HEALTH

AirWare’s Brez nasal breathing aids now available at Rite Aid, independent pharmacies

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. AirWare on Wednesday announced the availability of its Brez nasal breathing aids, a device that fits inside the nose that reduces snoring and improves sleep quality, nationally through Rite Aid.

Brez, available in three sizes, inserts easily into the nose and gently lifts, expands and supports the interior walls of the nasal passages to reduce the resistance of airflow. Brez has been reviewed and categorized as a Class I exempted medical device, based on Food and Drug Administration definitions, for marketing as an over-the-counter treatment to help relieve symptoms for multiple conditions related to impaired breathing, such as snoring, congestion due to the common cold or allergies and deviated septum.

In addition to Rite Aid, the product is available at several independent pharmacies nationwide.

“We’re pleased to begin our product launch with Rite Aid and independent pharmacies as our partners.” stated Mindi Osborn, AirWare president and CEO. “Brez is different than anything else on the market today because it effectively conforms to the user’s anatomy to provide a proactive, non-pharmacological solution to snoring.”

Data from an independent clinical study involving 26 snorers (12 men and 14 women) with snoring (non-apneic) bed partners showed that those who used Brez experienced a 52% decrease in snoring events from an average of 1,247 to 654. Snorers who used the device had only a 22.4% likelihood of persistent snoring and disturbing their bed partner’s sleep compared with their pre-treatment scores of 100%.

“I am impressed by the independent clinical data showing Brez usage resulted in a significant reduction of more than 50% of snoring events. Equally interesting, 88% of bed partners reported improved sleep quality when the product was used by the snorer,” stated George Gwinn, clinical investigator for PsyPharma Global, and allergy and pulmonary specialist. “Each day, pharmacists nationwide serve as front-line healthcare providers to help consumers deal with issues such as snoring. Based on these data, it appears that Brez may be an innovative solution that pharmacists can recommend.”

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Matrixx Initiatives reports this year’s cough/cold/flu season is tracking lower than last year’s

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. This year’s cough/cold/flu season is tracking below even last year’s historically low levels, Matrixx Iniatives reported Monday, though retailers may be in a better position across their respective supply chains this year compared with last.

“For the 12 weeks ended Dec. 28, retail unit sales (three-outlet syndicated scanner data, not including Walmart or club stores) of Zicam products decreased approximately 3%, while the total cough/cold category declined approximately 1% compared to last year,” stated Bill Hemelt, acting president and COO, Matrixx. “While we are disappointed with the slow start to the season, we believe that, unlike last year, certain retailers did not enter the season in an over-stock position and are managing their buying to match increasing retail sales,” he said.

“We anticipate continued sales growth for our proprietary swab delivery products and have moved forward with building a second swab manufacturing machine to come on line in early fall 2009 to meet increasing consumer demand for our swab products,” Hemelt added.

For the third quarter ended Dec. 31, Matrixx reported a revenue increase of 26% to $38.7 million. “The 26% increase in fiscal third-quarter sales was driven by higher sales of Cold Remedy swabs and our new Allergy swab product, price increases implemented prior to the start of the current cold season and lower product return charges incurred compared with last year,” Hemelt said.

“As discussed previously, we had planned our marketing program to better coincide with the incidence of colds, and shifted approximately $3 million in spending from the third quarter to the fourth quarter,” Hemelt added. “The reduced marketing spending in the third quarter was the principal reason operating expense decreased as compared with last year.”

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McNeil announces availability of Children’s Zyrtec Allergy Bubble Gum Syrup

BY Michael Johnsen

FT. WASHINGTON, Pa. McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Tuesday announced the availability of Children’s Zyrtec Allergy Bubble Gum Syrup, a new sugar-free, dye-free bubble-gum-flavor product used to treat upper respiratory allergies in children aged 2 years and older.

“The new sugar-free, dye-free children’s allergy product offers the allergy relief of Zyrtec that parents have relied on for years, but without the addition of corn syrup or food dyes,” stated Rohinish Hooda, VP marketing, upper respiratory, McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

The new formulation received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in August 2008 to treat indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms for 24 hours.

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