HEALTH

Old-school medicine making a comeback

BY Alaric DeArment

Some people swear by it. Others doubt it. What’s undeniable, however, is that homeopathic medicine sales were up 15.7% in 2011 to $173 million in natural supermarkets (excluding Whole Foods) and food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SPINSscan Natural. And with media reports of recalls, dangerous and lethal side effects, counterfeiting and contamination, the homeopathic school of medicine founded by Samuel Hahnemann in 1800 is making a comeback.


According to a January 2011 study commissioned by homeopathic remedy maker Boiron and conducted by the Hartman Group, 15% of shoppers used homeopathic medicine for themselves, while 14% used it for their children and 59% expressed some familiarity with homeopathy. Meanwhile, 46% have successfully used alternative or natural OTC medicine, and 37% are interested in trying. And according to the National Center for Homeopathy, sales of homeopathic remedies rose from $170 million in 1995 to $870 million in 2009.


Those are some of the figures that DSN editor-in-chief Rob Eder took to Washington when he joined American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists president and Boiron VP operations and regulatory affairs Mark Land, AAHP legal counsel Al Lorman, and Samueli Institute president and CEO Wayne Jonas for an AAHP-hosted congressional briefing in September 2011 for House of Representative staffers.


After a heyday in the 1800s, homeopathy gradually began to die out in the early 1900s following the 1910 publication of the “Flexner Report” by the Carnegie Foundation and the American Medical Association, which cast doubt on homeopathy, chiropractics and even pharmacy. By the 1940s, medical schools specializing in homeopathy had all shut down. It then started making a comeback in the 1970s with the rise of the health food movement and took off in the 1990s with the rise in popularity of natural health products.

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Cough-cold, flu season just starting to move

BY Michael Johnsen

As of early February, incidence of cough-cold and influenza still was relatively low, but the season has yet to peak and that means there could be demand for symptomatic relief through March.


“Fever is just starting to move,” noted Scott Hanslip, director of sales for IMS Consumer Health, in the first week of February. However, overall incidence of upper respiratory illness was down 7.5% from September through Jan. 21, 
according to IMS Health tracking.


Annual category sales suggested a different story. According to SymphonyIRI Group data, sales of cough-cold tablets were up 4.2% to $2.7 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).


However, those sales figures still may reflect some reverberation from the 2009-2010 H1N1 season, Hanslip cautioned. “If you go back to Q4 2009, what’s happening is the amplitude of sales has really not caught up yet with what’s actually going on,” he said. “The inflationary buying that occurred for the pandemic forced an awful lot of adult-type consumption that was false.” Consequently, sales of cough-cold products in first quarter 2010 were so low that the first quarter of 2011, included in the present annualized sales figures, was significantly higher.

 

 

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

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Parents erring with kids’ fevers

BY Michael Johnsen

According to two new surveys of parents and pediatricians from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, more than half of all parents reported feeling anxious, fearful or helpless when their child comes down with a fever. In addition, many parents are not managing the fever correctly.


The “Dose of Reality” survey exposed several areas in which parents may be making unintended mistakes in treating their child’s fever. For example, more than half of parents surveyed (54%) woke their child up in the middle of the night just to give them fever medication. However, most pediatricians believe a sleeping child should not be disturbed only to administer fever medication.


And nearly 1-in-4 parents admitted to giving their children an adult over-the-counter fever medication at an estimated lower dose, rather than giving children a medication made for children. This is something that one-third of pediatricians actually reported hearing from their patients.


Also, while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their child home from school or daycare until the child is fever-free for at least 24 hours, 52% of parents admitted to sending their children back to school or daycare less than 24 hours after their fever passed.

 

 

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

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