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Pharmavite has acquired Uqora, a leading urinary tract health brand, signaling its continued commitment to the women's health space.
Pharmavite (West Hills, CA), the makers of Nature Made vitamins and supplements, has acquired Uqora (San Diego, CA), a leading urinary tract health brand. The acquisition is part of Pharmavite’s ongoing commitment to provide innovative, science-based solutions to the women’s health market. Urinary tract health is particularly relevant to the women’s health space because women are disproportionately impacted by urinary tract infections (UTIs). While Nature Made does offer products to women such as prenatal vitamins and multivitamins for women at different life stages, the Pharmavite’s commitment to dedicated women’s health solutions began in earnest with the launch of Equelle, a clinically validated dietary supplement for menopause symptom relief.
“We really see a huge need to address issues related to women’s health in the marketplace. It’s an underserved market historically, and there’s a lot of opportunity there,” says Jeff Boutelle, CEO of Pharmavite to Nutritional Outlook. “We are uniquely positioned at Pharmavite, with our commitment to quality, science, research, and our retail sales expertise to really make a difference in women’s health. Uqora was a no brainer for us, with their demonstrated expertise and unique business model to support urinary tract issues. It was a logical next step for us in terms of really developing this strong commitment we have to women’s health.”
“We’re thrilled to be a part of Pharmavite’s commitment to women’s health. I think that this is a really exciting industry shift and indicator of the fact that women’s health is getting the attention it deserves,” says Jenna Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Uqora. “At first you might think UTIs are a niche issue, but they are really not. UTIs are the second most common infection in the U.S., second only to the common cold. The fact that Pharmavite is excited about that mission too is really validating for the issue itself and women’s health.”
Uqora offers three supplements as part of its complete system designed to combat urinary tract health from multiple angles: Target, Control, and Promote. Target is a drink mix that flushes the urinary tract that can be used when needed after sex or exercise. Control is a daily supplement designed to strengthen the bladder wall and regularly cleanse biofilm. Promote is a probiotic formula designed to balance the vaginal microbiome. Uqora also offers an “Emergency Kit” that contains a testing kit to determine the presence of an infection, and two over-the-counter drugs called Combat and Soothe. Combat slows the infection until you can get to a doctor, and Soothe provides pain relief. Uqora is exclusively B2C and is primarily a subscription-based business.
“Outside of the product offering, we’re really proud of the community we’ve built around this topic,” says Ryan. “We’re super focused on sharing high quality information and research with our community. And we’re trying to build a place where our customers feel seen and heard and understood because the road to urinary health can be isolating.”
Ryan knows from personal experience. “Uqora was born out of personal need,” she explains. “In 2014, I had eight UTIs. I was discouraged and frustrated by my options and knew I couldn’t stay in that cycle, but I really didn’t know what good company I was in. I was really astounded to learn how many other women were struggling with that same issue. So that’s the experience that inspired me and my now husband [Spencer Gordon] to start Uqora.”
For the time being, not much will change at Uqora, with Ryan and Gordon still at the helm, but the acquisition does gives Uqora access to Pharmavite’s scientific, as well as research and development resources, creating a great deal of opportunity for innovation, says Boutelle. “The other thing is retail expansion. Right now, 100% of Uqora products are sold through their website, and one of the capabilities of Pharmavite is the Nature Made sales force. We’re got broad, deep reach, the leading sales force, I think, in the industry, and that will be a fantastic enabler to help bring Uqora to many many more women across the country when we expand into traditional retail and amazon,” he explains.
“Our goal has always been to get our products into the hands of everyone that needs them, and joining Pharmavite was really going to help us with that mission,” adds Ryan.
According to Boutelle, Pharmavite’s commitment to women’s health will continue with the creation of a women’s health business unit. Pharmavite, with Nature Made and MegaFood, has two major brands in its portfolio, but it is the firm’s goal to continue growing through diversification. The women’s health business unit is one step in that direction.
“The reason for putting this women’s health business unit together is to provide the identity, the resources, and the focus within Pharmavite, and really to signal our seriousness about women’s health both internally and externally as we move forward in that stage,” explains Boutelle.