HEALTH

CADCA, CHPA honor SAFE with this year’s Dose of Prevention Award

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Thursday joined forces to honor Chesterfield, Va.-based Substance Abuse Free Environment with this year’s Dose of Prevention award. The award recognizes community-based organizations that have implemented successful initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and OTC cough medicine abuse.

"Prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse is a serious issue that is affecting communities across the country,” stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Thankfully, there are coalitions like SAFE that are implementing innovative strategies to educate their community and prevent medicine abuse — engaging parents, youth, prescribers, policymakers and other key sectors. That’s why we’re honored to recognize SAFE as our 2014 Dose of Prevention award winner.”

The abuse of medicines — both prescription and OTC products — continues to be a major problem throughout the country. After discovering that OTC cough medicine abuse in its area was at levels significantly higher than the national average, SAFE disseminated educational materials to nearly 8,000 parents in their school district and educated their community about the dangers of abusing cough medicines containing dextromethorphan through community forums and health fairs.

The group also addressed prescription drug abuse by conducting prescriber education trainings for physicians and other healthcare providers and held prescription drug take-back day events.

“SAFE’s efforts show how local coalitions drive awareness and reduce abuse, and we applaud their efforts to educate their community and give parents and other community stakeholders the tools they need to fight this problem," commented CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville.

According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, 4% of teens have abused OTC cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year. Teens report getting many of these medicines from home medicine cabinets and mistakenly believe that abusing them is “safer” than other drugs. CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s StopMedicineAbuse.org campaign educating teens and parents of teens about the dangers of OTC cough medicine abuse.

The group received its award Thursday during CADCA’s 24rd Annual National Leadership Forum at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, attracting more than 2,500 community and state leaders from across the country.

 

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Prestige: Cough-cold category down 15%

BY Michael Johnsen

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Cough-cold suppliers are presently operating in a challenging environment, noted Matthew Mannelly, Prestige Brands CEO, president and director, during a conference call Thursday. The return of Tylenol to the cough-cold aisle and the accompanying media splash from McNeil Consumer isn’t the only competitive factor impacting the cough-cold category, Mannelly said. The season is down more than 15% versus last year. And that lack of consumption, coupled with an overall soft retail environment, is forcing retailers to significantly cut back on inventories. 

"While we had a record cough-cold season last year and we didn’t anticipate to repeat that, we didn’t anticipate cough-cold would be down as much as it’s been down this year," Mannelly said. "When you take those three factors and combine them, that in aggregate, that’s what’s had a significant impact on our business."

The most significant challenge is the retailer inventory reductions, Mannelly noted. "We heard retailers talk about this three or four months ago, and it was really in November, late November and in December that we really saw it come to fruition as a result of what’s going on at retail. … The one that’s driving [category challenges] the greatest is the inventory reductions, which is something that really has just started in the last 60 days," he said. 

"From a cough-cold standpoint, if you recall, last year cough-cold really ranged from mid-December up until the beginning of February. I think at this point, if you look at retailers and other manufacturers, the season is not panning out," Mannelly noted. "Candidly, I think the retailers are not reordering and are now gearing up for the allergy season in anticipation of that."

 

 

 

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West Virginia considering making PSE prescription-only

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia took one step closer to making pseudoephedrine products prescription-only, as the state’s Senate Committee on Health voted Tuesday to move ahead with the proposal, according to an Associated Press report

According to the report, the bill would allow an exception for certain over-the-counter drugs that are deemed "tamper resistant" by the Board of Pharmacy.

The measure is opposed by the West Virginia Retailers Association.

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