“This is a story about why you became … who you are,” a friendly woman’s voice says in the new TV ads for 23andMe genetic tests, explaining further that results offer “unique insights into your health, traits and ancestry”. It was rather surprising to hear my 16 year-old son say that he might want to try it someday.
In addition to learning where his great great great great grandfather came from, which is interesting to him now, some day my son will be able to learn about his genetic traits in the same way as his caffeine consumption, deep sleep, lactose intolerance, muscle composition and saturated fat and weight. But more importantly, many many many years from now, when he wants to be a father, he will know if he carries genes linked to conditions like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and hereditary hearing loss (probably not the same condition as the selective hearing loss that happens when it’s time to take out the trash).
Currently available through e-commerce, 23andMe is ready for retail and was promoted with a dominant display at last week’s Total Store Expo, held by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, in Boston.
Personalised medicine is bring developed to give patients the best possible treatment outcomes in a clinical setting – but 23andMe in CVS or Walgreens is bringing DNA testing to the masses, intriguing even a 16 year old…
OTCs are in Action this week in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado, where the National Association of Drug Stores is convening its Total Store Expo. Sunday morning, NACDS Chairman of the Board, Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of the Hy-Vee pharmacy chain, told the story of how he always researches his illnesses and how to treat them, so when he went to the doctor, she joked, “Why do you come here?” He replied, “I can’t write a prescription”.
Products to help consumers take charge of their health are everywhere at this trade show. National Pharma’s Naramin (diphenhydramine) in pre-filled single-dose “whistle” dispensers; TempTraq (Blue Spark Technologies), a single-use, wireless, wearable thermometer patch for kids; and Go Drive with Energy! (Fusion Biotech) dietary supplement specifically formulated for drowsy drivers, are among the many new products promoted.
These products are not exactly the game-changers industry might expect from an Rx-to-OTC switch, for example. However, they are true OTCs in the sense that they solve real problems with practical applications for self-treatment. Naramin allergy treatments are fun and portable for on-the-go families; TempTraq makes temperature monitoring easier for parents, and Go Drive with Energy! targets tired drivers with a unique product. Maybe they will have a Go Write with Energy! launch next year for journalists worn out from hours of walking the show floor.