PHARMACY

Merck, Sesame Workshop give consumers ‘food for thought’

BY Allison Cerra

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck has teamed up with the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street” to develop a bilingual education outreach program aimed at helping low-income families make food choices that are affordable, nutritional and set the foundation for lifelong healthy habits.

Merck and Sesame Wokshop have developed Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget to address the growing concern of food insecurity and childhood obesity among Americans, the two companies said.

Through the bilingual multimedia outreach kit, the companies have created an original DVD starring the “Sesame Street” muppets that provides healthy eating messages for the entire family, as well as a short documentary of families, child-friendly recipes, a children’s story and a parent/caregiver guide that provides information about healthful eating and ways to make nutritional and economical food choices for the entire family.

In addition, Sesame Workshop and Merck will conduct community and volunteer train-the-trainer sessions, community outreach screenings and webinars directed to the child care community.

“Merck is proud to partner with Sesame Workshop on this program, as we know children cannot lead a healthy life if their basic needs are not fulfilled,” said Ellen Lambert, EVP of The Merck Company Foundation. “This effort is part of our Merck Rx to Fight Hunger initiative that supports the development, implementation and sharing of new approaches for treating and preventing hunger and malnutrition in children.”

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Curemark gets nod to start late-stage trial for ADHD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

RYE, N.Y. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a late-stage clinical trial of a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Curemark said the FDA cleared its application to run a phase 3 trial of CM-4612 in patients with ADHD. The company is currently conducting a phase 3 trial of CM-AT, a treatment for autism in children.

“We are very excited to have received [clearance] from the FDA so that we can move forward with clinical trials to study CM-4612,” Curemark CEO Joan Fallon said. “Curemark hopes to have the first physiologically based medication to address ADHD, in lieu of the current psychotropic and stimulant treatments.”

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FDA approves additional dosage for NovoSeven RT

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new dose of a treatment for hemophilia from Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug maker said.

The FDA approved Novo Nordisk’s NovoSeven RT (coagulation factor VIIa [recombinant], room temperature stable) in 8-mg vials. The treatment, which comes in the form of a powder mixed for injection, was already available in 1, 2 and 5 mg vials. The FDA also approved an extension of shelf life for all vial sizes from 24 months to 36 months at or below 77 degrees.

NovoSeven RT is formulated for patients with hemophilia A or B with inhibitors. The new dosage will shorten the time it takes to prepare the injection, known as reconstitution, compared with current dosages.

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