HEALTH

NCPA names Merck 2013 Corporate Recognition Award recipient

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Sunday recognized Merck with its 2013 Corporate Recognition Award — the award recognizes a company for its support and work on behalf of independent community pharmacies — during NCPA’s 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition.

“Merck is improving the quality of life for millions of people throughout the world and has a long-standing, substantive relationship with NCPA that goes back over a century,” stated Donnie Calhoun, NCPA president. “Merck is a very deserving recipient of the NCPA 2013 Corporate Recognition Award, and we hope to continue our strong relationship in the future as, among other shared goals, we both seek to ensure patients are maximizing the benefits of prescription drugs through greater adherence.”

Merck has been directly helping pharmacists since it published the first Merck Manual in 1899. More recently, Merck has been a champion and partner with NCPA in the Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence initiative and as the sole sponsor of NCPA’s Adherence Institute for the past two years. This special track of adherence-themed programming at NCPA’s convention provides pharmacists with ideas for how they can take their adherence services to the next level to improve patient health and outcomes and showcase their role as medication experts. 

Merck also has been a key supporter of pharmacists providing immunization services. 

“Merck believes community pharmacists are an important, accessible part of the healthcare team," stated Ken Massey, Merck VP U.S. medical affairs. "Merck values its relationship with NCPA and community pharmacy,” he said. 

 

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USA Today: Two products masquerading as supplements contain methamphetamine-like substance

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — USA Today on Monday morning reported two products marketed as dietary supplements in outlets including Walmart.com and GNC have actually been adulterated with a chemical similar to methamphetamine.  

The supplements included Craze, a pre-workout powder sold by Driven Sports, and Gaspari Nutrition’s weight loss supplement Detonate. 

"These are basically brand-new drugs that are being designed in clandestine laboratories where there’s absolutely no guarantee of quality control," Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the analysis of Craze samples that’s being published Monday in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis, told USA Today

USA Today reported that Walmart.com and several online retailers had stopped selling Craze in the wake of USA Today‘s initial investigation into the supplements. Detonate is sold by a variety of online retailers, the paper reported.

 

 

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Sanofi: Nasacort first nasal corticosteroid available without a prescription

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS — Allergy sufferers will have a new treatment option available to them by the spring allergy season. Sanofi on Friday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved Nasacort Allergy 24HR nasal spray (triamcinolone intranasal) as an over-the-counter treatment for seasonal and year-round nasal allergies in adults and children 2 years of age and older. 

Nasacort is the first and only nasal corticosteroid to be available without a prescription and will be marketed by Sanofi’s consumer healthcare division, Chattem.

This makes Chattem the new allergy powerhouse. The company already fields Allegra, and for the 52 weeks ended July 14, Allegra products generated more than $335 million in revenue across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. 

"[Chattem’s] Allegra is already neck-and-neck with Claritin," noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline Healthcare. But the nasal format is not expected to become as big as the competing allergy tablets, including Allegra, she said, because tablets are perceived to be a preferred delivery form among consumers. 

That would cap Nasacort’s potential at around $200 million. "[But] each person’s allergies are different," she said. "There may be a whole group of people [whose allergies respond] better to the nasal steroids."

Together with Allegra, Chattem’s OTC allergy portfolio would approach $450 million in annual sales if sales of Nasacort reached even $100 million in sales. 

Nasacort is the only single active ingredient OTC medicine that relieves the full range of nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, for 24 hours with a single daily dose, Sanofi asserted. 

Chattem anticipates that Nasacort will be available in spring 2014.

 

 

 

 

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