HEALTH

Lifestyles launches new Turbo condoms

BY Jason Owen

ISELIN, N.J. — The makers of LifeStyles condoms today announced the release of the new Turbo condom. The Turbo condom is lubricated inside and out with LifeStyles’ proprietary Excite gel.

The Excite gel lubricant contains both menthol and L-Arginine. L-Arginine is a natural amino acid that has been shown to help increase circulation by relaxing and dilating blood vessels to enhance blood flow. The menthol produces a tingling sensation to intensify pleasure.

"As part of LifeStyles condoms commitment to innovation and consumer satisfaction, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Turbo," commented Carol Carrozza, VP sales and marketing North America for Ansell Healthcare, the makers of LifeStyles condoms. "With Turbo, consumers will discover an extraordinary and unique way to enjoy sex with a condom, serving the dual role of promoting safe sex while enhancing the sexual experience."

LifeStyles Turbo condom is made from premium grade latex.

Turbo condoms are available at a wide range of big box retailers, drugstores and grocery and stores across the country. The MSRP for a 10-count package of TURBO is $13.99 to $16.99.


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Perrigo closes Velcera acquisition

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Perrigo Co. has completed its acquisition of a Pennsylvania-based animal health company, the drug maker said Monday.

Perrigo announced that it has closed its purchase of Yardley, Pa.-based Velcera for about $160 million. The company makes OTC products for pets, specializing in products traditionally dispensed only by veterinarians. Its products include PetArmor, a flea and tick repellent that had sales of more than $100 million last year.

"We are very pleased to welcome the Velcera team to the Perrigo family," Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said. "This acquisition is another important step forward in executing our plan to expand our pet health product offering."

 

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Removing Affordable Care Act provision restricting use of FSAs for OTCs would save taxpayers money

BY Alaric DeArment

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

One of the sponsors of the Family Health Care Flexibility Act, Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, called the restrictions "government overreach and interference." But they’re more than that: They’re simply wasteful. The whole point of healthcare reform is to expand access to health care while reducing cost, and requiring an expensive and time-consuming doctor visit to get a prescription for an OTC drug fails at both goals.

At a hearing last year, when similar legislation was introduced, Consumer Healthcare Products Association president and CEO Scott Melville said in testimony that the restrictions mean FSA participants are faced with three choices: Make a doctor’s appointment to get a prescription in order to get reimbursement; forgo 10% to 35% in savings by buying the medication without reimbursement; or forgo treatment altogether.

But Melville’s testimony also included a bigger tidbit: figures from a study by Booz & Co. indicating that OTC drugs save the country’s healthcare system $102 billion annually, with about three-quarters of that coming from reduced doctor visits.

With more than 30 million Americans expected to have healthcare coverage when the ACA takes full effect next year, the country will already face a major shortage of primary care providers. That’s what’s driving moves at state and federal levels to have pharmacists and nurse practitioners classified as healthcare providers.

But they alone can’t reduce the burden; part of that will need to come from patients being able to treat minor ailments themselves. With the Booz & Co. study reporting that 240 million people treat illnesses with OTC medicines every year, the last thing the country needs is for the 9.8 million patients whom Nielsen estimates to have used the FSA program to buy OTC drugs before the ACA provision took effect in January 2011 to have to see a doctor for a runny nose.

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