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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PAD patients that use aspirin reduce risk of stroke, study finds

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO In patients with peripheral artery disease, a blocked leg blood vessel, prophylactic use of aspirin either alone or in conjunction with dipyridamole did not reduce incidence of heart disease, but did reduce the risk of a nonfatal stroke, research published May 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found.

The finding comes from a meta-analysis of studies around aspirin use with PAD.

Overall, studies found a 12% reduction in all cardiovascular events among patients receiving aspirin therapy, compared with those who were not. And while that reduction was considered statistically insignificant, the incidence of nonfatal stroke was 34% lower in the aspirin-taking group.

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