HEALTH

Generic Pharmaceutical Association praises Pres. Obama’s budget proposal

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, which includes an approval pathway for biosimilars, won praise from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association last week.

“For patients across the country suffering from cancer, diabetes and other diseases, the support stated by president Obama today for a workable biogenerics approval pathway is lifesaving news,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. “With countless patients struggling to pay the high costs of brand biopharmaceuticals, an approval pathway for safe, effective and affordable biogeneric medicines that provides access sooner rather than later is desperately needed.”

The model that the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 established for generic drugs provides a five-year period of data exclusivity for branded pharmaceutical drugs, which GPhA favors for biosimilars as well. However, the Biotechnology Industry Organization favors a 14-year data exclusivity period, saying that the Hatch-Waxman model would not provide sufficient time for biotech companies to recoup research and development expenses, thus stifling innovation.

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Advanced Vision Research launches new OTC supplement for AMD

BY Alaric DeArment

WOBURN, Mass. Advanced Vision Research has launched an OTC vitamin supplement for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, the eye disease treatment company announced Thursday.

MacuTrition Eye Vitamin and Mineral Supplement contains fish oil omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and green tea extract for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. AMD has no cure and is the leading cause of blindless in Americans older than 65. In addition, 5 million of the23 million Americans with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, and 97% of insulin-dependent diabetics will develop retinopathy.

“By targeting oxidation, inflammation and angiogenesis, we take a multi-pronged approach to maintaining eye health, especially in those with diabetes and macular degeneration, including those at risk, i.e. family members,” Advanced Vision Research CEO Jeffrey Gilbard stated.

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Study shows most Americans store vitamins in kitchen cabinets

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The majority of American adults who take vitamins and other supplements every year are keeping them in their kitchen cabinet, according to the 2008 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements released Tuesday. As many as 52% of supplement users indicated that they store their supplements in a kitchen cabinet, the association noted.

These findings are consistent with results from the 2007 “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, which surveyed U.S. doctors and nurses on their usage and attitudes of dietary supplements and found that a similar number — 59% of physicians and 66% of nurses — are also keeping their vitamins and other supplements in the kitchen cabinet. This same survey also found that 72% of physicians and 89% of nurses personally use dietary supplements, and that 79% of physicians and 82% of nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients.

Like healthcare professionals, supplement consumers are using their bathroom cabinet as the second most popular place to store their supplements.  As many as 23% of consumers (as well as 25% of doctors and 27% of nurses) reported housing their supplements there.  Supplement consumers also report storing their supplements in other locations, including:  kitchen counter (15%), night table (11%), refrigerator (7%), desk at home (5%), bathroom counter (5%), closet (4%), purse or briefcase (4%) and desk in office (3%).

The following supplements ranked the highest when supplement users were asked in the 2008 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements what supplements they had taken in the past twelve months:

  •     Multivitamin (taken by 82% of supplement consumers)
  •     Vitamin C (32%)
  •     Calcium (32%)
  •     Omega 3/Fish Oil (28%)
  •     Vitamin B/B Complex (23%)
  •     Vitamin E (20%)
  •     Vitamin D (16%)
  •     Green Tea (16%)
  •     Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin (15%)
  •     Flax Seed (11%)

The 2008 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements was conducted Aug. 20-25, 2008 by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN.  The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. on-line panel. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000.

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