HEALTH

Chattem reports four-week 10 percent sales lift

BY Michael Johnsen

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Chattem on Thursday reported a lift across its over-the-counter brands sales of 10 percent for the four weeks ended Oct. 4, citing data from ACNielsen, excluding the recalled Icy Hot Heat Therapy and the discontinued Icy Hot Pro-Therapy.

“The momentum of our business has continued as expected behind our key brands such as ACT, Gold Bond and Icy Hot,” commented Zan Guerry, chairman and chief executive officer of Chattem.

That 10 percent lift over a four-week period represents an acceleration in the rate of growth for retail sales compared with the 13-week period ended Oct. 4, in which comparable retail sales rose almost 8 percent, Chattem stated.

The year-over-year increase in retail sales was led by ACT, which took over third place in the mouthwash category ahead of Scope based on ACNielsen data for the most recent four- and 13-week periods, which grew by 33 percent and 28 percent over the respective periods. Sales of Gold Bond were up 23 percent and 13 percent, respectively, and Icy Hot 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

“In this difficult economic environment, and at a time in which concerns regarding negative consumer sentiment and spending clearly exist, we are pleased with the performance of our brands,” Guerry said. “For fiscal 2009, our exciting lineup of new products is expected to continue our revenue growth, fuel our earnings momentum and result in strong cash flow.”

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GlaxoSmithKline wins recommendation to sell Alli in Europe

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline won a recommendation from European regulators Thursday that it be allowed to sell its weight loss drug Alli over-the-counter in Europe.

The European Medicines Agency said it had recommended the switch from prescription-only to nonprescription for a 60-milligram dose of alli, the same dose approved for sale OTC in the United States. The European Commission now needs to rubber-stamp the recommendation.

The European Medicines Agency said it had recommended the switch from prescription-only to nonprescription for a 60-milligram dose of alli, the same dose approved for sale OTC in the United States. The European Commission now needs to rubber-stamp the recommendation.

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FDA endorses industry iniative to update children’s cough-cold product labeling

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued a consumer update regarding the use of cough/cold products in children that reinforces the agency’s support of an industry initiative that changes label recommendations on pediatric cough/cold products to no longer recommend use in children under the age of four, and explains the reasoning behind why the agency hasn’t requested an immediate product recall of current labeling.

“The voluntary actions announced by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association are intended to help prevent and reduce the misuse of these products in children and to better inform consumers about their safe and effective use,” the agency stated. “CHPA’s voluntary actions will not affect the availability of the medicines, but will result in a transition period where the instructions for using some OTC cough and cold medicines in children will be different from others. Some product instructions will state ‘do not use’ in children under 4 years of age, while others will instruct not to use in children under 2 years of age. FDA does not typically request that OTC products with previous labeling be removed from the shelves during a voluntary label change such as this one. The agency recommends following the dosage instructions and warnings on the label that accompanies the medication if you have or buy a product that does not have the voluntarily modified labeling.”

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