005 Oregon law, which restricts access to medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
“This study affirms what we predicted over six years ago: The law would not significantly curb meth use or production, but it would impose a considerable burden on legitimate users of cold and allergy medicines like Claritin-D and Sudafed,” said Steve Buckstein, Cascade’s senior policy analyst. “With other state and federal lawmakers considering following Oregon’s lead on this issue, we thought it was critical to find out what has actually happened here since the law went into effect.”
"Cascade’s findings are significant because a number of states around the country are looking to Oregon to decide whether their prescription mandate model is worth replicating," Consumer Healthcare Products Association president and CEO Scott Melville said. "This study shows that in addition to increased costs for individuals, lost productivity for businesses and restricted access to popular and reliable cold and allergy medicines, prescription requirements do not effectively reduce methamphetamine’s overall impact on a given state."
According to the study, the prescription requirement for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine had no more of an impact on the reduction of meth lab incidents than other measures adopted in neighboring states. The rate of mobile meth lab reductions in Oregon is nearly identical to that of six neighboring and nearby states that do not have a prescription requirement. "Moreover, meth addicts in Oregon can still get access to their drug of choice,” Buckstein added. “Overall, our study raises fundamental questions about the effectiveness of Oregon’s law and whether such a prescription mandate — which impacts all consumers in the state — is warranted.”
Key findings of the study:
Law enforcement in Oregon report that methamphetamine remains the state’s greatest drug threat, despite the reduction in in-state meth production, and contributes the most toward drug-related crime;
Methamphetamine lab incidents in Oregon declined more than 90% between 2004 and 2010. Most of this decline occurred before the prescription-only law went into effect in 2006;
Six neighboring states, including Washington and California, experienced similar declines in meth lab reductions without imposing a prescription requirement during the same time frame;
The number of methamphetamine admissions to substance abuse centers in Oregon declined about 23% from 2006 to 2009, the exact same rate as the rest of the United States. Usage was slightly higher in California at 29% and slightly lower in Washington at 20%; and
Legitimate users of pseudoephedrine in Oregon incur additional costs as a result of this law, because it requires a doctor visit to get Sudafed and similar products that are available over-the-counter in 48 other states. Some of these additional costs also are borne by all taxpayers who fund government healthcare programs.
According to the Cascade Policy Institute, the report’s findings are consistent with studies conducted by other independent groups, such as Oregon’s High Intensity Drug Area, which reported: “Methamphetamine continues to be highly available and widely used throughout the HIDTA region and remains the most serious drug threat to Oregon.” CPI cited the "Threat Assessment & Counter-Drug Strategy 2011 Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Report" current as of Sept. 26, 2011.
For the full Cascade Policy Institute study, click here.