HEALTH

The Weather Company renews Allergy Tracker collaboration with GSK Consumer Healthcare

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Weather Company on Tuesday renewed its collaboration with GSK Consumer Healthcare and PHD Media Worldwide. As part of their continued relationship, Weather has introduced an enhanced Allergy Tracker, which includes increased personalization capabilities. The Allergy Tracker also delivers a comprehensive experience where all the variables around managing allergies is available in the same place, including current weather conditions, hyper-local allergy reports, expanded forecasts and editorial content.

“Allergens impact us in very different ways, as there are a variety of factors," stated Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales, The Weather Company. "At The Weather Company, we are passionate about using data to deliver high-impact, individualized experiences for people to help in their daily planning and decision making. The refreshed Allergy Tracker, created in collaboration with GSK Consumer Healthcare and PHD Media Worldwide, will empower consumers to help them better understand and manage their symptoms this allergy season.”

“We have had a successful relationship with The Weather Company over the past three years, and this year’s enhancements to The Allergy Tracker are about helping allergy sufferers better understand the specific allergens that could impact their health and wellbeing, so they can take action to help reduce or prevent their symptoms,” added Theresa Agnew, chief marketing officer, GSK Consumer Healthcare. “By collaborating with Weather, we are able to tap into their scale and get the Allergy Tracker as well as the Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief campaign in front of nearly a quarter billion consumers across the Weather properties. And, we are also able to further extend that reach by taking Weather’s innovative data targeting solutions beyond their properties, and applying that precise targeting to our entire campaign."

New enhancements to The Allergy Tracker include:

  • A personalized current conditions module, so users can easily access the essential information for managing seasonal symptoms;
  • A daily outlook, which includes previous day (when available), current day and seven-day forecast, as well as local allergy reports powered by hyper-local social sentiment data, current vs. historical pollen/breathing/mold allergen data and social sharing capabilities;
  • Custom editorial content including a dynamic infographic with tips for managing spring and fall allergies; and
  • An indoor allergy tracker and pollen hot spots chart, which can be personalized for each user.

The Tracker, with local allergen information, will be surfaced to users based on the user’s preferences, user’s location and historical engagement behavior data. Provided with this information, consumers are better equipped to manage their allergies – whether indoor or outdoor – and can take smarter preventative measures to make managing allergy season easier.

The Allergy Tracker, sponsored by GSK Consumer Healthcare’s Flonase brand, is available in The Weather Channel apps, weather.com, Flonase.com and select retailer sites.

The updated Allergy Tracker is part of GSK Consumer Healthcare’s and PHD Media Worldwide’s overall campaign to launch the new Flonase Sensimist Nasal Spray. As part of the campaign, GSK Consumer Healthcare will leverage Weather’s insights, predictive analytics and data-driven ad solutions.

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Fresenius Kabi to acquire Akorn for $4.3B

BY Brian Berk

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. and LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Fresenius Kabi will acquire Akorn, manufacturer and marketer of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, for approximately $4.3 billion, or $34 a share, plus the assumption of approximately $450 million of debt. The transaction is expected to close by early 2018 and to be accretive in 2018 to Fresenius Group net income and EPS, excluding integration costs.

The agreement and transaction have been approved by the boards of both companies and will be recommended by Akorn’s board to its shareholders. Akorn’s largest shareholder has committed to supporting the transaction. The transaction is subject to approval by Akorn shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including regulatory review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

“Joining our two companies and product portfolios will strengthen and diversify both businesses,” said John Ducker, president and CEO of Fresenius Kabi USA. “Akorn brings to Fresenius Kabi specialized expertise in development, manufacturing and marketing of alternate dosage forms, as well as access to new customer segments like retail, ophthalmology and veterinary practices. Its pipeline is also impressive, with approximately 85 ANDAs filed and pending with the FDA and dozens more in development.”

Fresenius Kabi specializes in sterile injectable medicines. Akorn produces a diverse portfolio comprising sterile ophthalmics, topical creams, ointments and gels, oral liquids, otic solutions (for the ear), nasal sprays and respiratory drugs in addition to sterile injectables, which made up just 35% of Akorn sales last year.

“Fresenius Kabi is an excellent fit for Akorn, strategically and culturally,” said Raj Rai, Akorn’s CEO. “Fresenius brings to Akorn the strength and resources of a global leader with an experienced U.S. team and an outstanding record of growth and award-winning service in the United States. We look forward to working with Fresenius Kabi on this next phase of our growth. When the transaction closes, we will strive to ensure a smooth transition for our employees and customers.”

The U.S. headquarters for Akorn and Fresenius Kabi are both in northern Illinois, located in close proximity. Akorn employs more than 2,000 people worldwide. Fresenius Kabi employs more than 30,000 worldwide.

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Brandperx survey identifies cost as a leading OTC differentiator

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Health, wellness and the optimization of access to OTC medicines have emerged as significant themes coming out of NACDS Annual this past weekend.

More and more, shoppers are seeking to take control of their healthcare, noted Colin Mackenzie region head, Americas, GSK Consumer Healthcare, in an early morning presentation before attendees of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Sunday. "[Consumers] have access to more information and research than ever before and they are using it to [better] understand their own personal healthcare," he said. "Self-care is clearly a growing area for our business."

Mackenzie noted that personalization, convenience and the proliferation of digital tools — one-in-five Americans have downloaded a health-related app to their phones, for example — are all helping to drive growth across self-care solutions.

But according to a survey exclusive to Drug Store News, another significant driver behind that growing interest in self-care solutions appears to be cost. The price or overall value of an OTC product is the most important consideration when recommending a nonprescription solution to their patients — 26.4% of doctors suggested that value consideration leads to better adherence — according to a survey of more than 1,000 practitioners exclusive to the Brandperx network.

And cost is also the most significant benefit associated with OTC products, according to the survey. As many as 28% of doctors identified cost as the leading benefit when a new OTC is brought to market, followed by efficacy (25.6%).

Brandperx is a point-of-care marketing solution that offers demonstrated success creating brand discussions with consumers. The company works with some of the world’s top pharmaceutical and OTC brands and delivers more than traditional point-of-care marketing. The programs are designed by healthcare marketing experts who help turn providers and their patients into advocates and purchasers of a brand, the company stated.

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