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Nutr Rev. 2005 Dec;63(12 Pt 2):S146-51.

Industry experience in promoting weekly iron-folic acid supplementation in the Philippines.

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United Laboratories, Inc., Manila, Philippines.


After participating in a pilot project under a government-industry partnership to promote the adoption of weekly iron-folic acid supplementation among women of reproductive age in the Philippines in 1998, United Laboratories (UNILAB), the Philippines' largest private pharmaceutical company, decided in April 2002 to launch a weekly iron-folic acid supplement for pregnant and non-pregnant women under the brand name Femina. The business objective set for the Femina brand was to build the category of preventive iron-folic acid supplements in line with the Philippine Department of Health's advocacy on weekly supplementation as an alternate to daily dosing to reduce the prevalence of anemia in the country. The brand was supported with an integrated mix of traditional advertising media with complementary direct-to-consumer educational programs that aimed to create awareness of iron-deficiency anemia, its causes and effects, and the role of weekly intake of iron-folic acid in preventing the condition. Aggressive marketing support for 1 year was successful in creating awareness among the target women. Significant lessons derived from consumers identified opportunity areas that can be further addressed in developing advocacy programs on weekly iron supplementation implemented on a nationwide scale in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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