HEALTH

Survey: About half of Americans with GI issues concerned about side effects

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — As many as 86% of Americans have experienced some type of GI or digestive issue in the past year, but according to recent Mintel research, some 40% of those who suffer from gastrointestinal issues are concerned about the side effects associated with them, the company reported Friday.

Suggesting further consumer reluctance about using gastrointestinal remedies, 38% of sufferers agree that they only use them when absolutely necessary. Despite the preponderance of gastrointestinal issues in the United States, sales of antacids and laxatives declined by 2.5% from 2011 to 2013 and are expected to remain mostly flat through 2018.

"The prevalence of gastrointestinal issues suggests that the market of products to treat these issues is prime for growth," said Emily Krol, health and wellness analyst at Mintel. "However, American consumers appear to be taking a more proactive stance to their health and looking to prevent issues rather than treat them."

Indeed, some 29% of consumers say they have changed their diet to add more yogurt and fiber-rich foods to manage their digestive health and nearly a quarter (24%) have changed their diet to eliminate problem foods that aggravate digestive issues. Meanwhile, 22% have tried exercising more, 17% have lost weight and 13% have started taking regular probiotics, all in an effort to manage their gastrointestinal problems.

Gastrointestinal troubles can have a huge impact on consumers’ daily lives, with 41% of Americans who have experienced gastrointestinal issues stating that the pain associated with them is "often unbearable." Meanwhile, 64% say that it’s frustrating when gastrointestinal problems get in the way of things they want to do, and 36% agree that suffering from gastrointestinal issues makes them feel unattractive.

"Gastrointestinal issues can be frustrating to those who suffer from them," Krol said. "To alleviate consumer concerns, brands can help consumers feel comfortable and confident that OTC GI remedies will help them to feel better quickly. Positioning products as part of an overall healthy lifestyle will contribute to success in this market."

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CDC: Flu activity remains elevated

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — According to last week’s FluView report, released Friday, influenza activity remains elevated nationally. Flu activity is likely to continue for several more weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded.

For the week of Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, the national proportion of people seeing their healthcare provider for influenza-like illness decreased slightly for the fifth week, but remains above the national baseline. All 10 regions continue to report ILI activity above their region-specific baseline level. 

Seven states experienced high ILI activity (Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia); a decrease from the 10 states with high ILI activity last week. Twelve states experienced moderate ILI activity.

 

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HDMA promotes several staff members

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Saturday announced the promotion of six staff members:

  • Perry Fri, from SVP to EVP industry relations, membership and education;
  • Patrick Kelly from SVP to EVP government affairs;
  • Liz Gallenagh, from VP government affairs and general counsel, to SVP government affairs and general counsel;
  • John Parker from VP to SVP communications;
  • Linda Caporaletti-Hoyt from senior director to VP human resources; and
  • John Howells from senior director to VP industry relations.

“The promotions reflect the significant and successful contributions of these individuals to effectively represent the needs of our organization and its members,” stated HDMA president and CEO John Gray. “Thanks to their hard work, and that of their colleagues, HDMA was able to deliver high-quality results for the pharmaceutical distribution industry on many fronts, including the recent enactment of the transformational federal traceability legislation.”

 

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