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OTC gels boost athlete’s foot market

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK —The relatively flat athlete’s foot segment of the foot care category has been infused with a little new product excitement this year with the introduction of Novartis’ LamisilAT Gel product and Pedinol’s Fungoid Tincture. Good news for purveyors of OTC foot care solutions, especially as Novartis’ Lamisil prescription medicine for treatment of severe athlete’s foot begins facing generic competition. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first Lamisil generic equivalents in July, making it a potentially cheaper alternative for consumers.

Pedinol launched earlier this year a potential incremental athlete’s foot treatment, Fungoid Tincture, that is placed around the nail bed to help treat athlete’s foot that has rooted underneath the nail. “A lot of doctors [recommend] our product before trying a prescription product because some of their patients have other ailments … they try to limit the number of systemic products they take,” said Carmen Polanco, product manager for Pedinol.

Novartis earlier this year introduced its LamisilAT Gel, a cooling gel formula that cures most athlete’s foot with seven once-a-day doses, which according to the company is half the treatment required of any competing brand. “Many athlete’s foot products require you to apply treatment twice a day for up to four weeks,” stated José Rodriguez, vice president of marketing, at the time of the product’s launch in March.

Novartis has been promoting its LamisilAT Gel through the National Basketball Association with spokesmen Tony Parker, a two-time NBA all-star point guard who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, and contests that had five winners shooting hoops with Parker on the hardwood.

Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes, that as much as 70 percent of the U.S. population will experience at some point in their lives. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark and humid environment that encourages fungal growth, but may also spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails.

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Kroger appoints Going as Michigan division president

BY Adam Kraemer

CINCINNATI The Kroger Co. announced Wednesday that it has named Rick Going president of the company’s new Michigan division.

Kroger currently operates 138 stores in the state; Going will oversee operations in them, effective immediately.

During his 26-year tenure with Kroger, Going has held a number of district- and division-level leadership positions at the store and has served as vice president of Retail Operations and vice president of Merchandising for Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

“Rick brings extensive experience in operations and merchandising to this new role,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “We look forward to his leadership as he works with our associates to build on Kroger’s growth in Michigan by focusing on our customers to create even better shopping experiences for them.”

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NACDS responds to “misleading” New York Times article

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has fired back at The New York Times after the publication ran an article in its Sept. 18 issue titled, “The ‘Poisonous Cocktail’ of Multiple Drugs.”

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

The NACDS said the article misrepresented the role of chain pharmacies in the prevention of harmful drug interactions. The article blamed, “places where chain stores have replaced independent pharmacies or when the patient’s drug plan requires that medications be ordered by mail.” The NACDS retaliated by stating that all pharmacists, no matter whether they work in a chain or at an independent pharmacy, counsel patients for drug interactions and rely on medication information for this purpose.

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