HEALTH

Prevacid 24HR to launch with $200 million ad campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Novartis will storm the antacid market next week with a $200 million ad campaign behind its launch of Prevacid 24HR, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Television spots to differentiate Prevacid 24HR from its antacid competition — Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC, McNeil Consumer’s Pepcid Complete, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Zantac 150 and GlaxoSmithKline’s Tums, to name just a few — are expected to begin airing Thursday, underscoring the emotional difficulties of heartburn sufferers.

According to the Journal, the tagline for the antacid new addition will be: “Prevacid 24HR: When you’ve had it with heartburn.”

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Survey: Consumers should be proactive during cough-cold season

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. A recent national survey of 505 pharmacists released Tuesday by Matrixx Initiatives found that 9-out-of-10 pharmacists believe it is important for a patient to seek treatment early to help shorten the duration and severity of a cold. And 75% of pharmacists said most patients should purchase over-the-counter cold-and-flu products at the first sign of symptoms, but only 26% of their patients take this proactive approach.

According to the survey, pharmacists are increasingly playing a more prominent role in patient care due to the anticipated severity of the upcoming cold-and-flu season and the current state of the economy. The survey found 87% of pharmacists anticipate an overall increase in the number of cold and flu patients seeking their counsel and 85% agree that the economic downturn will specifically lead more patients to first come to their pharmacist rather than a physician.

“Early preparedness is going to be more important this cold and flu season; however, even with the threat of stronger, more virulent infections, pharmacists note that patients oftentimes delay treatment allowing a virus to live longer,” stated Fred Eckel, professor of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider for patients with cold and flu symptoms and the survey findings emphasize the important role of the pharmacist in educating patients with information about early treatment to shorten the duration and severity of a cold.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 85% of pharmacists agree the economy has increased the number of patient questions about OTC products;
  • 81% of pharmacists agree that more patients are opting to purchase OTC medications versus filling prescriptions due to the economic downturn; and
  • 81% of pharmacists report making five or more recommendations per day for OTC cold and flu products.

“We know from the survey that pharmacists are making a fair amount of daily recommendations for OTC products,” Eckel said. “Those who believe it’s important for patients to seek treatment early, at the first sign of cold symptoms, are recommending oral zinc-based remedies … in order to shorten the duration and severity of a cold.”

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CRN adds new voting members to board

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition earlier this month announced the addition of five voting members to its roster, including Alacer Corp., Atrium Innovations, Fluxome, FMC BioPolymer Corp. and Solazyme Health Sciences.

Alacer Corporation has been involved in developing, manufacturing and marketing dietary supplements for more than 35 years.  The company produces and sells more that 400 million packets of Emergen-C dietary supplements annually.

Atrium Innovations focuses primarily on growing segments of the health and nutrition markets which are benefiting from the trends towards healthy living and the ageing of the population.

Fluxome is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fluxome Sciences A/S and is a fast growing industrial biotechnology company established in 2002.  Fluxome’s business activities are focused around innovation, development, production and marketing of nutraceuticals ingredients.

FMC BioPolymer Corporation is an ingredient supplier of seaweed based nutritional ingredients for the human and animal nutrition markets. The company is one of the largest producers of carrageenan, alginates and Avicel MCC worldwide, and has headquarters in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Solazyme Health Sciences is a leading renewable oil and bioproducts company that uses algal biotechnology to renewably produce clean fuels, chemicals, foods and health science products. Solazyme’s advanced and proprietary technology uses algae to produce oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, cleanly, cost effectively and at large scale.

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