HEALTH

GNC closes IPO

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC Holdings on Wednesday announced the closing of its initial public offering of 25.9 million shares of its Class A common stock at a public offering price of $16 per share. GNC’s Class A common stock began trading Friday, April 1, on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "GNC."

Of the shares offered, 16 million were issued and sold by the company, and 9.9 million shares were sold by selling stockholders. The shares sold by the selling stockholders included 3.4 million shares sold pursuant to the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

As of early morning trading on Thursday, GNC shares were selling for $17.73.

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New app offers diabetics meal planning tips

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. — Quantia has partnered with dietitian and diabetes educator Hope Warshaw to develop EatSmart, a mobile diabetes application.

EatSmart, currently a free download available for the iPhone, Android, smartphones, tablets and the Web, is an app that provides those affected by or at risk for Type 2 diabetes with simple meal planning tips and tricks.

“EatSmart is a major breakthrough application that takes my voice, passion and step-by-step practical approach to helping people transition their eating habits and makes them available to people across the country,” Warshaw said. “EatSmart extends the delivery of diabetes meal planning information beyond the exam room and diabetes education programs and puts the knowledge literally into the persons’ or care providers’ hands to access when and where they need it and to reinforce information and support essential behavior change.”

For more information, visit Eatsmart.quantiacare.com.

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Research analyzes impact of REMS programs across healthcare supply chain

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research, the research foundation of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, on Tuesday released “Assessing the Impact of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) Requirements on the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain,” the first comprehensive research study analyzing the impact of REMS programs across the healthcare supply chain.

The Food and Drug Administration is authorized to require an REMS program to mitigate risks associated with certain medications. These programs outline the steps a drug manufacturer must take to enhance a medication’s safe use, and may require up to four distinct components, ranging from a medication guide; a communication plan to educate healthcare professionals; elements to assure safe use (ETASU), such as training, certification or patient registry programs; and systems to implement the ETASU. All REMS require a timetable for submission of assessments to the FDA. One other element that all REMS programs have in common is that they affect all stakeholders across the supply chain.

Produced in collaboration with Campbell Alliance Group, the study outlined the current REMS landscape, evaluated the impact of these requirements on key supply chain stakeholders and challenges the industry faces, examined economic considerations, assessed two program case studies and highlighted opportunities for future program enhancements. Research was based on primary and secondary sources, including interviews with 45 industry stakeholders from across the supply chain: manufacturers, distributors and providers.

In its analysis, the Center and Campbell Alliance found that cross-industry collaboration, communication and uniformity are essential to successfully implement the still-evolving REMS initiative. Specifically, it noted that the industry can benefit by acknowledging their trading partners’ capabilities and limitations, as well as the challenges they may face.

“As today’s healthcare system faces the dual challenge to improve efficiency and patient care, our research defines the critical issues we all face in meeting the REMS requirements for specific medicines on the frontier of development,” stated Karen Ribler, EVP and COO of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research. “It draws from experience and rigorous analysis showing how industrywide strategies can enable and speed the use of specialized medicines to treat serious diseases.”

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