HEALTH

Lansinoh Laboratories announces new VP marketing, senior brand manager

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Lansinoh Laboratories on Tuesday announced the addition of two new members of the company’s marketing family. Jennifer Moyer joins Lansinoh as VP marketing, bringing more than 19 years of marketing experience in the consumer, mother and baby spheres. And Mary Gordon joins the company as senior brand manager.

Both are new positions created to support the company’s expanding product line and marketing efforts.

“Lansinoh is ushering in a period of aggressive growth,” stated Gary Downing, CEO of Lansinoh Laboratories. “Over the past year, we’ve dramatically expanded our product line with several new additions for new and breastfeeding moms, including Lansinoh Diaper Rash Ointment, LatchAssist, and our acquisition of the Soothies Gel Pad brand. And we have even more exciting products in the pipeline to be released in coming months. Now more than ever we need a broad array of highly skilled marketers to maximize the success of this new and expansive purple product line.”

As VP marketing, Moyer will coordinate all North American marketing activities while leading the company’s team of brand marketing professionals. She will report to Downing. Prior to joining Lansinoh, Moyer was as an independent consultant to the company, working closely with Lansinoh’s previous director of Marketing, Kira Wood, who recently left the company to raise her children full-time. Since joining the Lansinoh family in 2008, Moyer has made significant contributions to marketing efforts through development of an improved corporate web site, to launch this summer, and enhanced communication with consumers through various social media channels.

Earlier, Moyer served as VP of brand management firm Kanter International from 2005 to 2008. She was responsible for consulting, research based strategy and marketing for brands including Mohawk Flooring, Herman Miller and Everlast.

As the company’s senior brand manager, Mary Gordon will oversee several key groups of the Lansinoh product line by developing and executing marketing strategies. She will report directly to Moyer.

Previously, Gordon worked extensively in brand management. Most recently, she served as brand manager at Dial Corporation from 2007 to 2009, working on the Combat and RightGuard brands.

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Obama administration mobilizes flu meds, declares public health emergency

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Obama administration mobilized government stockpiles of flu medicines Sunday afternoon, declaring a public health emergency, following an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier in the morning that confirmed 20 U.S. cases of swine flu to date.

“President [Barack] Obama is very concerned about the recent cases of swine flu that have been identified in the United States, as well as the outbreak in Mexico,” stated John Brennan, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, during a special press conference Sunday afternoon. “At this point a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated. This will enable both the rapid identification and broad notification of any new cases that may occur in the U.S., as well as in Mexico.”

A public health emergency was declared by the Department of Health and Human Services as a way to free up federal, state, and local agencies and their resources for prevention and mitigation. “It allows us to use medication and diagnostic tests that we might not otherwise be able to use, particularly on very young children; and it releases funds for the acquisition of additional antivirals,” Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, told reporters Sunday.

The government currently has approximately50 million treatment courses of antiviral drugs — Tamiflu and Relenza — in the strategic national stockpile, Napolitano said. “We are releasing 25% of those courses, making them available to all of the states, but particularly prioritizing the states where we already have confirmed incidents of the flu. In addition, the Department of Defense has procured and strategically prepositioned 7 million treatment courses of Tamiflu.”

The government expects the number of swine-flu related cases to grow from the initial 20 identified so far.

“As we look for cases of swine flu, we are seeing more cases of swine flu,” stated Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC. “We expect to see more cases of swine flu.”

In New York City, where there’s been a cluster of swine-flu related disease in a school, that school has been closed for Monday, Besser reported.

“There’s a similar situation in Texas,” he said. “If there are other communities where we saw cases in a school, we would be recommending that they take those actions as well.”

Besser noted that the swine flu outbreak in the United States has been relatively mild — of the 20 cases identified, 19 have recovered and only one person has been hospitalized.

“What we know about this virus is it looks to be the same virus as is causing the situation in Mexico. And given the reports out of Mexico, I would expect that over time we’re going to see more severe disease in this country,” Besser cautioned.

As part of its response, CDC is already moving forward on the possible development of a vaccine.

“We’ve created that seed stock, we’ve identified that virus, and discussions are underway so that should we decide to work on manufacturing a vaccine, we can work towards that goal very quickly,” Besser said.

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Study shows drinking diet soda may inhibit calcium stones

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. Patients with stone disease could benefit from drinking diet soda, according to new research from the University of California, San Francisco.

The research suggests that the citrate and malate content in commonly consumed sodas may be sufficient to inhibit the development of calcium stones.

Increased alkalinity is proven to augment citraturia, a known factor for calcium stones. Malate increases the amount of alkali delivered. Researchers measured the citrate and malate content of 15 popular diet sodas. The researchers found that Diet Sunkist Orange contained the greatest amount of total alkali and Diet 7-Up had the greatest amount of citrate as alkali.

“This study by no means suggests that patients with recurrent kidney stones should trade in their water bottles for soda cans,” stated Anthony Smith, spokesman for the American Urological Association. “However, this study suggests instead that patients with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption.”

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