HEALTH

Contour Next expands diabetes reach through UnitedHealthcare

BY DSN STAFF

Ascensia Diabetes Care’s Contour Next blood glucose monitor is now available to patients covered by UnitedHealthcare commercial plans. Prior to this change, UnitedHealthcare members were unable to obtain the Contour Next portfolio of meters and test strips, unless a Prior Authorization was approved by the plan.

“We are working together with UnitedHealthcare to help their members with diabetes obtain the highly-accurate Contour Next test strips and meters so that they can effectively manage their diabetes,” said Robert Schumm, vice president and managing director of Ascensia Diabetes Care US, which operates out of Basel, Switzerland. “This change will give more people the opportunity to access these products, and at a reasonable cost.”

Specifically, individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare commercial plans will have access to these products through their pharmacy benefit at a Tier 2 copay level.

Contour Next can connect mobile devices via Bluetooth to make management easier for patients, the company said, noting that its expanded availability will be a boon for patients manging their diabetes. The Contour Diabetes app collects, stores and analyzes patient blood glucose measurements received from the meter. The company said this data can be used to identify patterns and trends that could help patients better understand how their daily activities affect their blood glucose.

The system includes a smartLIGHT that to provides instant feedback on results, reminders and alerts, as well as a logbook where patients can record meals, activities and medication. Patients also can set up an online account to manage and store their data, as well as have a PDF summary emailed to their caregiver or healthcare professional.

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Swisse Wellness names new VP North America

BY DSN STAFF

Supplement maker Swisse Wellness recently named Kimberly Weld its vice president, North America. In this role, Weld will oversee all facets of Swisse operations in the United States and Canada. She will be based in San Diego and report to Oliver Horn, Swisse’s managing director.

“It is a great step forward to add such accomplished talent to our U.S. team,” Horn said. “Kimberly’s strong leadership style and extensive experience in the natural product space will be an invaluable asset as we move into the next phase of market growth here in North America.”

Weld brings more than two decades of experience in the vitamin, mineral and herbal supplement sector encompassing product development, regulatory requirements, sales and market expansion to the Swisse Wellness organization.

“Preventive health care has been a lifelong passion of mine,” Weld said. “Swisse’s reputation for producing only the highest quality products that assist in maintaining optimal health and well-being aligns perfectly with my personal values and beliefs. I am thrilled to be joining a like-minded company committed to making millions of people healthier and happier.”

In her most recent role as vice president of PharmaCare U.S., Weld successfully grew the heritage brand Real Health and such international brands as Bioglan Kids Smart and Promensil. She oversaw the relaunch of Sambucol Black Elderberry, making it the fastest-growing brand in its category across the food, drug, mass and value segments, with annual retail sales of more than $24 million and a year-over-year growth rate of 50%.

Weld spent the early part of her career in new product development, where she gleaned an understanding of the market trends, product sourcing and quality manufacturing required for long-term product viability. Subsequent positions expanded her knowledge of the extensive regulatory requirements for production, as well as Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act compliance, with exposure to the differences between the U.S. and other international markets.

Leveraging this expertise, Weld launched numerous nutritional supplements into the U.S. market for various direct-to-consumer, multilevel marketing and multinational CPG firms in her role as vice president of business development for Natural Alternatives International.

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Living Essentials re-ups 5-hour Energy MLB sponsorship

BY Michael Johnsen

Living Essentials on Monday announced the second year of the company’s deal with Major League Baseball, and the introduction of the Extra Strength Cherry flavored 5-hour Energy shot bottle featuring the iconic MLB silhouetted batter. An exciting new element to the program is a sweepstakes where the winner will receive a trip for two to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

“We’re excited to offer our fans a sweepstakes to attend these truly special MLB events,” Melissa Skabich, Living Essentials’ communications director, said.

In addition, a 5-hour Energy commercial once again features World Series Champion and American League MVP Jose Altuve. The commercial aired on television and online around Opening Day and will continue throughout the baseball season.

Individuals may enter for a chance to win by submitting a receipt showing the purchase of any variety 5-hour Energy product or without purchase by mail, and may enter up to 50 times.

Living Essentials operates out of Farmington Hills, Mich.

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