HEALTH

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals buys Mexican OTC manufacturer

BY Michael Johnsen

NORCROSS, Ga. — Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals on Monday announced its acquistion of Advanced Pharmaceuticals and Nutritionals, which is headquartered in Guadalajara, Mexico.
 
Details of the transaction were not disclosed. 
 
"The combination of these two great companies accelerates Hi-Tech's international growth strategy, substantially diversifies our business streams and establishes a durable leadership position in Mexico and the South American Nutritional and OTC marketplace," stated Hi-Tech chairman, president and CEO Jared Wheat. "We believe this strategic transaction will enhance our industry-leading growth profile by expanding market opportunities. APN brings a leading OTC and Nutritional distribution portfolio, Latin America capabilities and a highly experienced management team to support Hi-Tech's continued growth."
 
APN is one of the larger players within the Latin American OTC and nutritional markets and distributes many leading cough and cold,  pain relief, weight management, sports nutrition, nutraceuticals and gastrointestinal treatment brands. 
 
Citing IMS, HI-Tech reported that sales of OTC medicines currently account for approximately 11% of the total global pharmaceutical market (or approximately $87 billion) and Latin American countries command 12% relatively. Latin America is likely to be the fastest growth area for OTC medicine, with a predicted five year CAGR rate of 17%. 
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Tennessee bans DXM cough syrup sales to minors

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – Tennessee on Wednesday became the eighth state to restrict the sale of dextromethorphan to adults as Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed HB0039 into law. The legislation, initially introduced by Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, and Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown, was passed by the Senate on March 26 by a vote of 92-1.
 
“Stopping direct sale of OTC cough medicine to teens is a critical prevention measure, as it will put an end to a common way many abusers obtain the medicine – purchasing it themselves," stated Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. "Once enacted as law, this legislation also has the potential to raise awareness among parents and community leaders who are unaware of this dangerous behavior. We hope that this boost in awareness will mobilize parents and community leaders to have conversations with teens about the side effects of abusing all medicines including OTC cough medicine.”
 
CHPA advocates for state laws as well as a federal law prohibiting the sale of DXM products to minors. Kentucky most recently passed similar legislation in March. 
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Alignment Healthcare, Vivify Health partner on telemedicine platform

BY Michael Johnsen

PLANO, Texas — Population health management company Alignment Healthcare has partnered with Vivify Health to provide a secure, remote care platform for its patients, the companies announced Thursday. Vivify, whose solutions impact high risk and rising risk populations, is designed to engage patients in their own health and shape desired behavior, thereby reducing risk for unplanned utilization of costly services.
 
Each Vivify kit contains a wireless-enabled Samsung tablet paired in advance with bluetooth-enabled peripheral health devices such as a scale, blood pressure device and pulse oximeter. AHC deploys the Vivify kit directly to the patient during their visit to their local AHC care center. Once home with the kit, the patient enjoys an “instant-on” experience by pushing one button to initiate their customized care plan from the cloud.
 
Guided by a customized care plan, biometric data from these bluetooth-enabled health devices combined with responses to daily assessments are transmitted wirelessly from the tablet to the Alignment Healthcare Command Center. This enables proactive monitoring of each patient’s health status through the management of automatically triggered alerts. Opportunities for intervention vary and can include virtual visits between the AHC Command Center and the patient in their home. The embedded video conferencing solution can even accommodate multi-party virtual visits when others need or wish to join, e.g. patient’s adult children, other family members, additional providers, etc.
 
“We are committed to providing our patients with the most advanced, easy to use technology that will serve as an extension to the care we provide patients in our care centers,” stated Ken Kim, chief medical officer at Alignment Healthcare. “It’s important we proactively monitor our patients and engage with them to ensure their health is being properly managed at home. If their clinical condition exacerbates, we’ll see the alerts and can take the appropriate measures to intervene as necessary. Vivify’s technology and unique approach to patient engagement definitely impressed us.”
 
The Vivify SaaS platform delivers the next generation of direct-to-consumer care: joining cloud computing, consumer-grade electronics and a user interface that facilitates adoption across all demographics, regardless of patients’ technical abilities. This solution, coupled with the AHC-managed patient monitoring portal for efficient alert management and opportunity for immediate intervention, sets the table for directly impacting patient care in the home and reducing risk for hospital admissions and re-admissions.
 
According to Kerry Matsumoto, chief information officer at Alignment Healthcare, “The entire data flow is fully encrypted and secure from the in-home patient device to the tablet, through to the Vivify Portal and arrives real-time into the AHC Command Center portal. We selected Vivify due to the simplicity of their platform for use by the patient and our clinicians, the continued innovation plans for the product, the security and rigor of the technology, and our expected improvement in clinical outcomes. The initial product launch has already yielded positive comments from patients on ease of use and eagerness to be monitored at home.”
 
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