REX Awards 2019: OTC

Consumers make it pretty clear what they expect from OTC products. It all comes down to four factors: accessibility, affordability, trust and empowerment. Offer them, and back it up with some strong marketing, and there is a good chance that they will at least experiment with your brand.

According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, consumers are relying on OTCs more than ever. The Washington, D.C.-based trade group’s research shows more than three-quarters of adults look to OTC products as their first choice to deal with minor ailments. Parents are among the most likely to turn to OTC medicines to treat their children’s minor ailments before seeking professional care. The most common healthcare concerns consumers seek out OTCs for include issues related to cough/cold/sinus, digestion, allergies, and minor aches and pains.

This month, Drug Store News recognizes the movers and shakers of the OTC world with our Retail Excellence, or REX, Awards. The winning companies were selected for their dedication to protecting and supporting consumer health. These are companies that have raised the bar higher each year in regard to innovation.

The REX Awards 2019 OTC award recipients are:

ADM Protexin
For more than 20 years, ADM Protexin has been producing probiotic products under its Bio-Kult label. Alexa Wood, brand manager, said ADM Protexin’s innovation and leadership in the market comes from developing its own research-based probiotic strains. To date, the company has developed 14 probiotic strains, all of which are proven to survive the acidity of stomach acid.

Compared with similar items on the market, the Miami-based company’s products contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; are non-GMO; free of gluten, egg and nuts; and have a guaranteed two-year shelf life. ADM Protexin’s products also do not need to be refrigerated.

“We are focused on ensuring we are always at the forefront of the latest science, which includes in-vitro, early-stage development, concept exploration and human clinical trials,” Wood said. “Our Bio-Kult probiotics are manufactured at our state-of-the-art facility in Somerset, South West United Kingdom, designed specifically for probiotic research, development and production.”

This year, the company will be introducing its Bio-Kult Migréa, an advanced combination product that targets both the digestive tract and the head. According to Wood, this new product combines 14 probiotic strains, plus magnesium and vitamin B-6, both of which contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Aubio Life Sciences
Rachel Wagner, CEO and managing director of Aubio Life Sciences, said when it came to developing the company’s skin care line, the focus was on developing products that featured quality ingredients. It also was important to the company that its formulations would make a difference in people’s lives.

From this mission, Aubio Life Sciences has created its Cold Sore Treatment Gel. Offered in a 3-gram tube, it features lidocaine, allantoin and botanicals. Aubio also offers a Hydrating Lip Balm with sunscreen.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company has partnered with U.S. Ski & Snowboard as their official cold sore treatment provider, as well as the Association of Volleyball Professionals. “We believe harsh weather conditions go hand in hand with the triggers of cold sores,” Wagner said. “Our products are ideal for those leading active and healthy lifestyles.”

Aubio has commissioned a study to review its products’ benefits. The results will be published later this year. Wagner said the study’s preliminary findings support what Aubio officials knew all along — its cold sore products contain antiviral and repair properties.

Avadim Health
Avadim Health is a life sciences company committed to identifying therapeutic gaps in care and filling them with evidence-based, clinically proven solutions. The company’s first innovation, Theraworx Relief, was created to topically address muscle cramps and spasms associated with restless leg syndrome, and officials said approximately 50,000 new patients are started on the product each week.

Ralph Lombardo, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Asheville, N.C.-based company, said Avadim Health is focused on delivering clinically proven, published and peer-reviewed topical solutions so that consumers, especially seniors, have something they could use affordably without worrying about it interacting with the drugs they take or causing the typical side effects often seen with oral systemic medications.

Avadim Health will launch two new topical innovations in 2019 — one that addresses joint discomfort and inflammation and another for post-menopausal chronic urinary tract infections.“Our highest priority is to bring our retail partners proven and research-based solutions that work,” Lombardo said. “Our academic teaching institutional partners have had tremendous impact on our brands and enable us to publish results.”

The company is working on topical products to address symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and ionizing radiation-induced skin damage for the millions of patients undergoing chemo and radiation therapy.

Bausch + Lomb
Founded in 1853 by J.J. Bausch and Henry Lomb, Bausch + Lomb is the largest global provider of eye health products. After more than 165 years, the company’s mission of “helping people see better to live better” continues as it links the innovation, quality and craftsmanship with the passion and collaborative spirit of its employees.

This focus and drive allowed the Bridgewater, N.J.-based company to earn the status of the fastest growing consumer healthcare business for six consecutive years and be the top driver of growth within the OTC eye care category.

In 2018, Bausch + Lomb brought to market several products designed to help care for patients’ eyes in today’s digital age and support their evolving eye health needs as they age. These products include Lumify redness reliever eye drops, the first and only OTC eye drops containing low-dose brimonidine tartrate developed for the reduction of eye redness, and Soothe Xtra Protection Preservative Free lubricant eye drops, a preservative-free formula to help with dry eye symptoms. Bausch + Lomb also introduced Ocuvite Blue Light eye vitamins and PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula Chewable eye vitamins.

“As a fully integrated U.S. eye care business, Bausch + Lomb is solely dedicated to protecting and supporting the eye health of millions of people around the world,” said Joe Gordon, the company’s president. “We remain relentlessly focused on inventing new materials and engineering new technologies that meet the changing needs of patients.”

Founded in France in 1932 by twin brothers and pharmacists Jean and Henri Boiron, Boiron’s founders saw an opportunity to answer a growing demand for reliable homeopathic products. Headquartered in Lyon, the company continues as an independent pharmaceutical laboratory operated by the Boiron family.

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