HEALTH

Prevacid 24HR receives approval for OTC sale

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Novartis Consumer Healthcare on Thursday announced that its Rx-to-OTC switch application of the proton-pump inhibitor Prevacid 24HR has been approved for sale OTC and will soon be available on shelf.

“This is an important development for the 50 million Americans who suffer from frequent heartburn,” stated Brian Fennerty of Oregon Health and Science University. “Prescription-strength Prevacid 24HR treats frequent heartburn for a full 24 hours [and] will be an effective and well-tolerated over-the-counter option for treating frequent heartburn.”

In clinical studies, some people experienced complete relief of symptoms within 24 hours, however, it may take one to four days for full effect, similar to Prilosec OTC, Novartis noted.

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HEALTH

SDI: Rx antivirals drop close to 60%

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOIUTH MEETING, Pa. SDI’s Vector One: National shows that for the week ended May 8, the number of new antiviral prescriptions dispensed at retail pharmacies was 118,578 — a 59% drop compared with approximately 277,000 new prescriptions the week before.

Tamiflu accounted for 90% of the market’s new prescriptions last week, SDI stated Tuesday

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Drugstore.com sees increase in consumer visits

BY Michael Johnsen

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com on Wednesday reported a 75% increase in the past year in the number of consumers visiting its coupon, sale and clearance pages for nonprescription health and beauty products.

The number of orders coming from customers searching for bargains is up more than 90% year-over-year, the online druggist reported.

“We see more and more consumers looking for ways to save money on products they use every day, and drugstore.com is focused on finding new ways to offer even more value. In fact we just lowered prices on more than 2,000 products,” stated David Lonczak, VP and chief marketing officer for Drugstore.com. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve also seen more customers taking advantage of our drugstore.com dollars program, one of the highest value customer loyalty programs in the industry, offering 5% back toward a future purchase.”

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