HEALTH

Winter is coming, and so is cough-cold season

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Winter is coming, and with it the sneezes and sniffles, the wheezes and coughs that typically make for a robust cough-cold season. According to a Neilsen blog post from Wednesday, more than half (59%) of annual over-the-counter cold and flu medications were purchased between November 2016 and January 2017, according to Nielsen retail measurement sales for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 26, 2017.

Overall, dollar sales grew 7% during last year's 2016-17 cold and flu season, compared to the 2015-16 period, Nielsen reported.

"When it comes to OTC cold flu medications, products with a label claim around coughing grew 11% in dollar sales compared to the prior cold/flu season, while products without the claim grew only 4%," Nielsen noted in its blog post. "But some consumers are looking for more than functionality in their cold/flu OTC medications; they’re also paying attention to transparency claims in the OTC aisle. Though OTC cold/flu products with a natural claim only grew 2% in dollars, those free-from artificial colors and flavors grew 74% compared to the previous cold/flu season."

But exactly who is purchasing natural and free-from cold/flu medications? Compared to the average household, households with young children are the top purchasers, while households with five or more members spend more of their cold/flu dollars at  warehouse club, dollar and supercenter merchants than the average shopper.

Retailers looking for synergistic merchandising adjacency or an out-of-the-box product line to include in this year's cough-cold end-caps might look to tea, the blog post noted. According to Nielsen, during the cold/flu season, consumers spend 28% more on herbal teas compared with the average month. Sales rise so much during this time that November, December and January making up 32% of annual dollar spend on herbal tea.

What's more, compared with the average month, consumers spend 42% more dollars on herbal tea with an immunity claim on the label, with sales up 22% compared with the previous season. Herbal teas with a natural claim drove 29% more dollars sales compared with the average month, with dollar sales up 32%, Nielsen reported.
 

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One Drop partners with FitBit to enhance data-driven diabetes management

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — One Drop, a leading digital diabetes care and self-management platform, on Tuesday announced a multi-part collaboration with Fitbit that will use the power of Fitbit wearable data to bring enhanced data-driven care management tools to the diabetes community.

"We strive to provide our community with the most comprehensive set of data and tools to manage their diabetes or prediabetes. Working with Fitbit, the leading global wearables brand, was a natural next step for One Drop," stated Jeff Dachis, CEO One Drop. "One Drop is among the top Health and Fitness apps in nearly 120 countries with over 600,000 downloads worldwide. By integrating Fitbit data and creating an app for Fitbit Ionic, we will be able to provide our users and their healthcare providers with more data and deeper insights to better manage their diabetes."

"Our mission is to help make the world healthier, and our new Ionic smartwatch is the health platform that allows us to deliver our most advanced health and fitness features to the market," said Adam Pellegrini, general manager Fitbit Health Solutions. "This holistic experience brings the power of Fitbit data together with One Drop's sophisticated care management technology to provide meaningful insights on the role of physical activity and how it can improve the health of those living with diabetes."

The first initiative will be to integrate enhanced access to Fitbit data into the One Drop | Mobile app for diabetes management, providing One Drop users with at-a-glance access to Fitbit data, with the goal of helping users better understand the impact of physical activity on blood glucose management. Fitbit data will also be incorporated into One Drop reports, allowing physicians and One Drop | Experts, and One Drop | Professional users to utilize this data to make more personalized, informed care decisions.

Starting in November, One Drop users will be able to sync Fitbit intraday data to their One Drop accounts. This will allow users of the free, cloud-based diabetes management solution to seamlessly integrate data from all Fitbit devices throughout the day, reducing the burden of manually tracking physical activity, sleep and heart rate data.

Also beginning in November, all One Drop users, regardless of their mobile platform, will be able to purchase the Fitbit tracker that best suits their needs, including Fitbit's new smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic, through a special offer made available through a unique One Drop storefront experience.

One Drop will analyze Fitbit data along with One Drop's 500 million user-generated health data points with the goal of surfacing deeper insights and improving health outcomes for all people with diabetes worldwide. For example, someone can potentially see how their physical activity can impact blood glucose levels. One Drop | Experts users will be able to review this data with their very own Certified Diabetes Educator as they work together to meet personalized health goals.

One Drop will also develop an app for Fitbit Ionic, bringing One Drop's care management experience to the wrist. Using the Fitbit software development kit, which was made available to developers last month, users will be able to track the same self-care data and view data-driven insights and statistics from One Drop.

 

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Bayer introduces Walgreens-exclusive saline nasal care line

BY Michael Johnsen

WHIPPANY, N.J. — Bayer Consumer Health on Wednesday introduced its hydraSense daily nasal care line exclusively through Walgreens. Company officials say will offer drug-free saline nasal care solutions for infants and children ages 6 months and older.

“We recognize that more and more parents are searching for drug-free remedies to address their children's delicate nasal passages,” Bayer Consumer Health vice president U.S. medical affairs André Schmidt said. "The hydraSense children's daily nasal care line provides a portfolio of gentle drug-free products for parents to soothe their child's nasal passages, with ingredients that are naturally sourced.”

The company said that HydraSense hydrates dry nasal passages and can be used along with oral cold or allergy OTC medications. According to Bayer Consumer Health, the line consists of preservative-free, ready-to-use products, including hydraSense Ultra-Gentle Nasal Mist, hydraSense Nasal Care Single-Use Vials and hydraSense Soft Comfort Tip Nasal Aspirator.

While most brands of saline nasal care are made from purified water and sodium chloride, Bayer said hydraSense saline solution is made with mineral-rich, naturally sourced seawater from the Bay of Saint-Malo, France.

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