CDC: Influenza activity high, but flat
ATLANTA Influenza activity in the United States remained high, but flat, compared with the week prior, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated on Friday.
To date, 35 states have reported widespread influenza activity, while 14 states reported regional activity. The District of Columbia and Utah reported local influenza activity; and Puerto Rico reported sporadic influenza activity.
CHPA addresses economy, OTC abuse at annual conference
NAPLES, Fl. The big issue addressed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Friday at its 2009 Annual Executive Conference was, without surprise, the economy.
“Much has changed since we met last year in Washington, D.C.,” said Linda Suydam, CHPA president, in her annual state of the association address.
But as challenging as the economy may be, Suydam said that “American consumers are counting on this industry. We are certain that millions of consumers look to us” for continued access to safe, effective and affordable healthcare.
To that end, CHPA has significantly stepped up its consumer education efforts in the past year, from outlining a plan to address the safety and efficacy questions raised around pediatric cough/cold medicines, which is “by far the biggest education initiative ever undertaken by this association,” Suydam said, referring to the abuse of over-the-counter medicines like dextromethorphan.
Incidentally, thanks in part to the association’s outreach to 24 million parents through its Five Moms campaign, the abuse of DXM is in fact down and awareness around the dangers of abusing DXM is up.
Going forward, CHPA plans to make consumer education around the proper use of OTC medicines one of its hallmarks, especially across the association’s consumer education web site.
“We are positioning OTCsafety.org as the preeminent home of OTC information … period,” Suydam said.
The association is also looking to step up its lobbying activity, both on the national and state levels, Suydam added. For example, CHPA is strongly supportive of increased regulatory control over the distribution of raw ingredient dextromethorphan, and plans to support a national age limit on the sale of products containing dextromethorphan.
Study: Psorent improves, controls symptoms of plaque psoriasis
SAN FRANCISCO A nonprescription topical solution made with a new formulation of liquor carbonis distillate known as Psorent is significantly more effective than prescription-strength calcipotriol cream in improving and controlling the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, according to research findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 2009 Annual Meeting NeoStrata, which markets Psorent, announced Tuesday.
“We knew, based on the preliminary study results we presented at the summer AAD, that in the treatment phase of this study, twice-daily LCD outperformed calcipotriol cream for control of psoriasis symptoms,” stated Alexa Kimball, a CURTIS researcher who was also a study investigator and author. “But we were encouraged by the fact that the improvements also persisted longer after patients stopped their twice-daily treatments for six weeks.”
The team’s conclusions are based on data from 55 patients who received treatment for up to 12 weeks and 43 patients who returned for re-assessment 6 weeks after treatment stopped.
“Because no single treatment is right for everyone, dermatologists are always looking for new ways to improve outcomes for their psoriasis patients,” stated Mark Lebwohl, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “The results of this trial suggest that LCD may be an appropriate treatment choice for psoriasis patients with mild or moderate disease.”