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OTC Nasacort will contribute significant incremental dollars to allergy category

BY Michael Johnsen

Chattem recently announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved Nasacort Allergy 24HR nasal spray (triamcinolone intranasal) as an over-the-counter treatment for seasonal and year-round nasal allergies. And that means by spring 2014, there will be another allergy powerhouse alongside Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec. 

The switch of a significant name-brand, prescription-only remedy to OTC aisles has traditionally meant a significant uptick in sales across the category as one-time Nasacort prescription patients now look for their remedies on the front-end. It’s the next big remedy in this space since Allegra, which was considered a very successful switch when it was launched by the same supplier some two years ago.  

And Nasacort, more than any of the other blockbuster allergy switches, may bring significant incremental sales to the category because it is the first and only nasal corticosteroid to be available without a prescription. That puts it into a class by itself. 

This makes Chattem the new allergy powerhouse. The company already fields Allegra, and for the 52 weeks ended July 14, Allegra products generated more than $335 million in revenue across total U.S. multioutlets, according to IRI. Together with Allegra, Chattem’s OTC allergy portfolio would approach $450 million in annual sales if sales of Nasacort reached even $100 million in sales — a conservative sales estimate for a new OTC category. 

Nasacort Allergy will be approved for the same uses as the prescription version, and for the same ages (adults and children over the age of 2 years), but the labeling for the OTC version will include more information about use in children. There will be a warning that the growth rate of some children might be slightly slower while using the spray, and that if a child needs to use the spray for more than two months per year, it should be discussed with their doctor. 

That may cause moms pause when considering whether or not to treat their children with Nasacort, so pediatric formulations may not move off the shelf as well as Nasacort products marketed toward adults. 

But up to 60 million Americans suffer from seasonal and year-round nasal allergies annually. Nasacort and nasal sprays in the same medication class — which are now eligible to join Nasacort in its transition from Rx-to-OTC — are considered the most effective treatment for hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies. 

And while Nasacort is expected to debut in the spring, the fall allergy season of 2014 is really when sales of the nasal corticosteroid ought to blossom. The launch will have been promoted and effectively merchandised throughout the spring and summer, so fall-time allergy sufferers should be well aware of the new OTC allergy alternative. 

Take that and the several factors that have been contributing to a rise in fall allergy sufferers, and Nasacort sales may begin to exceed first-year expectations. 

Fall allergies are certainly on the rise. Recent studies suggest that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could be extending ragweed season by as much as a month or more. This is especially true in the northern states in the United States where there are now longer periods of warm weather than before.

And pollen from weeds is a greater problem in the fall than in the spring, and fall weeds are more prevalent than spring gardens in major urban areas and locations with significant construction.

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CVS/pharmacy’s myWeekly Ad marks latest manifestation of ‘personalization’

BY Antoinette Alexander

CVS/pharmacy has officially taken the lid off of its new myWeekly Ad digitized circular program, which is powered by the retailer’s robust ExtraCare loyalty program.

Aside from being pretty darn cool technology, the new myWeekly Ad is a crystal clear example of CVS Caremark’s laser sharp focus on personalization.

As reported by Drug Store News, personalization is truly at the heart of every strategic initiative and key retail programming that the company is working on and is no doubt impacting every aspect of its retail operation.

The personalization efforts are manifesting across its entire enterprise — from how it is training its associates, to how it markets and communicates with its customers, to how it designs and merchandises its stores, to the pharmacy programs it is using to drive medication adherence.

The company’s commitment to personalization has no doubt been turned up a few degrees, but the reality is this has been in the works for years — ever since the 1997 launch of its ExtraCare loyalty program. Today, that program boasts more than 70 million active cardholder households and has become a deep well of rich shopper insights.

Yes, for CVS Caremark it is personal. The new myWeekly Ad is just the latest manifestation of its focus on personalization, and you can bet there’s more to come.
 

 

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CVS Caremark awards grant to help support Special Olympics expansion

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has awarded a $50,000 grant to Special Olympics to help expand the organization’s Healthy Young Athletes program, which provides healthcare services and support, early childhood intervention and preventive education to children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 years to 7 years old, the pharmacy retailer has announced.
 
Funding for the program was provided through the CVS Caremark All Kids Can program, which supports organizations that are helping all children on their path to better health. The funding will help Special Olympics expand Healthy Young Athletes into new geographies, doubling the number of Healthy Young Athletes events in the United States in 2013-2014.

"We are proud to support the expansion of Special Olympics’ Healthy Young Athletes program and to provide more children with access to important healthcare screenings that can help them on their path to better health," stated Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate philanthropy and social responsibility at CVS Caremark and the president of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "As we strive to build healthier communities, Special Olympics and CVS Caremark share a commitment to help improve the quality of life for children of all abilities and help them to be the best that they can be."

The funding from CVS Caremark All Kids Can will also support the development of a toolkit of resources that will be distributed to all Special Olympics programs. Additionally, new protocols for two health disciplines — FUNfitness (physical therapy) and Health Promotion (nutrition, sun safety) — will be added to the existing protocols in Healthy Young Athletes: Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes (vision), Healthy Hearing (audiology) and Special Smiles (dental) disciplines.

Healthy Young Athletes events will take place throughout the country, including in Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

CVS Caremark All Kids Can supports organizations that increase access to specialized medical and rehabilitation services and provide inclusive opportunities for physical activity, play and social enrichment. To date, All Kids Can has committed more than $60 million in support of nonprofit organizations that provide innovative programs and services focused on helping kids to be the best they can be, and has helped make a positive impact in the lives of nearly 20 million people.

 

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