AAFA: Allergy sufferers in for long, severe season
LANDOVER, Md. — Extreme weather patterns may contribute to a severe and long allergy season this spring, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The AAFA projects an increased potential for severe and prolonged allergy symptoms as spring arrives early, and as many regions of the country recover from severe storms and flooding.
"Severe weather patterns can bring higher temperatures, higher pollen levels and increased exposure to outdoor mold, resulting in spring allergies that can peak stronger and last longer," stated Bill Berger of the Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California. "Too often, people with seasonal allergies suffer silently while their symptoms worsen year after year."
Residents across the United States can expect more severe allergy conditions this year as an unusually wet winter and early warm temperatures lead to earlier tree pollination and higher levels of pollen and outdoor mold. Northern cities predicted to face a more challenging spring allergy season compared to one year ago include: Buffalo, N.Y., Springfield, Mass., Richmond, Va., Detroit and Toledo, Ohio.
"The severe allergy conditions expected in many cities across the country means more challenges for patients, and a need for powerful and effective treatment options for them to help manage their condition," noted Mike Tringale, VP external affairs at AAFA.
AAFA’s ranking of the "2013 Spring Allergy Capitals" found that nasal allergies are a problem nationwide, but especially in southern states. Overall, 15 of the top 25 cities on this year’s ranking are in the South. These findings are consistent with research showing that spring now arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago, bringing with it increased pollen counts.
Recent hurricanes, severe storms and tornadoes also can affect the severity of spring allergies. The increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions. Major urban areas and locations with significant construction also may see an increased risk for severe allergies, because pollen from weeds proliferates in places with development projects. Finally, ground-level ozone pollution can affect allergy symptoms.
For 2013, Jackson, Miss., claimed the top spot on AAFA’s Spring Allergy Capitals ranking, followed by Knoxville, Tenn. and Chattanooga, Tenn. Of note, three major cities, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas each climbed slightly higher in the top 25 compared with last year.
An interactive map of 100 cities, resources about diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, resources for physicians and more information on the study methodology are available at AllergyCapitals.com.
UrgentRx raises another round of capital to expedite national retail distribution
DENVER — UrgentRx on Tuesday announced that the company has closed an additional $2.5 million in Series B funding, led by current investors as well as attracting new capital. The additional funding brings the company’s total funding to date to more than $7 million.
“We’ve had tremendous success working closely with Duane Reade and other retailers to create game-changing merchandising systems that take advantage of unused space, turn heads and entice consumers to reach out and grab our products,” stated Jordan Eisenberg, president UrgentRx. “This additional funding will allow UrgentRx to accelerate efforts to reach consumers and support our retail partners as we expand into more and more markets.”
UrgentRx are flavored OTCs in a powder format that quickly dissolves on the tongue. "Additionally, [the packaging is] actually the size of a credit card, which we’ve patented, so you can stick it in your wallet and carry it with you at all times," Eisenberg recently told DSN in an exclusive podcast interview.
After raising $3 million in mid 2012, the company reopened the round due to accelerated momentum at retail. The additional funds will be primarily used to build inventory, produce innovative point-of-sale merchandising, and fund marketing for the national launch.
UrgentRx has expanded its retail presence into more than 2,500 stores nationwide, including Walgreens-owned Duane Reade, as well as several national retail chains. The company anticipates retail expansion to more than 20,000 to 25,000 locations by the end of the year.
The round was led by current investors JUMP Investors and Boulevard Capital Partners. New investors in the round include billionaires Sam Zell (Chicago financier and real estate developer), David Bonderman (founder of private equity giant Texas Pacific Group) and Herb Simon (real estate magnate and founder of Simon Properties), along with two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank.
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GSK Consumer Healthcare commends FDA nicotine replacement therapy proposals
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare today commended the proposals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after the administration announced recommendations to remove certain warning statements and modifications of the instructions for use of nicotine replacement therapy products.
According to the statement released by GSK Consumer Healthcare:
"As leaders in smoking cessation, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare commends the FDA on this action and believes this is a positive step to help more smokers quit and will work with the FDA to implement these changes to our product labeling as soon as possible. The changes help eliminate barriers for smokers and include updates to the warnings and directions sections in the current label."
"The FDA’s conclusions include:
There are no significant safety concerns associated with the concomitant use of NRT products with other nicotine containing products.
There are no significant safety risks associated with the use of NRT products for longer than the labeled 12 weeks of use.
Currently marketed NRT products do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence."
"FDA makes these recommendations based on extensive and reassuring safety and efficacy research on over-the-counter NRT, like Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ, which have helped millions of smokers around the world quit by gradually weaning them off of their tobacco addiction. NRT products have been studied in more than 110 clinical trials involving more than 40,000 participants demonstrating their safety and efficacy profile."