GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers have gotten used to seeing shelf cards in place of full product packages in certain categories of products, such as cold and flu, when either price or ingredients are deemed an issue for the store. Now, in an effort to offer consumers a different type of probiotic, one that is up to 10 times more potent than the average probiotic Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, distributor of VSL#3® (www.vsl3.com), is introducing shelf cards for its VSL#3 line of live bacterial probiotics. 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 (UC) in adults, in the probiotic aisle, where many consumers go first when looking for an over-the-counter product.
Unlike most other commercially-available probiotics, VSL#3 is a potent proprietary formulation of eight strains of live lactic acid bacteria. Because it needs refrigeration, Sigma-Tau has, up until recently, relied mainly on physicians who recommend it and send patients to the pharmacy to find it. "Often times 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," explains Mary Ocnean, group product director, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "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."
Ocnean continues, "Creating a positive experience for the consumer at the pharmacy shelf is one of our top priorities. 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." Select pharmacies nationwide have already begun to rollout the VSL#3 branded shelf cards and will continue through 2014.
Another effort to grow awareness of VSL#3 amongst consumers is the brand's new Facebook page to be launched in 2014. According to Ocnean, "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. It's a great way for us to share with consumers what is going on with the brand."
All forms of VSL#3® are medical foods and must be used under medical supervision. VSL#3 is manufactured by Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and all forms are available behind the pharmacy counter at independent pharmacies, drug stores and mass market retailers nationwide and at www.vsl3.com. There are four formulations of
VSL#3 Double Strength - the most potent at 900 billion bacteria per packet, is available by prescription
VSL#3 Regular powder packets containing 450 billion bacteria (SRP: $87.72),
VSL#3 JUNIOR containing 225 billion bacteria (SRP: $54.78) and
VSL#3 capsules containing 112.5 billion bacteria (SRP: $53.00). Each proprietary formulation requires refrigeration to preserve its potency of live bacteria. Consumers can visit www.vsl3.com for more product information, to purchase the product online or for a collection of FODMAP/IBS friendly recipes.
SOURCE Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals