Blacksmith Brands acquires five McNeil OTC brands, inks deal with The Emerson Group
NEW YORK Blacksmith Brands on Friday announced that it had completed its acquisition of five over-the-counter consumer brands from McNeil, including Efferdent denture cleaner, Effergrip denture adhesive cream, Luden’s throat drops, Pediacare children’s cough-and-cold medicine and Gentle Vapors waterless vaporizer, and Nasalcrom, a nasal allergy relief spray.
Concurrent with this acquisition, Blacksmith Brands has announced a key business and equity partnership with The Emerson Group. The Emerson Group, a sales and marketing company located in Wayne, Pa., will provide sales and sales management services.
“We are pleased and proud to have The Emerson Group as our partner not only in the operation of our business, but as an equity partner in our new company,” stated Peter Mann, Blacksmith CEO. “We believe that the Emerson Group will be a key catalyst in our plans to grow Blacksmith Brands into a major consumer products company.
Bayer Consumer Care introduces Citracal with heart-health formula
MORRISTOWN, N.J. Bayer Consumer Care on Wednesday announced the introduction of Citracal calcium plus heart health as one of the first calcium supplements that helps support both bone and heart health.
The new formulation contains 1,260-mg of calcium per daily dose, more than any other leading brand, and has advanced levels of vitamin D to support calcium absorption. It also contains phytosterols, a natural plant ingredient that may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, the company stated.
“Calcium and vitamin D are critical for bone health, yet most women aren’t always getting enough of these important nutrients,” stated Julie Upton, Bayer spokeswoman. “I’m excited that women now have a new option that helps ensure they get enough calcium and vitamin D, as well as natural plant sterols, which may help to reduce their risk of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women.”
“We strive to continue to develop new and innovative products to meet our consumers’ changing concerns,” stated Angela Vann, senior brand manager – Citracal. “Women need to attend to bone and heart health daily, and this product conveniently allows them to address both of these important health issues at the same time.”
CDC: 48 states report widespread flu activity
ATLANTA The H1N1 influenza pandemic was in full swing as of the week ended Oct. 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 48 states reported widespread influenza activity, which means heightened influenza activity was reported in more than half of each state’s regions. The other two states, Hawaii and South Carolina, reported regional activity, which means more than one but less than half of that state’s regions reported heightened activity.
Deaths among children as a result of the H1N1 pandemic are also significantly higher this year as compared to seasons past. Twenty-two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC between Aug. 23 and Oct. 24. Nineteen of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and three were associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype is undetermined.
Since Aug. 30, CDC has received 74 reports of influenza-associated pediatric deaths that occurred during the current influenza season (nine deaths in children less than 2 years old, nine deaths in children 2 to 4 years old, 27 deaths in children 5 to 11 years old and 29 deaths in individuals 12 to 17 years old). Sixty-five of the 74 deaths were due to 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infections, and the remaining nine were associated with influenza A virus for which the subtype is undetermined. A total of 114 deaths in children associated with 2009 H1N1 virus have been reported to CDC.
For comparison, seasonal flu was identified as the cause of death in 78 and 88 children, respectively, during the corresponding 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 seasons. As many as 117 deaths were reported last season, in part because of the spike of H1N1 illness late in the season.
Nationwide, 8% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network were due to influenza-like illness. This percentage is above the national baseline of 2.3%.
On a regional level, the percentage of outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 4.7% to 12%, and increased in 6-of-the-10 surveillance regions compared with the previous week. All 10 regions reported a proportion of outpatient visits for ILI above their region-specific baseline levels.