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GoGargle! aims to provide sore throat relief

BY Michael Johnsen

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — GoGargle! on Wednesday announced the introduction of a new gargle solution to help soothe sore throats. According to the company, gargling can provide fast relief for throats, but the taste and inconvenience of saltwater gargling stops many from using this remedy.
 
Arizona nurse, January O'Connor, along with husband and business innovator, Tim O'Connor, created GoGargle! to solve this problem. GoGargle! makes traditional gargling better by adding such ingredients as honey, aloe, chamomile and mint, along with zinc, vitamins and herbs to create a better-tasting way to soothe sore throats. The bacteria-fighting salt cleanses and helps reduce inflammation, while the other ingredients soothe, creating a clean, refreshing sensation, according to the company.
 
"GoGargle! uses salt water – which has been touted by moms and grandmas for generations – to flush and cleanse the back of your throat and help reduce inflammation," stated January O'Connor. "But unlike mom's home remedy, GoGargle! actually tastes as good as it works!"
 
GoGargle! is available at CVS Health locations across the country and other retailers including Albertsons, Winn-Dixie, Basha's, HyVee, Wegman's, Shopko, Weis, Harris Teeter and Meijer. The product was named Best New Product at the 2014 ECRM Cough-Cold, Analgesics and Allergy Convention. 

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ElectroCore developing headache-relief device, targeting 2015 U.S approval

BY Michael Johnsen

 

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Preliminary results of an open-label trial carried Thursday in the journal of Headache and Pain reported that a single treatment with ElectroCore’s hand held non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation device GammaCore, completely resolved 44.8% of migraines within 30 minutes, with an additional 11.4% experiencing moderate benefits (incomplete resolution of their headaches) by two hours. 
 
This result follows two presentations at the International headache meeting in Copenhagen in September showing that patients using GammaCore achieved a 43.4% reduction in the number of weekly cluster headache attacks compared with 12.5% in patients treated with the best available standard of care. It also found that patients experienced a greater reduction in number of attacks the longer they stayed on treatment.
 
“As the results of our studies continue to demonstrate positive results, we are increasingly optimistic that the extensive investment we have made in both pre-clinical trials and clinical trials was a wise use of our capital and human resources," stated JP Errico, ElectroCore CEO. "We believe that this therapy is unique in both its safety and efficacy profiles. With few adverse events reported, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation appears to be the first therapeutic option that offers both acute and prophylactic benefits for patients who suffer frequent and severe headaches. As such, we believe that GammaCore will ultimately move to a first line treatment for these patients, and will continue to conduct the clinical research necessary to support that conclusion.” 
 
The open-label migraine study was carried out at the Headache Center in the Neurological Institute in Milan, Italy. The study involved thirty patients, ages 18 years to 65 years, who had migraine without aura and suffered from five to nine attacks per month. Patients treated from three to six migraine episodes with gammaCore. Ninety-six migraine attacks were treated by a single dose. Forty three attacks were resolved completely within 30 minutes (44.8%); for 42 (43.7%) attacks the application did not show any benefit in the first two hours so patients recurred to rescue medication; in 11 (11.4%) attacks the result was uncertain: no resolution of attack, only a moderate relief of pain. No adverse events were recorded.
 
In Europe, ElectroCore’s nVNS technology has a CE mark for primary headache, bronchoconstriction, epilepsy, gastric motility disorders, and depression and anxiety. It also has regulatory approval for the acute and/or prophylactic treatment of cluster headache, migraine and medication overuse headache in South Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, Brazil and Malaysia, and in Canada for cluster headache. U.S. approval is expected in 2015. 
 
 

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Walgreens announces retirement of two longtime executives

BY Michael Johnsen

John Spina (left) and Don Huonker

DEERFIELD, Ill. — John Spina, Walgreens corporate VP expense optimization, and Don Huonker, Walgreens chief operational risk officer, will retire from the company effective Oct. 31. "Both John and Don can be proud of the many contributions they have made over the years to help Walgreens achieve our goals, and we are grateful for their leadership. We thank them for their dedicated service and wish them the very best as they take the next steps in their lives," Walgreens released in a statement. 
 
Spina joined Walgreens in 1979 as a store clerk in Daly City, Calif., and moved into store management roles before becoming a district manager in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1996. In 2003, he joined the corporate offices as director of drug store administration and was promoted to store operations VP two years later. He was named VP and treasurer in 2007, VP retail integration and new format development in 2009, and VP Well Experience deployment in 2012 before taking his current position in July.  During the last five years, Spina has led several key initiatives, including the Duane Reade acquisition and integration, and was responsible for the deployment strategy and processes of the Well Experience initiative.  
 
Huonker began his Walgreens career in 1995 as a pharmacist and management trainee in St. Louis and worked in store leadership until joining the corporate office in 2001. He was named a VP store operations in 2003, overseeing four markets including Puerto Rico. In 2007, he was promoted to SVP pharmacy services and later was promoted to SVP healthcare innovation. In that role, Huonker was responsible for all pharmacy technology and developing new health information technology, and also served as board co-chair of Surescripts.
 
This was followed by SVP positions in process improvement, strategic sourcing and global projects. In April of this year, Huonker brought his broad operational leadership and global experience to his current role as chief operational risk officer to integrate the asset protection solutions team within community management.  
 
 

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