adent, a division of Unilever Home & Personal Care USA here, has introduced a new toothbrush with a flexible handle that's designed to discourage strenuous brushing while still allowing users to clean teeth and gums thoroughly.
The Mentadent ProCare brush has a grooved rubber handle that bends, which alleviates pressure on gums during brushing. (Citing an independent national survey, the company claims that 22% of dentists believe their patients brush too hard.) ProCare, which began shipping to stores earlier this year, comes in adult and youth sizes; in purple, green, red or blue colors; and with soft, extra-soft or medium bristles. The suggested retail price is between $2.79 and $2.99.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Jamark Laboratories here, as part of an exclusive licensing agreement with a local hospital, has made available to stores Ferguson Formula 361, a hemorrhoidal ointment previously available only by prescription from doctors at the hospital.
The ointment, developed in 1927 by physicians at what is now the Blodgett Memorial Medical Center, is "probably the best-kept secret in the colon-rectal industry," said James Kaiser, Jamark's president. The company's suggested retail price for a 2-ounce tube is $9.95, with a portion of all sales donated to the Ferguson-Blodgett Foundation for colon-rectal research.
OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Osco Drug here will be administering free screenings for diabetes tomorrow, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., in 97 stores in the Chicago area, including Jewel-Osco food-drug combination stores.
Osco, a division of American Stores, Salt Lake City, is staging the event as part of the American Diabetes Association's American Diabetes Alert Day. Helping Osco to perform the screenings will be nurses from the Mollen Clinic, a local medical center. Participating sponsors include Medisense, a manufacturer of monitors and test strips, and Becton Dickinson.
"Jewel-Osco is committed to providing this valuable service to our customers," said Greg Josefowicz, chief executive officer. "It is consistent with Osco's mission of offering services that cater to the health and well-being of the communities that we serve."
PHILADELPHIA -- SmithKline Beecham here recorded pretax earnings of $2.7 billion, or 32.3 cents per ordinary share, in 1997, a 12% rise from 1996 pretax earnings of $2.4 billion, or 29.5 cents per ordinary share, according to an unaudited account released by the company. Total sales in 1997 were $12.8 billion, compared with sales of $12.4 billion the year prior.
For the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, SKB had pretax earnings of $817 million, or 9.5 cents per ordinary share, on sales of $3.6 billion, compared with pretax earnings of $711 million, or 8.7 cents per ordinary share, on sales of $3.5 billion in the comparable 1996 period.
The company's consumer-health division had an operating profit of $653 million on sales of $3.9 billion in 1997, a 13% increase from an operating profit of $580 million on sales of $3.6 billion the year before. The division's fourth-quarter operating profit grew by 8%, to $221 million, from $204 million in the fourth quarter of 1996. Consumer-health sales were $1.1 billion for the quarter, compared with $1 billion the year before.
"Consumer-health care benefited from the globalization of our oral-care franchise, led by the outstanding progress of our Aquafresh brand," said Jan Leschly, chief executive officer. "In the United States, the smoking-cessation products -- Nicorette gum and the NicoDerm CQ patch -- maintained their position as the leading products in their class by far."