HEALTH

Q&A: Eyeing innovation

BY Michael Johnsen

Bausch & Lomb last month launched the latest innovation in lens care solutions—Biotrue—that is formulated to work like the eyes, with three bio-inspired attributes. Drug Store News caught up with Chris Huels, senior brand manager for lens care at Bausch & Lomb, to talk about the company’s launch plans.

Drug Store News: What is the media plan supporting the launch of Biotrue this fall?

Chris Huels: We have a multimillion-dollar integrative campaign incorporating television, online, PR efforts, some consumer promotions [and] in-store communications to the consumer, as well as various elements of social media. We’re trying to get a significant reach with a particular audience—women [ages] 25 to 44 [years] who wear contact lenses. There is a subset of this consumer called LOHAS [lifestyles of health and sustainability], which is a slightly different demographic. LOHAS consumers are in tune with what they’re putting into their bodies a little bit more than maybe the average person.

DSN: How will social media be utilized to promote Biotrue?

Huels: Social media is a very large part of our campaign, both [in] reaching consumers and [in reaching] healthcare professionals. We’ll be utilizing some of the bigger names like Facebook and Twitter, but also looking beyond those social media platforms to a variety of forums—blogs, message forums, [just about] any site where we think our consumers are going to be and [will be] in a mindset of thinking about eye care issues. Just to build on that, [the Internet] is really key as both consumers and professionals are looking for advice; they’re looking for product information [online]. We’ve always known that word-of-mouth is a big part of how you get your message out—it’s always been one of the best ways to get product news out there. These social media forums have helped facilitate that word-of-mouth. Social media really has to be an integral part of any campaign today.

DSN: How are you educating healthcare professionals around the benefits of Biotrue?

Huels: On the professional side, we’ve got a sales force that’s detailing doctors in a variety of settings using some new technologies. We’ve been utilizing iPads, which has been a great success for us [as compared to] the traditional paper detailing we’ve used in the past. The iPad has made maybe a 35-point difference in terms of the doctor recommendation rates…. We’ve got some more traditional elements like trade advertising, print ads to professionals, online advertisements to professionals, doctor events and also, as I’ve mentioned before, using social media. More and more, healthcare professionals are online looking for information on new products [and] handling questions or concerns from their peers through these forums. So we’re continuing to elevate online interactions as a more integral part of our campaign.

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Everlast Sports Nutrition launches ProLine collection

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Everlast Sports Nutrition on Thursday announced the launch of its ProLine collection, a sports nutrition line of products for pre- and post-workout.

Developed by a team of industry professionals to include nutritionists, athletes and fitness-enthusiasts, ProLine was created to deliver scientifically validated ingredients in proven cutting-edge sports nutrition products for optimum athletic performance, the company stated.

“We’re proud to offer the first comprehensive line of nutritional supplements worthy of the Everlast name,” stated Everlast Sports Nutrition CEO Peter Brechter. “The ProLine rounds out our portfolio, and now we truly have something for everyone.”

The ProLine assortment includes:

  • N.O. Nitro-Plex — formulated to support and enhance maximum vascularity, strength, power and endurance. Suggested retail price is $64.99;
  • NitroPlex-6 — Designed to effectively increase blood flow, oxygen support and the delivery of nutrients to skeletal muscle. SRP $59.99;
  • HyperPlex protein bars — A triple-layered bar with 30 g of protein, designed to support healthy muscle recovery and energy. Available in three flavors: butternut crunch, chocolate caramel nougat and fudge cookie crunch. SRP $2.99;
  • HyperPlex protein powder — A protein powder with a multiblend of 25 g of high protein for improved muscle definition. The poweder contains Plyosyl for enhanced muscle and joint health, and improved elasticity and firmness. SRP $44.99;
  • HyperPlex ready to drink shake — A protein drink with 40 g of both slow- and fast-acting proteins for muscle recovery and growth. SRP $3.99; and
  • Thermo Triplex — A weight-loss supplement combining an appetite suppressant with thermogenic compounds. SRP $64.99.

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BioIQ at-home health screening kits offered to AAOA employees

BY Michael Johnsen

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. UnitedHealthcare and Affiliated Associations of America on Thursday announced that complimentary at-home health screening kits now are available to the approximate 9,000 AAOA employees and their families.

The kits, developed by Santa Barbara, Calif.-based BioIQ, enable individuals to more easily test for such conditions as diabetes and heart disease, and help patients work with their doctors to more quickly develop appropriate treatment plans.

As part of a recent pilot program sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, the insurer found that the results helped identify about 10% of participating employees as having high cholesterol and 4% as having elevated indicators for diabetes.

“At-home health screening kits can make an impact in the early detection of certain illnesses, and ultimately save lives,” stated Roger Muller, senior medical director at UnitedHealthcare. “We believe these kits can help improve employees’ health and reduce their healthcare expenses. Home test kits can help engage consumers and support the essential relationship people have with their physicians.”

Each at-home health screening kit contains components and instructions for drawing a tiny blood sample, from a finger prick, that is then mailed to a certified laboratory for analysis. The lab reports and personalized health recommendations, based in part on the test results, are available through a password-protected, secure Web portal. Individuals can then incorporate the lab results into an online health assessment and their personal health record on Myuhc.com.

“These screening programs represent an important step for Washington businesses to help improve and enhance their employees’ health,” noted Patrick Chestnut, president and CEO of AAOA, a national trade association based in Washington state. “Improving wellness is a process that begins with employee engagement. These kits are safe, easy to use and provide an opportunity for our employees to be empowered and take control of their personal health.”

The health screening kits test for both heart disease and diabetes from one small blood sample. For heart disease, the tests measure the amount of total cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol value. The kits also include a choice of diabetes tests — either for A1c, which measures average blood sugar over the past 90 days, or glucose, which measures blood sugar at the time of testing.

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