HEALTH

P&G introduces new Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System and app

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble on Tuesday unveiled its newest innovation in ovulation testing that pairs the accuracy of the Clearblue Ovulation Test, now with the convenience of an app. This new ovulation test system will help women maximize their chances of getting pregnant.

“We want to give women the tools they need to understand their fertility, and with our new Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System and app, women can compare their cycles for a better understanding of their reproductive health, and easily share their data with their partner and healthcare professional if they wish,” stated Fiona Clancy, scientific and medical affairs director, Swiss Precision Diagnostics. “The system adapts and tracks a personal hormone profile, and accurately compares to an ultrasound.”

A recent published study found that only 9% of free apps accurately predict the best days for conception, opening a large window for error. The Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System provides an accurate prediction of ovulation synced to a smartphone, transforming how women can manage their reproductive health. Clearblue Connected Ovulation actually adapts and tracks the user’s personal hormone profile and is the only system that typically identifies four or more best days to get pregnant, two more days than any other ovulation brand on the market. The new Clearblue Connected Ovulation gives women more flexibility and identifies more opportunities to get pregnant.

When it comes to tracking a woman’s cycle, it is not a one-size-fits-all model. The new Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System is more accurate than calendar methods as it accurately identifies personal fertile days using a woman’s hormone data, instead of guessing from a standardized algorithm.

In addition to the science underlying the accuracy of the new system, it now allows women to interact with their fertility data in a way they are already used to doing, through their smartphone.

“Let’s be honest, the whole ‘trying to get pregnant’ thing can be super stressful,” said Brooklyn Decker, actress, entrepreneur, mother and Clearblue partner. “Timing, schedules, peak days…it’s a lot. I wanted to remove as much hassle from the process as I could. I used Clearblue ovulation, on the recommendation of a girlfriend, to help eliminate the guess work. I’m so happy that the new Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System now exists so I can recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand their reproductive health.”

The Clearblue Connected app has many unique benefits that users can take advantage of for a more fun and personalized way to try to conceive:

  • Fertility tracking made easy – digital results automatically sync to user’s smartphone via Bluetooth 5 Technology;
  • Ability to set personalized reminders of when to test – perfect for women’s busy lifestyles;
  • The capability to share daily results with their partner; and
  • Allows users to compare multiple cycles and share this information, if they wish, with a healthcare professional.

“Clearblue continues to be at the forefront of innovation with more than 30 years of ‘firsts’ in the pregnancy and ovulation testing category,” said Ryan Daly, commercial director of the Americas, Swiss Precision Diagnostics. “With increasing consumer expectations for easily accessible information at their fingertips, the Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System still provides clear, accurate digital results, but now gives women the opportunity to store and track their personal fertility data on their phone, with convenient reminders of when to test to help make the process less stressful.”

The Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System is now available at major retailers across the U.S. such as Walmart, Target, Amazon and Meijer.
 

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HEALTH

Hisamitsu America innovates analgesics aisle with new Lidocaine Plus line

BY Michael Johnsen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Hisamitsu America on Tuesday announced the Lidocaine Plus product line with the introduction of the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid.

“The Lidocaine Plus products contain two powerful anesthetics including long-lasting 4% lidocaine which is the maximum strength available without a prescription and fast-acting 10% benzyl alcohol,” stated John Incledon, president and CEO, Hisamitsu America. “The Salonpas Lidocaine Plus products desensitize aggravated nerves for temporary relief of back, neck, shoulder, knee and elbow pain.”

“I have been using the new Salonpas Lidocaine Plus products to address knee and elbow pain after my rigorous work-outs and found that the cream and liquid worked effectively,” said journalist Bob Arnot, author of twelve books on nutrition and health and host of the "Dr. Danger" reality TV series, and previously chief medical correspondent for NBC and CBS News.

Both Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid will retail for a suiggested $12.99. All of the Salonpas lidocaine products, including the Lidocaine 4% Pain Relieving Patch, are unscented.
 

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‘For sale’ sign could soon hang over Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Tuesday might be putting its $3.4 billion consumer healthcare business on the sales block, noting that all scenarios would be considered during a strategic review of its options, which include a full or partial separation of the business from Pfizer through a spin-off, sale or other transaction.

Of course, Pfizer may ultimately determine to retain the business, the company added.

“Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is a leading player in the largest OTC categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals,” stated Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and CEO. “By exploring strategic options, we can evaluate how best to fuel the future success and expansion of Consumer Healthcare while simultaneously unlocking potential value for our shareholders.”

One key question that would accompany a decision to sell the business would be whether the list of likely suitors would come from the echelon of top-10 OTC manufacturers.

According to Kline Group, based on 2016 sales Bayer (8.2% market share), Johnson & Johnson (7.5%) and GSK Consumer Healthcare (6.5%) were all bigger than Pfizer (6.2%), which stood at No. 4 on that list, followed by Procter & Gamble (4.5%), Sanofi (4.4%), Reckitt Benckiser (4%), Prestige Brands (1.9%), Church & Dwight (1.2%) and Carlyle Group (1%). The marketshare figures are attributable to Kline & Company’s latest "Nonprescription Drugs USA" study.

Many of the companies that fall below Pfizer on that top 10 list got to where they are today through acquisition. That would inlclude Reckitt Benckiser, which ranked ninth in OTC sales in 2010 but by 2016 leapfrogged into becoming the seventh-largest competitor after acquiring the Schiff and Airborne businesses.

Sanofi acquired Chattem in 2010 and then used that platform to switch OTC blockbusters Allegra and Nasacort. Sanofi also acquired the OTC rights to the erectile dysfunction remedy Cialis. If they were to successfully switch that remedy, Pfizer's Viagra would be ready for the OTC market by 2020. And last year, Sanofi executed an asset swap and acquired the consumer health business of Boehringer Ingelheim.

Prestige Brands and Church & Dwight, neither of which appeared in the top 10 OTC companies in 2010, ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, six years later in 2016.

Prestige Brands has grown by way of acquisitions, adding 17 OTC brands from GSK Consumer Healthcare. Also, its acquisition of Insight Pharmaceuticals brought the Monistat feminine product franchise and, earlier this year, the company added Summer's Eve, Fleet and Pedia-Lax to its product portfolio through the acquisition of C.B. Fleet.

Meanwhile, Church & Dwight has growth significantly following its acquisition of the Vitafusion line of vitamins.

And in the "for what it's worth" department, it was only a month ago that  KKR's Nature's Bounty onboarded 30-year consumer healthcare vet Paul Sturman, who until recently captained Pfizer's OTC business.

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare markets two of the 10 best-selling consumer healthcare brands globally — Centrum and Advil. In addition, the business has 10 brands that each exceeded $100 million in 2016 sales, and several local brands that are top-ranked in their respective markets, the company reported.  

Pfizer's major categories and product lines include:

  • Dietary Supplements: Centrum, Caltrate and Emergen-C;
  • Pain Management: Advil and Thermacare;
  • Gastrointestinal: Nexium 24 Hour and Preparation H;
  • Respiratory: Robitussin and Advil Cold and Sinus; and
  • Personal Care: ChapStick and Anbesol

“Consumers are taking more ownership of their health and wellness through OTC products, preventative treatments and alternative health paths,” said Albert Bourla, group president, Pfizer Innovative Health. “Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is playing an important role in changing the world’s well-being. Our colleagues are passionate about empowering consumers around the world to improve their health and wellness through our trusted brands, innovation, and thought leadership.”

Pfizer has engaged Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co. as financial advisors for the strategic review process. Pfizer expects that any decision regarding strategic alternatives for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare would be made during 2018. The company does not plan to make any further statements about the strategic review process until a decision has been reached or upon the completion of the strategic review.

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