HEALTH

Neosporin expands with lip care line

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Neosporin, a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. brand, is diving into the dry lip segment with the launch of its new Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy and Neosporin Lip Health overnight renewal therapy.

The new products, which are shipping now, will join a portfolio of existing Neosporin products, including Neosporin LT Lip Treatment for the treatment of cold sores and severely dry chapped lips.

The new lip products are clinically shown to restore visibly healthier lips in three days, according to the company.

Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy contains SPF 20 to protect lips from sunburn and both formulas feature a patented combination of lipids and antioxidants to soften and smooth lips. Peptides, vitamins and emollients also help to nourish and strengthen lips over time.

Both products have a suggested retail price of $4.99.

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Matrixx seeks to increase brand awareness with more advertising

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx plans to step up its advertising this cough-cold season, converting one-time nasal swab users into purchasers of one of several Zicam oral remedies, Bill Hemelt, acting president and COO, told shareholders during the company’s annual meeting held Wednesday.

“The landscape for the company has changed dramatically as a result of the June 16 [Food and Drug Administration] warning letter,” Hemelt said, referencing the agency’s written concerns that Matrixx’ nasal Zicam products could be associated with an increase in anosmia (the loss of the sense of smell).

Matrixx voluntarily pulled those products off the shelf following that warning letter, though Hemelt noted that so far 10 federal judges had dismissed similar claims prior to the FDA letter.

Accompanying the increased advertising support, Matrixx also plans on implementing a sizeable retail promotional support. “We worked with our retail partners to modify [cough/cold sets] to feature oral Zicam products,” Hemelt said. Hemelt thanked the company’s retail partners for their collective support.

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GSK releases statement on safety of Alli

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH In light of raised safety concerns around orlistat, the active ingredient in the weight-loss drug Alli, GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday stated: “GSK stands firmly behind the safety and efficacy of Alli. Our primary priority is patient health, and we want people to know that there is no evidence that Alli causes liver damage.”

The FDA is reviewing data from suspected cases on liver injury associated with the use of orlistat. Any routine assessment from a regulatory body does not mean that a risk or causal relationship exists, GSK stated. Orlistat’s safety has been established through 100 clinical studies involving more than 30,000 patients, the company added.

Orlistat is a “non-systemically” acting medicine — it is minimally absorbed in the blood and works locally in the gastro-intestinal tract. There is therefore no obvious biological mechanism to suggest liver damage can occur with orlistat.

People who are overweight and obese are predisposed to liver-related disorders.

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