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Helen of Troy CEO joins board

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL PASO, Texas — Helen of Troy — whose portfolio of personal care products includes Vidal Sassoon, Sure, Pert and Brut — has announced that its board has appointed CEO Julien Mininberg to serve on the board until the next annual meeting of shareholders.

Mininberg’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the departure of Gerald Rubin, the company’s former CEO and a former director of the company. The board intends to nominate Mininberg as a director of the company at the next annual general meeting of shareholders.

“I am pleased to have Julien join our board of directors. Julien is a strong leader who has made significant contributions to Helen of Troy as President and CEO of Kaz and now as CEO for Helen of Troy. It is only fitting that Julien join the Board and benefit more closely from the wisdom of its diverse group of members,” stated Timothy F. Meeker, chairman.

Mininberg has been with Kaz since 2006, becoming president in 2007 and CEO in 2010. Before joining Kaz, Mininberg spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble, where he spent four years in general management and 11 in marketing. His P&G career was split evenly between the United States and Latin America.

 

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FDA approves Topamax for migraine prevention in teenagers

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Topamax (topiramate) for prevention of migraine headaches in adolescents ages 12 years to 17 years. This is the first FDA approval of a drug for migraine prevention in this age group. 

The medication is taken on a daily basis to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.

Topamax was first approved by the FDA in 1996 to prevent seizures. It was approved for migraine prevention in adults in 2004.

“Migraine headaches can impact school performance, social interactions, and family life,” stated Eric Bastings, deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Adding dosing and safety information for the adolescent age group to the drug’s prescribing information will help to inform health care professionals and patients in making treatment choices.” 

About 12% of the U.S. population experiences migraine headaches, the FDA noted.

Topamax is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Titusville, N.J.

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Washington state places age restriction on purchase of DXM

BY Michael Johnsen

OLYMPIA, Wash. — In an effort to curb abuse of over-the-counter cold and cough medications by minors, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed legislation — House Bill 2163 — that places an age restriction on the purchase of dextromethorphan.

“This will deter teens who are purchasing cold medicines with the intent to abuse them," stated Washington Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, who introduced the legislation. "When I heard about this and began to research it I realized this was a growing problem and something needed to be done,” he said. “Rates of abuse of this substance have increased significantly over the last decade. Other states have already taken action and this legislation will help protect children in Washington state.”

“The makers of over-the-counter medicines want to acknowledge Gov. Inslee, Rep. Paul Harris and the Washington State legislature for taking a major step to address teen cough medicine abuse,” stated Scott Melville, president and CEO for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “The passage of similar legislation in states across the country indicates that there is a growing support for this measure. We hope this action in Washington state will help generate further support for a national law.”

House Bill 2163 will prohibit the sale of non-prescription drugs containing dextromethorphan to a person under the age of 18 unless he or she is actively enrolled in the military or an emancipated minor. Selling DXM will be punishable by a written warning for the first offense and a class 1 civil infraction for subsequent offenses. The law will also require the trade association representing manufacturers of DXM products to annually supply retailers and the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission with a list of all products that contain DXM.

Harris said the legislation will also create a level playing field to ensure that all retailers are adhering to the same process and rules. Some retail stores including Rite Aid and Walmart currently have polices that require identification for purchase of medications containing DXM, Harris noted.

The bill will take effect July 1, 2015, allowing retailers to implement measures to comply with the new law.

According to the 2013 National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future Survey, approximately one in 25 teens abuses DXM to get high.

Upon enactment of this bill, Washington will join Virginia, California and New York as the fourth state to place an age-18 restriction on DXM sales.

 

 

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