Q&A: Prevention Health Sciences’ Donley talks meeting niche oral care needs
Retailers who are winning in the oral care category are those paying attention to market niches. Consumers today tailor their oral care purchases to specific needs. One important need that shouldn’t be overlooked is that of cancer patients.
Drug Store News talked to Chris Donley, SVP at Prevention Health Sciences, to find out why planograms need an offer formulated for these very specific requirements.
DSN: Why is there a need for products formulated specifically for oncology patients?
Chris Donley: Oncology patients have several concerns — risk of infection and weakened immune systems, xerostomia (dry mouth) caused by the powerful chemo meds that can lead to problems with teeth and gums, soreness and sensitivity due to oral mucositis, which is inflammation and sores to the mucous membranes of the mouth. The solution is a rinse that can address all of these concerns.
DSN: How big of a market are we talking about?
CD: There are nearly 2 million new cases a year and 15 million people living with cancer. Specifically, all head and neck cancer cases are impacted, and most people going through chemo are susceptible to developing oral complications. Additionally, good oral care health has a direct relationship to overall immune health, which is a primary concern for any cancer patient.
DSN: What makes Prevention Oncology effective?
CD: Prevention Oncology is designed specifically for the needs of these oncology patients. The natural glycerin in our rinse serves as a humectant — meaning it helps to attract and retain moisture in the mouth. It also serves as a demulcent, forming a protective coating in the mouth to provide temporary pain relief. This helps many patients who may be suffering with oral mucositis eat and drink with less discomfort. It also helps manage tissue inflammation and sensitivity.
Importantly, this formulation is very mildly flavored. Also, we have removed surfactants, or SLS, that are present in many rinses. Known for their cleansing properties, such surfactants as sodium lauryl sulfate can cause further irritation to the oral cavity of oncology patients who are already struggling with sensitivity, discomfort and taste issues.
DSN: How do patients and caregivers hear about Prevention Oncology?
CD: We have a long history in the professional dental and oncology community where we do extensive sampling through oncology centers, cancer clinics and dental offices featuring samples and offering coupons for in-store purchases.
DSN: What’s your advice on how to best merchandise the products?
CD: We recommend housing Prevention Oncology with specialty oral care products for dry mouth, halitosis, acute gingivitis and canker and mouth sores.
DSN: How important are pharmacist recommendations?
CD: Pharmacists play a huge role in recommendations and educating the consumers, and often are the primary information providers. We have developed Rx white papers and detailed product information.
DSN: Do patients require multiple products?
CD: Our Oncology rinse is specifically targeted at patients undergoing treatment. However, many patients — depending on their condition — will continue to use our product in conjunction with prescription medications. For example, we had one patient tell us he was prescribed a mucoadhesive, which required him to wait an hour before eating or drinking. To make his breakfast and morning tea more manageable, he used Prevention Oncology every morning.
DSN: What can you tell us about other Prevention products?
CD: The Prevention line of mouth rinses all adhere to a similar base formulation and concept. The first Prevention rinse was developed in the 90s as a less invasive rinse that works harmoniously with the mouth's natural functions. Our entire product line is alcohol-free and features low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate under the gum line in order to target only the harmful anaerobic bacteria. It also includes natural glycerin to keep the mouth moist. All of the Prevention SKUs (Dry Mouth, Mouth Sore and Oncology) are optimized versions of our Daily Care formula with specific enhancements to the formulation to meet the needs of these specific indications.
DSN: What else do you want retailers to know about the Oncology Mouth Rinse, or the company in general?
CD: We understand that consumers are looking for very specific solutions to their very specific medical or health conditions. These consumers are looking to their healthcare providers to provide information and options, and they also expect to find these products where they typically shop for their prescription and OTC healthcare products. If they cannot find these solutions on retail shelves, they quickly turn to an e-commerce supplier — representing a lost sale for physical retailers.
GMDC names HBW17 Showcase Top 10
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Global Market Development Center recently announced the top 10 rated products and merchandising displays showcased at their 2017 Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference. The event, which brought more than 200 retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service companies together to discover the latest products and trends, includes an annual Showcase where participants select the brands they believe are the most innovative and will spark the greatest consumer demand.
“At a time when new and innovative products can drive traffic and build category sales for retailers, the GMDC Showcase has become a vital tool for our members to connect with what’s next,” stated Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC. “The companies in the Showcase Top 10 drive innovation at every turn and boost demand through uniqueness and relevancy in the core categories of health, beauty and wellness.”
In addition to the Showcase Top 10, GMDC Board Chair Steve Davis of Weis Markets selected three products from the Showcase as his Board Chair’s Choice. Davis selected EverlyWell Testing Kits, Handy Solutions from Navajo and Mad Gabs' Organic Body Care and Lip Balm.
The HBW17 Showcase brands/products ranked highest included:
- JFL Enterprises – Candy Scented Hand Sanitizer;
- Global Brands Group – Children’s Bath Products;
- Value Max Products – Bela Soaps;
- BIC Corporation – Flex 5 Disposable Razor;
- Ontel Products – Dream Tents;
- Thistle Farms – Love Heals Bath + Body Collection;
- Cashco Distributors – Trial & Travel;
- Sundial Brands – Shea Moisture 2017;
- Hello Products – Natural Toothpaste; and
- GOJO Industries – Purell Healthy Soap.
Brands tap into other niche oral care segments
Other specialty areas of the toothpaste category include travel sizes, such as that recently revealed by Dr. Bronner’s. The new 1-oz. tube is TSA-compliant for carry-on luggage. Dr. Bronner’s peppermint All-One toothpaste is made with 70% organic ingredients, including organic coconut flour, coconut oil as a mild abrasive and aloe juice to soothe gums.
It is a low-foaming formula in a toothpaste tube that’s 100% recyclable, the company said. Priced at $2.49 per tube, the travel size started hitting shelves priced in September.
In other nice offerings, Colgate has rolled out an innovative “in-between” paste. Colgate Total Clean-In-Between toothpaste uses advanced micro-foaming to reach between teeth and reduce 83% more plaque germs than nonantibacterial fluoride toothpaste 12 hours after brushing, according to the company.