HEALTH

New report indicates times are a-changin’ for drug market

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The drug industry is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Companies that traditionally have relied on blockbuster drugs are finding that model running dry as their biggest money-makers face competition from generics that eventually will lead to a heavily commoditized market for the disease states that have been the foundation for the model, such as high cholesterol, asthma, mental illness and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

(THE NEWS: IMS Health projects growth for Rx market. For the full story, click here)

In response, many are changing their focus to high-value specialty drugs, especially biotech drugs. For drug companies, it’s just their way of adapting to survive. But it’s also driving a shift in the world of pharmacy, feeding the growth of specialty pharmacy and, in turn, changing the role of the pharmacist in health care, all the while creating opportunities for retail pharmacies to embrace specialty pharmacy as a driver of growth as the “genericization” of pharmaceuticals threatens to dampen their sales figures.

It’s a trend that’s likely to continue. Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth, Merck’s acquisition of Schering-Plough, Roche’s acquisition of the remainder of Genentech and, most recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s acquisition of ZymoGenetics, as well as Sanofi-Aventis’ efforts to buy Genzyme, are just the largest examples of the pharma shift under way.

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GNC highlights endurance selection

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GNC on Thursday announced it would highlight its new “Endurance Wall,” which includes as many as 50 SKUs, at two upcoming endurance events.

“The GNC endurance selection is an amazing array of products designed to meet the specific needs of serious athletes across all sports and activities. No matter what their level of experience, GNC has the right product,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP store operations and development.

The new wall will house the on-course drinks for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 9, and from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10.

“GNC supports a wide range of athletic events around the country, but these two events symbolize the GNC Live Well premise –– that all athletes, whether professionals or serious amateurs, can participate in open events that provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate that their training, with its highs and lows, is worth it all,” stated Dave Sims, GNC VP direct marketing and two-time Hawaii Ironman participant.

In Kona, the PowerBar Ironman Perform is the on-course drink for the race. GNC’s Kona store is only two blocks from the start/finish line and the bike and run components of the race go past it on the way out and coming back. More than 1,800 participants are expected in the Hawaii Ironman event, with thousands more cheering them on.

In Chicago, Gatorade’s G Series Pro 02 endurance formula is the on-course drink for the 33rd running of the marathon. In addition to on-course availability, marathoners and spectators alike will be able to find G Series Pro 02 at GNC stores in the area. As well as the thousands of spectators in downtown Chicago, there will be 38,000 runners, including more than 20,000 from outside Illinois.

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Professional Therapy MuscleCare gets ECRM best new product award

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS Professional Therapy MuscleCare last month was awarded “best new product” at the ECRM Health Management EPPS held here. The award, sponsored by Drug Store News, is presented to the manufacturer that collects the most “best new product” votes from retailers attending the event.

As part of its initial rollout, MuscleCare has penned a sponsorship deal with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic, a group of sports chiropractors from 30 countries that treat Olympic and nationally ranked athletes.

The company fields two topical pain-relief products — topical Professional Therapy MuscleCare extra-strength roll-on gel and Professional Therapy MuscleCare ointment — and presently has distribution through Duane Reade and CVS.com. The products contain camphor and menthol to relax tissue and increase the flow of healthy blood, and nutrients in order to reset the muscle to its normal resting length and promote healing.

 

"The topical pain-relief industry has long been lacking in safety and efficacy, and I have gone to great lengths and conducted a thorough clinical study to change that," stated Chris Oswald, CEO of Professional Therapy MuscleCare, when debuting the product earlier this year.

 

 

The retail price is $19.99 for the roll-on gel and $25.99 for the ointment.

 

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