New OTC hearing aids will call out existing ear care solutions
The Trump Administration in August signed legislation mandating that devices addressing mild-to-moderate hearing loss be made available over the counter, which will create a new in-store destination center for an entire class of products once only available by prescription.
That new destination center also will call out the OTC ear care set, specifically earwax removal solutions, as a natural adjacency. “When you wear a hearing aid [your ear] tends to create more wax,” said Yann Pigeaire, director marketing at Similasan USA. “That’s going to be an area that will continuously grow. The dynamics are favorable to that.” Similasan recently augmented its ear care appeal with its Ear Wax Removal Kit, which includes a one-time use bulb to assist with removal.
In addition to Similasan realizing an ear care opportunity, hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing Technologies launched its Ear Health product line, which includes solutions for earwax, earaches, itchy ears, dry ears and protecting ears from damaging sounds. This move creates a brand resonance for Starkey in the ear care aisle, which may see more hearing aid manufacturers enter the space as hearing aids indicated for mild-to-moderate hearing loss migrate into OTC sets.
“[Starkey] Ear Health products were designed to give consumers an easy way to take care of their ears,” said Chris McCormick, chief marketing officer at Starkey. “It is our hope that because of these products, we will see more people take an earlier and more proactive approach to ear and hearing health, which will in turn lead to overall improved health and wellness.”
Foundation Consumer Healthcare closes Plan B One-Step buy, names new CEO
PITTSBURGH — Foundation Consumer Healthcare has announced a new addition to its product offerings. The company has completed its $675 million acquisition of Plan B One-Step and two value emergency contraceptive brands from Teva. Alongside its new products, the company has added Greg Bradley, a 34-year CPG industry veteran, as its president and CEO.
“As the #1 OB/GYN recommended OTC emergency contraceptive brand and an important birth control option for women across the United States, Plan B One-Step is the perfect addition to our growing portfolio,” Bradley said. “We look forward to devoting immense resources to support Plan B One-Step and working closely with our retail partners to ensure continued access to this critical women’s health product.”
Bradley’s experience includes improving in-market performance of existing OTC healthcare brands. He has worked at GlaxoSmithKline overseeing several prescription-to-OTC switches, and founded Advantage Consumer Healthcare in 2011. Advantage Consumer Healthcare specialized in OTC switches and healthcare product launches. Foundation Consumer Healthcare said Advantage Consumer Healthcare would remain as its OTC selling partners.
Among the products marketed by Foundation Consumer Healthcare is St. Joseph Aspirin, Theravent, Neo-Synephrine, Bronkaid and Campho Phenique. The company’s senior leadership has more than 80 years of collective experience, it said.
“The senior leadership team at FCH is dedicated to supporting innovative therapies and focused on driving growth across our product portfolio,” Bradley said. “As the category leader, Plan B One-Step plays an important role in women’s health, and FCH is eager to invest the resources and thinking necessary to help Plan B One-Step fulfill that role.”
Pfizer promotes Bourla to COO
Pfizer names COO
NEW YORK — Pfizer has named Albert Bourla COO, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The promotion of Bourla, who was most recently group president of the company’s Innovative Health business, is accompanied by the promotion of two others within the company. John Young will take over Bourla’s vacated position and Angela Hwang will the role of Pfizer Essential Health group president role left open by Young’s promotion, both effective Jan. 1, 2018.
“Albert is a proven and trusted leader with over two decades of leadership experience and a demonstrated track record for delivering strong business results,” Pfizer chairman Ian Read said. “He possesses the right combination of skills, knowledge, strengths and a deep commitment to Pfizer’s culture that make him the clear choice to become Pfizer’s COO.”
Under Bourla, who took the helm in 2016, Pfizer Innovative Health saw 11% operational growth in 2016 and 9% growth in the first nine months of 2017. Before heading that division, Bourla was group president of Pfizer’s vaccine, oncology and consumer healthcare businesses. His other roles at Pfizer have included work as an area president for its animal health business in the Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific regions, where he oversaw the integration of Wyeth’s animal health business with Pfizer’s in those markets.
"The addition of a COO will enable me to spend more time focusing on the company's long-term strategic direction, ensuring continued R&D productivity and engaging with government policy and industry leaders on key issues facing the future of the healthcare industry,” Bourla said.
Taking the helm at Pfizer’s Innovative Health Division is Young, who has held such positions at the company as president of its primary care business. He will move to Innovative Health from his position as group president of the Essential Health business, which will be filled by Hwang.
Hwang is the company’s global president and general manager for Pfizer inflammation and immunology. She has been with the company since 2007 and has held such positions as regional head for U.S. vaccines, vice president of U.S. brands business within Essential Health and vice president of emerging markets within the primary care business. Both Hwang and Young will report to Bourla.