HEALTH

Claritin expands line with eye drop for allergy sufferers

BY Allison Cerra

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough announced the launch of Claritin Eye, an antihistamine eye drop strong enough to control itchy eyes all day or all night.

Claritin Eye works in minutes to relieve the itch of allergy eyes for up to 12 hours with just one drop; is available without a prescription and can be found in most food, drug or mass retailers.

“Itchy eyes are an extremely bothersome symptom for allergy sufferers and can be caused by indoor or outdoor allergens such as dust, pet dander, mold or pollen. Claritin Eye relieves the itch at the source by blocking the histamine that causes itchy eyes,” said John O’Mullane, group VP research and development, Schering-Plough Consumer Health Care. “We’re excited to add this new allergy eye product to the line of non-drowsy Claritin allergy products.”

To support the introduction of the new product, the makers of Claritin will kick off the launch with national advertising as well as launching the brand’s first official Facebook page. The page features a “Claritin Eye Makeover” application where fans are invited to upload their favorite photos and use the application to clear the red eye in their pictures. The page, available at Facebook.com/claritineye, offers resources for allergy sufferers including facts, tips and a photo gallery where visitors can show how they “Live Claritin Clear.”

 For more information on allergies and non-drowsy treatment options, visit Claritin.com.

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Wireless home-based healthcare applications, services set to grow, analysis finds

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK That $4.4 billion opportunity is really only the tip of the iceberg. The real opportunity, especially for pharmacists and their nurse practitioner/physician assistant partners, is in the ancillary services that will accompany the functionality behind wireless diagnostic devices — think a medication therapy management/chronic disease coaching one-two punch.

It’s not a question of if wireless diagnostic devices will realize that full $4.4 billion potential, but when. That’s primarily because cost will be a big driver behind adoption of these devices. The fact is that no matter what shape healthcare reform takes, the system will eventually go bankrupt without an emphasis on disease-management/prevention (a.k.a. MTM/chronic disease coaching).

Another driver behind widespread adoption will be how nicely wireless diagnostic device functionality will dovetail with the currently-developing electronic health records. As is evident with the current meteoric rise in popularity of iPhone and other smart phone applications, not to mention the increasing popularity of such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter, it’s more and more becoming a wired, wired world out there.

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Study: Zinc good for healthy immune function, destroying viruses, bacteria

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK It’s a study that probably couldn’t have come at a better time given the recent recall in this space, except you may not yet have heard of the zinc study. That’s because for all the major news media outlets that quickly picked up on Matrixx’s recall a few months back on a pair of Zicam products, not one of them picked up on this news — news that not only supports the efficacy of zinc-based products, but also provides a little insight into how it may work.

 

Not getting picked up as a news story a second time around may not be altogether bad news, however, as it may have only confused consumers around the immune-boosting benefits in supplementing with zinc.

 

But there is an important takeaway here. Zinc works. And while the Food and Drug Administration has certainly questioned the safety around a pair of zinc products, that news will eventually fade from the public consciousness. What will not fade away is the anecdotal consumer experience backed up by sound science. Studies like these only underscore what Matrixx, Quigley and now Novartis have in their zinc-formulation cough/cold SKUs — a safe and efficacious cold buster good for cutting into symptoms when you can’t afford to miss work.

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