HEALTH

Diplomat, Commcare named top companies by Inc. magazine

BY Alaric DeArment

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Two specialty pharmacies have earned places on a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Swartz Creek, Mich.-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, which operates six pharmacies in the Midwest and Florida, announced Wednesday that it had made the 235th place in Inc. magazine’s 2009 Inc. 500, which ranks the country’s top private companies every year. In addition, Commcare, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based, $100 million specialty pharmacy with three locations founded in 1996, came in at 374 on the list. Commcare was profiled in the inaugural issue of Specialty Pharmacy, a new magazine within the Drug Store News group of publications.

“While coming in at 235 in the nation is an amazing achievement, the additional details are even more astounding,” Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman said in a statement.

Those “additional details” include Diplomat’s number-one rank among the 43 companies listed in the healthcare category, a place among the top 10 companies ranked by total revenue and the company’s 917% growth over the last three years.

“At Diplomat, we’re proud to make Inc.’s Top 500 list,” Hagerman said. “This achievement recognizes the creativity, dedication and hard work that have gone into building Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy into what it is today.”

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Study: Birth control pill use may decreases risk of urinary incontinence

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new study from Sweden published Wednesday found that users of oral contraception have significantly reduced rates of urinary incontinence compared with women who used other forms of contraception.

Researchers at the Karoliska Institute and at Gothenburg University used the Swedish Twin Registry to examine the relationship between the use of oral contraceptives and urinary incontinence. After using statistical methods to control for factors such as age, Body Mass Index and ever having been pregnant, the data showed that the women who had used oral contraceptives had lower rates of lower urinary tract symptoms than non-users.

“With so many women using oral contraceptives, it is vital that we continue to fully understand their non-contraceptive effects, both positive and negative,” stated Dale McClure, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “This kind of research will help us better advise our patients as they make decisions about contraception, or possibly seek to avoid urinary tract problems.”

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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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