HEALTH

UrgentRx launches provocative Twitter campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — UrgentRx on Thursday began asking America where they would #WhipItOut with the launch of a provocative new campaign. The initiative is aimed at educating consumers during Heart Health Month by raising awareness around the potentially life-saving role that 325mg of aspirin plays for heart attack victims.

“Most people are unaware of the fact that the simple act of taking a 325mg dose of aspirin at the first symptoms can increase the chance of survival during a heart attack by 23%,” Jordan Eisenberg, president UrgentRx, said. “Critical Care Aspirin is a vital tool that everyone should be prepared to whip out to save a life anywhere, anytime.”

UrgentRx Critical Care Aspirin is a credit card-sized, single dose of fast-acting, flavored powder aspirin.

UrgentRx will leverage consumers’ willingness to #WhipItOut to donate up to $10,000 to the American Heart Association. Throughout the month of February, every time a consumer uses the hashtag #WhipItOut on Twitter or visits www.whipitouturx.com and takes the pledge to be "prepared over scared" when it comes to heart attack awareness, UrgentRx will donate $1 to the American Heart Association.

“With #WhipItOut, we’ve created a provocative campaign that we hope will help capture consumer attention and educate the public about what simple steps are available to help increase the odds of surviving a heart attack,” Eisenberg said.

 

 

 

 

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HEALTH

Novartis Consumer Health’s return to shelf on track, Theraflu relaunching next

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland — Novartis Consumer Health will be relaunching Theraflu for the 2014-2015 cough-cold season, Brian McNamara, Novartis division head OTC, told analysts Wednesday. 

"As you know, in the U.S. business we launched Lamisil and Triaminic and Excedrin end of 2012 and 2013. About halfway through the year, we launched Benefiber. And for next year, we expect to launch Theraflu for that cough and cold season," he said. 

Overall, Novartis’ consumer business is doing well. The Consumer Health division, which includes Animal Health, posted $1 billion in net sales for the company’s fourth quarter, representing 8% growth. Results were mainly driven by strong performance of key brands globally and product re-launches in the U.S., the company reported. 

"We also made good progress on our quality agenda. As we’ve talked about before, we put a significant amount of attention up against this, and it paid off in 2013," noted Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO. "We had a good FDA inspection at Lincoln," he said. "This is our OTC site that was in trouble. We got a good audit by the FDA and we’re now shipping product out of that site. Two of the three Sandoz sites that were under a warning letter, the original warning letter, are now compliant based on the FDA inspections, and we’re waiting for feedback on the third site in Wilson."

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Rite Aid posts 1.8% increase in January comp sales despite tough flu comparisons

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid’s January same-store sales increased 1.8%, beating out an analyst projection of a 0.5% increase in overall comparable-store sales. Total drug store sales for the four weeks ended Jan. 25 increased 1.5% to $1.9 billion.

January front-end same-store sales decreased 1.3%, of which 1.4% was attributable to a decrease in sales of flu-related over-the-counter products. Pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 124 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 3.2%. 

Prescription count at comparable stores decreased 2.2% over the prior-year period, of which 2.4% is attributable to a decrease in flu-related prescriptions and flu shots.

Prescription sales accounted for 69.7% of drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 96.7% of pharmacy sales.

Same store sales for the 47-week period ended Jan. 25, 2014 increased 0.6 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store-sales were flat compared to the prior-year period while pharmacy same-store sales increased 0.9%. Prescription count at comparable stores decreased 0.2% over the prior-year period.

Total drug store sales for the 47 week period increased 0.3% with sales of $22.9 billion. Prescription sales represented 67.7% of total drug store sales, and third party prescription sales represented 97% of pharmacy sales.

 

 

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