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Survey: BTS shopping shows surge in coupon use

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

AUSTIN, Texas — A survey released by coupon site RetailMeNot found that coupon use for back-to-school shopping surged this year, particularly for retailers selling books, school supplies and apparel.

According to RetailMeNot, which measured coupon usage during the July 1 to Aug. 20 selling period, as compared with the prior three months, the average daily coupon clicks increased more than 130% for book retailers, more than 40% for merchants selling back-to-school supplies and more than 30% for stores selling apparel and shoes.

RetailMeNot also announced the findings of a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, which revealed new shopping patterns among consumers with children headed back or already back in the classroom. Results included:

  • More than half (59%) of parents said they usually finish their back-to-school shopping by the end of summer;

  • Forty-seven percent said they will finish the bulk of their back-to-school shopping in August; 8% said they are usually done in July; 3% in June; and 2% before the previous school year even ends;

  • Nearly 3-in-10 parents (28%) report that they usually finish the bulk of their back-to-school shopping at some point in September; and

  • By region, parents in the Northeast are more likely to finish the bulk of their shopping sometime in September (45%) as compared with those from the West (28%), Midwest (26%), or South (22%).

Although the majority of parents said that they began their back-to-school shopping over the summer, when asked how far along they are once school actually starts, fewer than 4-in-10 (37%) said that they are done with their shopping by the start of school. About 3-in-10 (28%) parents said that they usually have a few things still left to buy for their children but that they are mostly done; 9% said they still have several key items they need to purchase; and 4% said they are nowhere near done.

Additionally, about 1-in-10 (11%) said that they like to shop after the start of the school year to see what their children’s actual needs are.

The survey found that in-store shopping is far preferable to online, with 83% of parents opting to do back-to-school shopping in stores, and 8% preferring to do so online.

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FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee to meet on Oxytrol Rx-to-OTC switch

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — According to a Food and Drug Administration post Friday, the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will be meeting Nov. 9 regarding the partial switch application from prescription to over the counter of Oxytrol (oxybutynin transdermal system) submitted by MSD Consumer. The proposed OTC product would be called Oxytrol for Women and would be indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder in women.

The prescription form of Oxytrol is licensed by Watson Pharma.

The data to be discussed will include a summary of the postmarketing experience with the oxybutynin transdermal system, and the results of consumer studies, including label comprehension studies, self-selection studies and an actual use study. The committee will be asked to consider whether the data support the appropriate and safe use of oxybutynin transdermal system by OTC consumers.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, oxybutynin transdermal patches are used to treat an overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles contract uncontrollably and cause frequent urination, urgent need to urinate and inability to control urination). Oxybutynin is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles to prevent urgent, frequent or uncontrolled urination.

About 17% of women over the age of 18 experience overactive bladder, according to the National Association for Continence. In women between the ages of 20 and 45, the prevalence of overactive bladder was found to be 36.8%.

Overactive bladder occurs about twice as frequently in women as in men and become more prevalent with advanced aging.

"Women with [overactive bladder] are significantly more likely to suffer from other health disorders, such as hypertension, obesity and arthritis, than women without OAB," the NAC added. "Also, [overactive bladder] sufferers are two to three times more likely to regularly experience disturbed sleep, overeating and poor self-esteem, compared with non-OAB sufferers."


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Whole Foods launches green gift card program

BY DSN STAFF

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market has launched two new eco-friendly gift cards, with plans to replace the recycled plastic cards that will be phased out over time.

The new cards — one made of paper and the other of responsibly harvested wood — are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and have a lower carbon footprint, are reusable, recyclable, compostable and require less energy to be produced.

"We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact and further our green mission efforts,” said Chris Jensen, gift card team leader for Whole Foods Market.

The grocer said it will continue to recycle gift cards both from Whole Foods Market and other retailers at its stores. To date, more than 265,000 plastic gift cards have been recycled and kept out of landfills.

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