HEALTH

Clarion Brands CEO named chairman CHPA

BY Michael Johnsen

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday elected Gary Downing as chair of the CHPA Board of Directors at its Annual Executive Conference held March 11-14 at Turnberry Isle Miami in Aventura, Fla.

“We are delighted that Gary is taking on this role at such a critical time for the consumer healthcare industry. His broad experience within our industry will be extremely beneficial as the association helps its members navigate through a quickly changing regulatory and business environment,” Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, said. “I’d also like to express my appreciation to Jeff Needham, CHPA’s outgoing chair, under whose leadership the association made tremendous progress on policy priorities and strengthened CHPA’s finances and organizational structure.”

Downing is currently the CEO of Clarion Brands, an over-the-counter products portfolio company of Swander Pace Capital, and brings more than 30 years of domestic and international consumer product management experience in both large and start-up environments. Prior to Clarion, Downing was CEO of Insight Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Prestige Brands in September 2014. Previously, he was CEO of Lansinoh Laboratories and Medtech Laboratories.

Downing began his career at the Procter & Gamble Company (Richardson-Vicks), and later served in roles at Gillette and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. For the past 15 years, Downing has served on CHPA’s board of directors, and currently serves on the board of directors for W.F. Young, Inc. and Lansinoh Laboratories.

“I am thrilled to be serving as CHPA chair during such an exciting time in the industry,” Downing said. “Over the next two years, I will continue working closely with the board to maintain a thriving environment for consumer healthcare products, as well as building value for our membership, reinforcing our vision of helping consumers lead happier, healthier lives.”

“Gary Downing’s energy and 30-plus years of consumer healthcare product experience will prove to be invaluable,” Melville said. “His enthusiasm and commitment to this industry is evidenced not only by his long and diverse career, but by the decades he has spent on CHPA’s board of directors.”

Downing has been a staunch advocate of OTC remedies. “The outlook for the OTC business is good – but it’s essential to always look toward the future. Generation Z is here – understanding them, their needs and the way they want to consume information about their health and wellbeing is key,” he shared as part of a recent virtual roundtable published in the March issue of Drug Store News. “But you cannot ignore the millennials, gen Xers or boomers. They are all still important. You need to know your audience, where they are in in their journey, what they care about and how to reach each one of them in the appropriate way.”

One-third of the CHPA Board of Directors is elected annually, with manufacturer members elected for three-year terms, and associate members elected for two-year terms. The new board members elected at this year’s conference include:

David Campbell, vice president, regulatory and government affairs, North America, RB;Ranjan Chaudhuri, head of Global OTC Commercial, Mylan;Donald Chizek, vice president, operations/customer service, Lil’ Drug Store Products;John Dowers, CEO and president, WellSpring Consumer Healthcare; andJames Medford president and CEO, K.C. Pharmaceuticals.

In addition, current CHPA board member J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO, Hyland’s, was elected to the CHPA board of director’s executive committee.

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Research debunks Tamiflu-suicide link in children

BY Michael Johnsen

A new study published by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that the drug oseltamivir – commonly known as Tamiflu – does not cause an increased risk of suicide in pediatric patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration originally approved the drug in 1999, but subsequent case reports of abnormal behavior in adolescents who used the medication led the agency in 2006 to require that all packaging of the drug include a warning label about potential neuropsychiatric side effects, such as hallucinations, delirium, self-harm and even suicide.

However, clinical studies examining the association between the use of Tamiflu and neuropsychiatric side effects in children, including suicide, have so far been inconclusive and limited by methodology and potential confounding factors.

“When the FDA puts a warning out about a drug, doctors and the public take notice,” corresponding author James Antoon, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics in the UIC College of Medicine, said. “While the warnings are necessary, they are often not based on conclusive clinical data, which can make it difficult for physicians to truly know the potential side effects of a drug as they evaluate its possible benefits for individual patients.”

To fill this gap, Antoon and his colleagues in the UIC College of Pharmacy retrospectively studied the association between the use of Tamiflu – the only commercially available medication approved by the FDA to treat the flu – and the most consequential of those reported side effects: suicide.

“The potential link between a drug and suicide is a particularly difficult topic to study,” Antoon said. “Many events, which can happen simultaneously or over time, can influence a person to attempt suicide, as can an illness itself – so it can be difficult to study scientifically. That’s why we used a novel method called a case-crossover design. This analysis is different because it allowed us to use each individual subject as his or her own comparison – we retrospectively studied how patients behaved when on Tamiflu and compared it to their behavior when they were not taking the drug.”

The researchers identified 21,047 children between the ages of 1 and 18 who attempted suicide during five recent flu seasons (2009-2013) from a national administrative claims database. Of this group, 251 of those children were exposed to Tamiflu, which was determined based on outpatient pharmacy dispensing data. The mean age of this group was 15 years, 61% were female, and 65% had an underlying mental health diagnosis.

“For each of the 251 patients, we assigned the 10-day period immediately before the suicide attempt as the case period and we identified up to four earlier control periods of the same length, in the same flu season,” Antoon said. “This helped us to account for within-person confounders, like depression, mental health, trauma and abuse, and other factors, like race or ethnicity.”

The researchers repeated the analysis with flu diagnosis alone, without the use of Tamiflu, to see if the infection itself could have been a confounding factor associated with suicide risk.

“We did not find any association between exposure to Tamiflu and suicide in pediatric patients,” Antoon said.

While Antoon believes the findings, which are published in the Annals of Family Medicine, will help to alleviate some fears health care providers may have about prescribing the medication in healthy children, he says doctors will likely continue to prescribe Tamiflu with caution.

“I think physicians will welcome a large, rigorous study on this topic and factor this information into their decision-making process,” he said. “While this study addresses suicide, there are still many other questions about other possible neuropsychiatric side effects of the drug, which we plan to study in the future. There are also other reasons to use caution when prescribing the drug, including resistance and efficacy in children.”

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CHPA Educational Foundation names new chairman

BY Michael Johnsen

The CHPA Educational Foundation board of directors on Wednesday elected Stephen Neumann as its new chairman. Neumann is a long-time foundation board member and serves as vice president, consumer insights and business intelligence for Bayer Consumer Health.

Neumann succeeds Christopher DeWolf, president and CEO, Lil’ Drug Store Products, who was the foundation’s chair for the past two years.

“I want to thank Chris for standing at the helm of the foundation, leading us through a time of great change. We are delighted he will be staying on the board,” Anita Brikman, executive director of the CHPA Educational Foundation, said. “I am thrilled for Steve to take on his new role as chair. We look forward to his leadership in helping the foundation to grow and advance its strategic priorities.”

“I am excited to take on this new leadership role with the foundation,” Neumann said. “Our board is filled with knowledgeable and dynamic consumer healthcare leaders, and I look forward to working with them to help advance the foundation’s vision of helping consumers lead healthier, happier lives through responsible self-care.”

At the foundation board meeting during CHPA’s Annual Executive Conference, held March 11-14, 2018, at Turnberry Isle Miami, Fla., the foundation also elected two new board members, including Amardeep Kahlon, chief marketing officer, commercial North America, GSK Consumer Healthcare, and Kyle Stenzel, senior vice president, sales, North America, Combe.

In addition to Neumann, Kahlon and Stenzel, other members of the CHPA Educational Foundation board of directors include DeWolf; Morris Lewis, senior director, corporate affairs lead, Pfizer Consumer Health; Scott Melville, president and CEO, Consumer Healthcare Products Association; Ryan Olohan, managing director, healthcare, Google; Joy-Lee Pasqualoni, consumer communication leader – North America, Johnson & Johnson Consumer; and David Tomasi, commercial director, North America personal health care, Procter & Gamble.

The CHPA Educational Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted source of information on the responsible use of consumer healthcare products including over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

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