HEALTH

Q&A: Eyelid clean-up

BY Michael Johnsen

At the ECRM Health Care EPPS conference, OcuSoft presented a pair of new offerings. Drug Store News caught up with OcuSoft president and CEO Cynthia Barratt for a rundown on eye care today.

Drug Store News: What is the opportunity within eyelid cleansers?

Cynthia Barratt: Based on recent SymphonyIRI Group data, the eye care accessories category is a growing $49 million market with $10 million attributed to the sale of eyelid cleansers.… Doctors are seeing more and more patients with lid disease and other related ocular conditions, reaffirming the need for products that will help prevent and alleviate symptoms.

DSN: OcuSoft recently introduced a prescription kit that includes two eyelid cleansers, how will that complement the OTC business?

Barratt: OcuSoft’s prescription-only Alodox convenience kit contains a low-dose doxycycline (20 mg) to control inflammation, OcuSoft scrub plus pre-moistened pads to remove harmful bacteria, OcuSoft lid scrub original foam for daily cleansing and Tranquileyes moist heat therapy goggles for added relief. The kit is recommended for patients with moderate to severe cases of lid disease, and because these conditions usually are chronic, patients are advised to follow the entire one- to three-month course of therapy or as directed by their doctor. As a result of the awareness and demand created by the Alodox convenience kit, sales of OTC eyelid cleansers will increase accordingly.

DSN: What are the benefits of OcuSoft’s new TearsAgain?

Barratt: Tears Again advanced liposome spray was introduced as a companion product to OcuSoft lid scrub eyelid cleansers.… OcuSoft lid scrub alleviates [eye irritation] by removing oil and debris from the eyelids while Tears Again advanced liposome spray provides added relief throughout the day with a soothing mist.

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Pittsburgh Business Group on Health’s LivingMyLife program to expand

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health’s LivingMyLife program, which helps diabetes patients with disease management through the use of “coach pharmacists,” will soon do the same for those with other diseases, according to published reports.

 

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday that LivingMyLife also would help patients with asthma and heart disease. The program, which began in 2006, allows patients to manage their disease with visits to pharmacies, mostly Giant Eagle, Kmart and some independents.

 

 

The announcement was made at the annual healthcare symposium of the group and involved more than 100 attendees, the newspaper reported.

 

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DSC debunks industry misconceptions at briefing

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, in cooperation with two trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry — the Natural Products Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition — held a briefing on Capitol Hill Thursday in an effort to debunk some of the untruths and misconceptions about the dietary supplement industry and its role in Americans’ wellness regimens.

“It’s all about prevention. Prevention is the new mantra among consumers,” suggested guest speaker Patrick Rea, publisher and editorial director of Nutrition Business Journal.

Speaking to an audience of staff members from the House of Representatives and Senate, Rea said that even during tough economic times, consumers turn to dietary supplements as an important part of their immunity and prevention plan.

“Consumers looked at supplements as one way through the recession to help take care of themselves. Health is recession resilient, and the sales over time support this fact,” Rea said.

Rea addressed several “industry myths” –– including the notions that dietary supplements are unnecessary because people get what they need from food, that people really do not want to take supplements, that the pharmaceutical industry will destroy the dietary supplement industry and that the industry is unregulated.

“Our numbers show that somewhere between 60% to 80% of Americans take supplements, and 48% of them consider themselves regular users,” Rea said.

Rea also mentioned the growing acceptance of dietary supplements among conventional health practitioners, and the growing trend among pharmaceutical companies to develop their own versions of products usually sold as supplements.

“In a study of healthcare professionals, 72% of physicians and 89% of nurses are dietary supplement consumers, and 79% of physicians and 82% of nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients,” Rea noted.

Regarding industry regulation, Rea countered that the supplement industry is one of the more highly regulated industries and that the industry welcomes those regulations. “[For example], a lot of the [dietary supplement] companies are rallying behind the [good manufacturing practices] regulations,” he said. “They want it to be known that they are a GMP-compliant company. And, the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act made claims rules clear and has really helped the industry focus and develop.”

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