HEALTH

Perrigo reports growth in Q3

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Thursday reported revenues of $505.9 million on 5% growth for its third quarter ended March 28, including $419.1 million across its consumer healthcare division, representing a 12% increase.

“In this quarter, the over-the-counter category [as a whole] fell 3% versus third quarter last year and the national brand category fell more than 7%, while Perrigo Consumer Healthcare grew 12%,” commented Joe Papa, Perrigo chairman and CEO. “We were able to achieve this growth rate despite the fact that we are comparing the results to the launches of omeprazole [Prilosec OTC] and cetirizine [Zyrtec] at this time last year. More consumers than ever are realizing the value that store brands have to offer.”

On Feb. 20, Perrigo announced that it began shipping its combination sleep aid-analgesic ibuprofen and diphenhydramine citrate tablets, 200/38-mg. The product is comparable with Wyeth Consumer Healthcare’s Advil PM tablets, 200/38-mg, which generated approximately $71 million in brand sales for the 12 months ended Dec. 21, Perrigo reported.

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Biocodex promotes Berry to director of marketing

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN BRUNO, Calif. Biocodex on Friday promoted Mary Berry to the position of director of marketing, reporting to Marc Rohman, VP and managing director of U.S. operations Biocodex.

“[Berry] has successfully increased brand awareness of Florastor in the U.S., and through her creative efforts has successfully contributed to increased sales of our flagship product,” Rohman said.

In her new role, Berry will continue to lead Biocodex’ marketing of Florastor as well as assist in the company’s mission to seek out and secure new products.

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CDC: School closures should only occur if faculty, student absenteeism is high

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Based on the fact that the H1N1 influenza virus appears to be not as severe as once feared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday lifted its recommendation that schools close for two weeks following confirmation that a student or teacher became ill with the H1N1 virus.

“As of May 4, 2009, more than 1,000 confirmed or probable cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) have been reported from 44 states, with numerous disease clusters, indicating spread within communities that makes individual school closure less effective as a control measure,” the CDC sated. “Most U.S. cases have not been severe and are comparable in severity to seasonal influenza.”

As a result, CDC is now advising schools to only close if the “magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism … interferes with the school’s ability to function,” which is similar to the agency’s recommendation on school closures during the seasonal flu season.

Schools that were closed based on previous interim CDC guidance related to this outbreak may reopen.

For individuals who become sick with the flu, CDC is advising them to stay home from work or school for one week so as not to infect others.

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