Expert Q&A: Innovacyn's Troy Simmons  10/7/2015

Over the last few years the diabetes category has shown vast growth as suppliers continue to develop innovative solutions while retailers branch outside of the traditional product scope in an effort to turn their stores into destinations that service many of their diabetic shoppers’ product needs.

The following Q&A by Troy Simmons of Innovacyn, describes his unique products along with where he sees the diabetes industry now and where it is headed in the future.

Please describe your company and product.
Innovacyn is a manufacturer of innovative wound care products for both humans and animals. The Vetericyn brand is the #1 brand for wound care in the animal industry. Puracyn, based on the same technology, is a leader in human wound care as well. These products are based on a stabilized hypochlorous acid, which was just deemed by leading wound care experts as the new standard of care for wound washes and wound bed prep products. Puracyn is the only company that makes and sells this new technology to both the hospital/doctor market and as an over-the-counter product through retail partners. The OTC product, Puracyn Plus Duo-Care, provides that continuum of care that is so critical to the these patients.

Describe your role with the company.
I am the Vice President Human OTC and International Business. I am responsible for the human OTC market and for all international product sales for both the animal and human markets. We are currently distributing and selling products in over 30 countries and plan to add several more by the end of the year.

Do you have any programs that support your products in the retail setting?
We have several programs that support our retailers. First is our national advertising and marketing campaigns that include national TV spots, print ads in major magazines, conferences, trade shows, exhibits, digital marketing, social media and other national programs. We also offer store personnel training and in-store merchandising programs.

What would you like to see retailers do to support the diabetic customer?
Chronic wound care, and by extension diabetes care, is growing which is creating a huge need in the market. There are 6.5 million chronic wounds and 29 million people in the US alone that suffer from diabetes. The 2nd thing a diabetic is taught, after monitoring and caring for their glucose and sugar levels, is wound care. But a diabetic has already tried all the products on the shelf and they don’t work well because of the complications of the disease. 

In addition, there are psychological issues that many diabetics deal with. Patients with diabetes constantly feel like they are failing, they are told what they are doing wrong by their doctors and nurses. There is still a stigma attached to diabetes because 90% of diabetics are Type II, and admitting to diabetes is tantamount to admitting lack of control, even when that is not always the case. So providing non-stigmatizing merchandising that makes patients feel good about themselves, as well as giving patients a little control back is very important but is not always seen through product assortments at retail.

I’d like to see retailers have a small section for “Chronic Wounds” or “Advanced Wound Care” or “Hard to Heal Wounds & Sores.” For example, a retailer could create a “total solution for hard to heal sores and wounds” section and significantly increase their sales while also providing a needed service to this growing market. I would also like to see these sections make it easier for a chronic wound patient to choose products and make purchases without feeling like there is a stigma attached.

As a supplier how do you capitalize on the fact that diabetic patients are in the stores more often and are typically spending more money?
We need to make sure that our products are properly explained and merchandised effectively. The retailer must also sufficiently think through their strategies around how to attract and cater to those customers

Where do you see the diabetes category going in the next 5 years?
Only getting larger. In 2014, there were 29 million in the US that have diabetes. 27% of all people in the US, over the age of 65 have diabetes. These numbers are growing steadily.

Describe your experience attending ECRM events.
The value of ECRM’s format can’t be overstated. There is no way to meet so many of these key buyers in such a short period of time. If I tried to do this individually, and assuming I could even get the appointments, it would take me 6 months and lots of travel. The one thing I really enjoyed is that both the vendors and the buyers were there for the same reasons and that made for so much more open dialogue and genuine interest. In addition, the helpfulness of the ECRM staff is unmatched! There was always someone from ECRM there to help and make sure that everything was going ok. They kept the meetings running smoothly and on time – and that is a hard thing to do at these types of events. There is real value in ECRM’s Connect app. Everything is in one place and makes planning and then follow up so much easier. Well done!

Troy is VP of Human OTC & International Business for Innovacyn, and can be reached at

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