HEALTH

Cardinal Health enhances generic sourcing in blockbuster deal

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio – Cardinal Health on Friday announced plans to acquire The Harvard Drug Group,  a distributor of generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and related products to retail, institutional and alternate care customers, in a deal worth $1.1 billion. 
 
The deal on the outset enhances Cardinal's generic pharmaceutical distribution business. In addition, the acquisition of The Harvard Drug Group gives Cardinal a broader portfolio of OTC products and expands Cardinal Health's existing telesales programs, the wholesaler stated. 
 
"The Harvard Drug Group aligns perfectly with our commitment to provide the most comprehensive line of pharmaceutical products for the broadest range of customers," stated George Barrett, chairman and CEO Cardinal Health. "This acquisition enhances our ability to support retail and institutional customers and further utilizes Red Oak, our joint venture with CVS Health to source generics."  
 
Headquartered in Livonia, Mich., The Harvard Drug Group had revenues of approximately $450 million in 2014. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of fiscal year 2016 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
 
The Harvard Drug Group is currently owned by Court Square Capital Partners.  
 
 
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First FDA, now FTC to review homeopathics

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop here on Sept. 21 to examine advertising for over-the-counter homeopathic products, the agency announced earlier this week.
 
“During the last few decades, the homeopathic drug industry in the United States has grown considerably from a multimillion-dollar to a multibillion-dollar market,” the agency stated. “In that time, the homeopathic drug market has shifted from one based primarily on formulations prescribed for an individual user to mass-market formulations widely advertised and sold nationwide in major retail stores. Because of rapid growth in the marketing and consumer use of homeopathic products, the FTC is hosting a workshop to evaluate the advertising for such products.”
 
According to FTC blogger Lesley Fair, the agenda is still in the works, but here are some of the subjects under consideration:
  • The science behind homeopathy;
  • How the market has changed and how homeopathic products are advertised;
  • What consumers understand about homeopathy; and
  • How established FTC truth-in-advertising principles apply.
The FTC announcement of its review of advertising homeopathic products comes one month after the Food and Drug Administration held a two-day hearing to review the appropriate regulatory policy for homeopathic medicines. 
 
At the hearing, the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists told FDA that the agency’s regulatory policy for homeopathic medicines has worked effectively for the last 25 years to protect the public health and provide consumer access to safe homeopathic medicines.
 
“We are confident that the majority of homeopathic drug products in the market are manufactured and labeled in substantial compliance with the Compliance Policy Guide and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, ensuring consumers have access to safe and clearly identified homeopathic products to choose from for their healthcare needs,” stated Mark Land, president AAHP, in a release after the hearing
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McNeil Consumer partners with Food Network’s Ted Allen on Pepcid promo

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday launched the Pepcid Tastemakers Restaurant Week campaign, teaming up with Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped and All-Star Academy, to tap into every foodie's craving to explore local dining hotspots.
 
“I'm excited to join the Pepcid brand on its journey to empower foodies in their pursuit and discovery of new tastes,” Allen said. “Whether trying new restaurants or tasting dishes on-set, I keep Pepcid products on-hand because they act fast and last, taste great, and prevent my heartburn from getting in the way of enjoying a variety of bold flavors.”
 
“Being ahead of food trends is in the Pepcid brand's DNA,” said Jennifer Cullen, director of marketing at McNeil Consumer Healthcare. “We've designed the Pepcid Tastemakers Restaurant Week campaign in partnership with the country's greatest tastemaker influencers to aid food enthusiasts everywhere in their celebration of bold flavors, without the pain of heartburn.”  
 
As part of Pepcid Tastemakers Restaurant Week, the Pepcid brand and Ted Allen will host exclusive dining events in two of the country's top culinary cities.  At each event, noteworthy chefs will be coming together to curate unique ingredient and flavor combinations. The first private dining experience will take place at The Cannibal in New York where guests will enjoy a menu crafted by The Cannibal's executive chef, Francis Derby, along with Momofuku alum Tien Ho. The menu will highlight both chefs' specialties: nose-to-tail and modern Asian respectively.  
 
The second event will take place in Chicago at the newly opened hotspot Intro. Attendees will be treated to an impressive multi-course tasting menu from Intro's current chef-in-residence, Erik Anderson, who will be collaborating with Matthew Kirkley, a partner of Intro. The menu will consist of creative, seasonal and classic French cuisine.
 
“We're carving out a new space for our brand and consumers, which is a great way to live into our mission to deliver both premium solutions and unparalleled experiences to those we have the privilege to serve,” said Sheri Keiles, director, OTC brand communications, McNeil Consumer. “The Pepcid Tastemakers program sets out to meet foodies no matter where they are on their personal culinary journeys and provide the tools and know-how to enhance and elevate any dining adventure.”
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