HEALTH

Medtech, Pharmaspray enter into manufacturing agreements

BY Michael Johnsen

IRVINGTON, N.Y. Medtech Products, a subsidiary of Prestige Brands Holdings, last week entered into two contract manufacturing agreements with Pharmaspray according to SEC documents filed Thursday.

Medtech signed Pharmaspray to a three-year deal for Pharmaspray to be the exclusive manufacturer of the Wartner and Compound W Freeze Off brands, respectively, that are distributed in certain markets designated in the contracts.

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Report suggests Parkinson’s prevention linked to omega-3 fatty acid intake

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER A report released Wednesday links long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with the prevention of Parkinson’s disease, according to the December 2007 Fats of Life and PUFA Newsletter electronic publications.

“Papers with the potential to redirect our thinking about diseases are rare, but this study from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, might do it for Parkinson’s disease,” stated Fats of Life editor Joyce Nettleton. “The researchers showed that the consumption of marine omega-3s-mainly docosahexaenoic acid protected Parkinson’s animals from losing their dopamine-producing neurons. Animals without these omega-3s lost 30 percent of these essential cells, a hallmark of the disease. The implication is that sufficient brain DHA might be able to prevent the onset of Parkinson’s disease.”

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Schiff Q2 results show units moving but profits flatter

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY Heavy national brand promotion may be moving units of joint care supplement products off of shelves, but dollar sales growth is harder to come by, commented Bruce Wood, president and chief executive officer, Schiff Nutritional, during a conference call concerning that company’s second-quarter results last week.

“For perspective, in the food, drug, mass market arena, as measured by IRI, this data excludes Wal-Mart and club stores, the joint care category was up almost 9 percent in unit volume but only 2 percent in retail dollars for the 12 week period ended Nov. 18,” Wood noted. “At the same time, private label joint care declined in the mid-single digits in both dollars and unit volume as its still-dominant share was eroded by heavy branded promotion activity.”

To help combat that heavy branded promotion, Wood announced that Schiff will begin shipping Move Free Advanced products featuring smaller tablet sizes beginning next month. “We are introducing our same proprietary … advanced formula in tablets that are now 26 percent and 14 percent smaller, respectively, on our two leading SKUs,” he said, citing consumer research, especially among baby boomers, for the small-tablet impetus. “We believe this internally-developed innovation will yield improved consumer acceptance now that we have the smallest joint care tablets on the market.”

Schiff will also be extending its Move Free Advanced line with a third SKU formulated with MSM and vitamin D. “These two additional ingredients, which have proven clinical benefits in joint care, will drive new consumers to try the Move Free brand,” Wood said. In addition, Schiff is test marketing a new omega-3 supplement at Costco called Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil. “Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil is priced at a significant premium to ordinary fish oil which is why we are market testing this product with one major customer,” Wood said. Although Wood did not identify the retailer, an online search for the product netted Costco.com, where three-months worth of 300 mg tablets of krill oil was selling for $18.99. The test market, Wood said, is expected to guage “consumer acceptance of the price premium in this virtually unbranded category.”

Schiff Nutrition’s net sales for the second quarter endedNov. 30 were $39.5 million, compared to $38.8 million for the same period in fiscal 2007.

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