HEALTH

GSK, RB no longer in running for Pfizer Consumer business

BY Michael Johnsen

GlaxoSmithKline on Friday confirmed it has withdrawn from the bidding war for the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare business, following a similar announcement made by RB earlier this week.

That doesn’t leave many companies large enough to swing the reported asking price of $20 billion for an OTC portfolio that includes powerhouse brands Advil and Centrum. Johnson & Johnson dropped out of the running in January.

“While we will continue to review opportunities that may accelerate our strategy, they must meet our criteria for returns and not compromise our priorities for capital allocation,” Emma Walmsley, CEO GSK, said.

RB released a similar statement earlier in the week. “Our priority remains organic growth, including the completion of the integration of Mead Johnson Nutrition and creating further value from reorganizing into two new business units – Health and Hygeine Home,” Rakesh Kapoor, RB CEO, said. “We always approach inorganic growth opportunities in a rigorous, disciplined and financially responsible manner to ensure long-term value creation for shareholders. An acquisition for the whole Pfizer consumer health business did not fit our acquisition criteria and an acquisition of part of the business was not possible.”

GlaxoSmithKline may have been souring to the possible acquisition of the Pfizer consumer business as early as February, when Walmsley reported GSK was looking at the deal, but not at the expense of the company’s focus on pharma.

 

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VMS industry rallies in support of soy protein health claim

BY Michael Johnsen

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to revoke its regulation allowing suppliers to make a health claim associating consumption of soy protein with prevention of coronary heart disease. Instead, the agency is proposing to allow manufacturers to make qualified claims supporting the consumption of soy protein, which is arguably less compelling to industry.

The claim was first authorized in 1999.

Both the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association this week responded in support of the authorized health claim.

“We are concerned that FDA’s proposal to revoke the regulation authorizing the us of the claim is inconsistent with evaluations by other international regulatory bodies,” CRN submitted in a letter to the agency. CRN noted that Health Canada in 2015 concluded that the “evidence consistently supports a direction of effect toward a reduction in total and LDL cholesterol levels when soy protein is consumed.”

“The FDA has failed to offer any compelling evidence in its proposal to eliminate the soy heart health claim,” Daniel Fabricant, president and CEO of NPA, said. Fabricant pointed to the significant amount amount of evidence that supports the health claim.

According to the NPA, not only does soy protein lower LDL cholesterol directly, but also indirectly by replacing animal protein sources with plant-based soy protein sources. The combined intrinsic and extrinsic effects of soy to lower LDL cholesterol is 10.3%, NPA reported, which is on par with the heart health claim for plant sterols and stanol esters to reduce LDL cholesterol by 10%.

The FDA made its proposal to revoke the soy protein health claim in October. “While some evidence continues to suggest a relationship between soy protein and a reduced risk of heart disease – including evidence reviewed by the FDA when the claim was authorized – the totality of currently available scientific evidence calls into question the certainty of this relationship,” the agency stated in a release. “Should the FDA finalize this rule, the agency intends to allow the use of a qualified health claim as long as there is sufficient evidence to support a link between eating soy protein and a reduced risk of heart disease. A qualified health claim, which requires a lower scientific standard of evidence than an authorized health claim, would allow industry to use qualifying language that explains the limited evidence linking consumption of soy protein with heart disease risk reduction.”

The agency has promised to review comments received on this matter before issuing a final decision.

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Chewpod introduces energy, sleep supplements as functional gum

BY Michael Johnsen

Chewpod, a functional gum looking to deliver either increased energy or a good night’s sleep, will be available to U.S. consumers starting this month. A product of Los-Angeles based Khloros Innovation, a Canadian-based maker of chewable supplements, Chewpod is an efficient, easy-to-absorb product.

“We are looking forward to growing and expanding in the U.S. as we believe there is a great opportunity for functional gums and chewable tablets and their benefits especially knowing that global consumption of energy gum has grown an average of 6.6% every year for the past six years,” Joey Thiffault, president Chewpod, said. “The feedback we have received in the Canadian markets has been extraordinary. We believe that U.S. consumers will find the same satisfaction with our products.”

The Chewpod Energy On Demand functional gum is formulated with vitamins B6 and B5, caffeine, taurine and guarana seed extract. The Sleep on Demand SKU contains melatonin, vitamin B6 and natural amino acids to enhance total sleep time and quality, and help regulate the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.

The Chewpod functional gum products are currently available for purchase on Chewpod.com and via Amazon. A single pack with four servings is $5. Bundles of four and bundles of 10 are also available for $18 and $40 respectively.

Available in the U.S. in two focus areas, the chewable supplement provides a beneficial effect on energy and ability to recover. Chewpod’s Fastactiv technology allows consumers to control their state of mind on demand, encouraging them to live every moment to the fullest regardless of the activity at hand.

Each pack of Chewpod comes with eight individually packaged, chewable, refreshing mint tablets. The Fastactiv technology delivers a pleasant energy quickly and is easily absorbed by the body.

All products are locally manufactured in North America and distributed exclusively in the United States and Canada.

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