HEALTH

Medela kicks off online contest

BY Michael Johnsen

MCHENRY, Ill. — Medela on Tuesday announced the launch of a new online Keep the Connection contest, giving moms a chance to win Medela breast-pumping and breast-feeding products.

"The Keep the Connection photo contest is an extension of our new Keep the Connection print campaign, which features a real mom and dad experiencing a true connection with their baby," stated Rachel Mennell, director of communications at Medela. "We wanted a way to showcase other moms keeping their connection — both physically through the life-giving benefits of breast milk and emotionally."

From March through December, two grand-prize winners per month will receive a complete Medela breast-pump prize package, including the Freestyle breast-pump and breast-feeding accessories valued at $500. Ten additional second-prize winners will receive a Harmony breast-pump and breast-feeding accessories valued at $100.

To enter, new and expectant moms can upload a favorite prenatal or post-partum photo to MedelaConnection.com that visually captures an emotional connection shared with their baby.

Contestants also will need to describe in 25 words or less their special "connecting moment," and can encourage family and friends to vote for their picture. At the end of each month, two grand-prize winners will be announced — one based on a random selection and the other a result of the photo with the most votes. Ten second-prize winners also will be randomly selected.

For full details, please visit MedelaConnection.com.

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Blues legend and blues ingénue together promote OneTouch

BY Michael Johnsen

MILPITAS, Calif. — LifeScan on Tuesday introduced Life First, a new North American campaign featuring music legend B.B. King and former “American Idol” contestant Crystal Bowersox in support of its OneTouch brand of blood-glucose monitoring systems.

The ads debut on national and regional television Tuesday and will be followed by online and print ads over the next several months. The introduction of the campaign coincides with National Diabetes Alert Day on March 22.

King, 85, has appeared in previous OneTouch campaigns and has had Type 2 diabetes since 1991. Bowersox, 25, the runner-up on the ninth season of “American Idol,” is insulin dependent and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 6 years old.

“OneTouch understands that people living with diabetes don’t want to be defined by their disease,” stated Michel Paul, group chairman of Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care, which manages LifeScan. “They want to know that they’re successfully managing their diabetes so that they can, in essence, put their life first."

"B.B. is a music icon who continues to perform and tour tirelessly, and Crystal has established herself as one of music’s most talented new artists," Paul continued. "Both are clearly managing their diabetes so that they can live life first, and are an inspiration to all individuals living with diabetes.”

The campaign is the first phase of the OneTouch Life First initiative, which will be expanded over the next several months to provide information, tools and products to help encourage and inspire people living with diabetes.

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McNeil signs consent decree regarding manufacturing facilities

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil last week finalized the terms of a consent decree of permanent injunction with the Food and Drug Administration for manufacturing facilities operated by the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico; Fort Washington, Pa.; and Lancaster, Pa.

The consent decree is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the company will continue to operate the manufacturing facilities in Las Piedras and Lancaster. The company will work with an independent expert who will inspect these sites and issue recommendations. Based on these findings, the company will develop remediation plans to address observations identified by the independent expert. These plans will be submitted to the FDA and are subject to the agency’s approval.

In addition, the company and the FDA have agreed on a plan to have the independent expert review certain manufacturing records at the two sites while remediation is ongoing to ensure that products released from the sites continue to meet quality standards.

The company expects that the consent decree will govern its operation of the facilities for a period of at least five years following the completion of the remediation plan.

In April 2010, McNeil voluntarily closed its manufacturing facility in Fort Washington, Pa., and announced that it would not re-open the plant until it completed its planned remediation efforts at that facility. According to the terms of the consent decree, the company will not re-open the Fort Washington facility unless it first completes remediation efforts at the facility, receives a certification of compliance from an independent expert and then receives approval from the FDA.

“This is a strong but necessary step to ensure that the products manufactured by this company meet federal standards for quality, safety and purity,” stated Deborah Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The decree, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Litigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, requires McNeil to destroy all drugs under its control that have been recalled from the Fort Washington, Las Piedras and Lancaster facilities since December 2009.

The decree becomes effective when it has been entered by the court, the FDA stated.

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