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Sigma-Tau rolls out shelf card for refrigerated probiotic
August 22nd, 2014
GAITHERSBURG, Md. – Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc. is introducing shelf cards for its VSL#3 line of live bacterial probiotics.
The company said Thursday that the new cards will position VSL#3, a high-potency probiotic medical food for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis in adults, in the probiotic aisle, where many consumers go first when seeking an over-the-counter product.
Sigma-Tau noted that, unlike most other commercially available probiotics, VSL#3 is a potent proprietary formulation of eight strains of live lactic acid bacteria and, because it needs refrigeration, the company has until recently relied mainly on doctors who recommend it and send patients to the pharmacy to find it.
"Oftentimes consumers who come looking for VSL#3 are unaware the product must be kept refrigerated and is behind the pharmacy counter. They first go to the probiotic shelf, where they are confronted with numerous brands of probiotics, and they are confused by all the different options and can't find VSL#3," explained Mary Ocnean, group product director at Sigma-Tau. "The introduction of pharmacy cards for VSL#3 will help overcome this hurdle and alleviate any disconnect between physicians recommending VSL#3 and the patients getting lost at the shelf when they don't see the product."
Select pharmacies across the country have started rolling out the VSL#3 branded shelf cards and will continue to do so through 2014, according to Sigma-Tau.
"Creating a positive experience for the consumer at the pharmacy shelf is one of our top priorities," Ocnean stated. "The introduction of the VSL#3 shelf card will help retailers provide consumers an opportunity to purchase what they intended to purchase and also help create awareness of a product some consumers didn't know about."
Also to help raise awareness of VSL#3, Sigma-Tau plans to launch a new Facebook page for the brand this year. "The new Facebook page will offer consumers an opportunity to connect with others interested in probiotics and IBS or ulcerative colitis, to get dietary and lifestyle tips from healthcare experts, including FODMAP/IBS friendly recipes and receive special offers and promotions," according to Ocnean. "It's a great way for us to share with consumers what is going on with the brand."