On April 22, Idaho-based supplement manufacturer Thorne Research announced a joint venture with Integrated Health Resources to develop a health and wellness web portal. The site, to be called Health Elements, will provide medical information, Thorne products and resources for integrative clinicians. Health Elements also provides practitioner training and management tools, as well as details on wellness programs, designed to foster greater patient adherence to supplement regimens. Patients are also provided resources on disease management information and wellness education.
Thorne, a hypoallergenic manufacturer that sells exclusively through healthcare practitioners and pharmacies, was sold by its founder and longtime-CEO Al Czap to biotech company Diversified Natural Products (DNP) in June 2010.The new management team includes CEO Paul Jacobson, former CEO of DNP; COO Tom McKenna, formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb; Will McCamy, founder and president of Xymogen, Thorne’s new president and head of sales and marketing; and Dr. Robert Rountree, industry expert, who is the company’s chief medical officer.
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Thorne, under Czap—well-known for his bullheaded dedication to product quality—had built a strong footing in the practitioner supplement channel, despite a notable lack of marketing spend. The creation of Health Elements is the first notable development for the company under Jacobson’s leadership, and should foment greater interaction between integrative practitioners and their patients, with Thorne in the middle. Similar online programs, like E-Link from supplement distributor Emerson Ecologics, have already begun to flourish in the practitioner supplement space
Pure products with no fillers had long been the sole focus of Thorne, to the extent that the supplements had to sell themselves. Now, with financial backing from DNP, the quality control method built by Czap can finally get some increased air time. And Health Elements may help Thorne wrangle that most elusive and potentially lucrative practitioner niche, traditional MDs.
Nutrition Business Journal will provide a complete profile of Thorne for its upcoming May Practitioner & Direct Sales issue. The profile will explore the two sides of the company: its history under founder Al Czap, and its new direction under current CEO Paul Jacobson. To order a copy or become a subscriber, please visit the NBJ subscription page.