HEALTH

Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray reaches store shelves

BY Michael Johnsen

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Sanofi and its U.S. consumer healthcare division Chattem on Tuesday announced that Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray is now available over the counter in the United States to relieve seasonal and year-round nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, in adults and children 2 years of age and older.  

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is the first and only nasal corticosteroid to be available at full prescription strength without the need for a prescription.  It works differently than other over-the-counter treatments to relieve the full range of nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, by stopping more of the chemical responses that cause those symptoms.  

"Now that Nasacort Allergy 24HR is available over the counter, the millions of people who suffer from seasonal and year-round allergies have easier access to the gold standard treatment for nasal allergy symptoms," said Zan Guerry, Chattem CEO.

The launch will make Chattem an allergy powerhouse with an expected half billion or more in allergy product sales between its brands Allegra and now Nasacort. 

Kline Healthcare’s industry analyst Laura Mahecha projected Nasacort Allergy’s annual sales potential to reach as high as $200 million. 

 

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House introduces bill to place age restriction on DXM purchase

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, last week introduced bipartisan legislation — the Preventing Abuse of Cough Medicine Treatment Act — that would help combat the abuse of dextromethorphan by placing an age restriction on its purchase. 

“Millions of Americans use these cold medicines responsibly to gain relief from coughs and colds," Braley said. "However, these medicines are available at every supermarket, drug store and convenience store in the country, giving teenagers unlimited access to purchase and abuse them. As a parent, I’m always focused on what we can do to protect Iowa’s children — and after researching this issue, it became clear that something needed to be done.”

"We must protect teens from abusing medicines like DXM, educate teens about the risks associated with this destructive behavior and deter teens from purchasing these medications with the intent to get high," Johnson added.

“This bill is one part of a larger, multipronged approach to prevent cough medicine abuse, along with educating parents and teens about the risks and social stigma associated with this behavior," noted Scott Melville, president and CEO for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. CHPA has long supported an age-18 restriction, as well as national educational efforts to curb teen OTC cough medicine abuse through its StopMedicineAbuse.org education campaign, which includes collaborations with The Partnership at Drugfree.org, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the National Association of School Nurses and others.

The PACT Act ensures that adults will have reasonable access to these medicines, while at the same time preventing DXM abuse among teenagers. The legislation would restrict the sale of dextromethorphan to those under the age of 18 years, unless presented with a doctor’s prescription. Additionally, it would ensure that only legitimate entities registered with the FDA or comparable state agencies can purchase raw, unfinished (bulk) dextromethorphan.

In 2013 the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that roughly 1-in-20 teens in grades eight through 12 have abused cough medicine by taking excessive amounts to get “high.” Teens will often take up to 25 times more than the recommended dose.

The PACT Act is the House companion to the Senate legislation that was introduced by Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark. It’s being supported by a broad coalition of organizations, including the American Association of Poison Control Centers, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, CHPA, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, National Association of School Nurses, National Consumers League, Partnership at DrugFree.Org, Safe Kids Worldwide and Treatment Communities of America. 

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CRN elevates ‘Duffy’ MacKay to SVP

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday promoted Douglas “Duffy” MacKay to SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, effective immediately. This promotion recognizes the contributions MacKay has made to CRN in the science and regulatory areas since he joined the association in September 2008.

“Dr. MacKay is a strong and influential voice for the science behind dietary supplements, speaking regularly at scientific symposiums and industry conferences, and sought out consistently by consumer and trade press for thoughtful perspectives on research,” Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO, said. “In addition, his leadership has been instrumental in driving CRN’s science initiatives, which include contributions to the peer-reviewed literature and encouraging scientific and nutrition thought leaders to differentiate between evidence-based nutrition and evidence-based medicine as research paradigms. In leading CRN’s regulatory program, Dr. MacKay has helped shape CRN’s policy positions while robustly and articulately promoting those views to government agencies.”

MacKay oversees CRN’s science and regulatory affairs department, ensuring that the association’s scientific, policy and legislative positions are based on credible scientific rationale. His expertise combines practical knowledge of industry regulation and scientific product development with hands-on experience as a medical practitioner. MacKay is a licensed naturopathic doctor who still sees patients on a part-time basis in an integrative medical practice, and previously spent seven years as a co-owner and practitioner in a family-owned New Hampshire complementary and alternative medicine private practice.

MacKay has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on the Editorial Board of three peer-reviewed publications: Alternative Medicine Review; Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal; and Natural Medicine Journal. In addition he serves on the Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council and on the NSF International Joint Committee on Dietary Supplements. He is also chair of the Steering Committee for the SIDI Work Group. 

Prior to joining CRN, MacKay worked for two dietary supplement companies as their medical consultant. MacKay earned his B.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his N.D. from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

 

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