Pharmaco signs regional deal with ConfiTEX
31st July 2015
Pharmaco signs regional deal with ConfiTEX to market hi-tech absorbent incontinence underwear
An Australasian marketing deal has been signed between Pharmaco Ltd and ConfiTEX, the creators of the world’s first fashionable absorbent underwear for women and men with incontinence.
The agreement comes a few months after the online launch of the ConfiTEX range that uses a patented textile technology that is highly absorbent, breathable and washable but also looks like normal underwear.
Innovative and stylish, close fitting and comfortable, the underwear can manage up to 135ml of fluid at any one time during the day to give anyone with involuntary bladder leakage confidence to carry on with their daily activities.
Almost one million New Zealand women and men experience incontinence. In Australia the figure is around 4.5m and in the USA 115m. Globally, it affects around 200 million people every day.
As a result, the global market for incontinence products is estimated at NZ$16bn and is growing by five per cent per year, mainly because of ageing demographics. In Australasia the market is worth between NZ$400-500m.
As a world first, ConfiTEX has already had international interest from countries including the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Pakistan and the UAE.
Chandra Selvadurai, Chief Executive of Pharmaco says ConfiTEX is a fantastic example of Kiwi innovation that is set to disrupt its category by improving people’s lives through innovation and design:
“Up until now incontinence products have been functional, uncomfortable and ugly, and do nothing to boost the wearer’s confidence and self-esteem,” he says.
“These new innovative products from ConfiTEX tick all the boxes: they are incredibly effective because of the technology in the fabric and its capacity to absorb, but they are also stylish and people will want to wear them.”
“Pharmaco is a Kiwi company so we are delighted to be working with another to grow its business across New Zealand and Australia,” he says.
The ConfiTEX range will be marketed through Pharmaco’s sales network targeting retail pharmacies, GPs, clinicians and healthcare professionals, DHBs and rest-homes.
The products will also be on the catwalk at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week and displayed at a number of relevant medical conferences.
Women make up 75 per cent of the total number of people who experience incontinence. It can start as early as in their 20s and 30s after child birth and can also result later in life during menopause. Forty per cent of women aged 33-44 years and 50 per cent aged 45-59 years have experienced incontinence. For men it can result from prostate issues and in New Zealand affects around 47,000 men over 50 years of age.
The ConfiTEX range includes products for different levels of involuntary bladder leakage. For men there is range of sporty boxers.
The innovative fabrics and textiles used are waterproof and machine washable, and work by absorbing leaked urine away from the skin using the body’s heat, which then dries, with odour being suppressed by the bamboo-based material.
Mark Davey, one of the founders says the balance between functionality and design has always been top of mind:
“First and foremost, ConfiTEX addresses a medical issue by creating a functional product that people want to wear and have confidence in, thanks to the innovative material we have developed.”
“Finding a marketing partner that understands the medical market, as well as innovation, was fundamental to our future success and this is why we’ve partnered with Pharmaco in this part of the world,” he says.
Research shows that adults who have to manage bladder leakage don’t want to wear products that look and feel like nappies, because it’s demeaning. But they do need to wear protection because leakage can be caused by normal everyday activities like walking, laughing, sneezing or playing with children, and can even be caused by stress.
People with incontinence often manage it by drastically changing their behaviour and sadly, some won’t even leave home. It can also lead to depression and can impact families, groups of friends and communities.
Managing incontinence can also be expensive. People with moderate bladder leakage can use as many as six pads or nappies a day. This can be replaced by using a pair of ConfiTEX absorbent underwear.
ConfiTEX products also have environmental benefits. They are reusable and washable, and its natural based material biodegrades within 10 years, compared to the plastics in nappies and pads that are discarded after use, clog limited landfill space and take up to 500 years to degrade.