HEALTH

ProPhase rejects second overture from Matrixx Initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Monday again rejected an acquisition proposal from Matrixx Initiatives. Matrixx’s latest offer was to acquire ProPhase for $1.60 per share in cash, up from a prior $1.40 per share proposal. 

"The extra 20 cents per share that Matrixx has tacked on to its prior inadequate offer does not alter our view that the current shareholders of ProPhase should benefit from the upside created by our current strategies, not the private equity owners of one of our primary competitors," stated Ted Karkus, ProPhase chairman and CEO. "Matrixx’s fundamental assertion that ProPhase supposedly ‘lacks the scale to effectively compete’ … is demonstrably false, as evidenced by the most recent 52-week industry retail sales data, which show that even without including ProPhase’s new products, our core Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy products continue to grow at double-digit rates while sales of many of our competitors’ products, including Matrixx’s Zicam-brand core cough-cold products, declined by double digits during the same time period."

Karkus added, "If we stay the course, we believe that our shareholders will be well rewarded for their patience."

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Acura Pharmaceuticals introduces PSE product that will be less attractive to ‘meth cooks’

BY Michael Johnsen

PALATINE, Ill. — Acura Pharmaceuticals in December will launch an immediate-release pseudoephedrine tablet under the brand name Nexafed that will help impede conversion of the tablets into methamphetamine. Couched as the "next generation pseudoephedrine product," Nexafed is a 30-mg PSE hydrochloride tablet that utilizes Acura’s trademarked Impede technology. 

When using the "shake-and-bake" or "one-pot" method, the Impede technology yields approximately half as much methamphetamine as compared to a traditional PSE product — or 38% of the maximum possible pure methamphetamine out of each tablet — and consequently makes use of the cold medicine by "meth cooks" less profitable.

For other methods of baking meth out of PSE tablets, which require isolating the pseudoephedrine from the cold tablets, the Impede technology yields no usable pseudoephedrine. 

The brand is being positioned as the "higher road" option, where purchase of the brand is driven by reducing the appeal of PSE products sold at retail to criminals. "This is a high-recommendation category," noted Acura CEO Bob Jones. "When the pharmacist gets behind a product like Nexafed … that message will translate into product sales."

Eventually, Acura plans to file with the Drug Enforcement Agency for an exemption from the requirement that PSE products be sold behind the pharmacy counter. That would place a PSE product back on store shelves for the first time in seven years. Launching now will help Acura build a case of real-life positive outcomes, Jones told DSN. "We think that will [generate] the most impactful data that we can provide to regulators."

Impede Technology utilizes a proprietary mixture of inactive ingredients that forms a viscous, gelatinous mixture when dissolved in solvents typically used in the PSE extraction or methamphetamine production processes and trapping the PSE or converted methamphetamine to prevent its isolation or purification. The unique mixture of inactive ingredients in Nexafed is generally recognized as safe by the FDA.

Nexafed will be line-priced inline with other PSE tablet products.

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M.BUDD says:
Dec-04-2012 05:09 pm

I didn't know about this product. I have heard about Zephrex-D from Highland Pharmaceuticals, using the Tarex formulation process which makes it quite impossible to be turned into methamphetamine: http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com/ephedrine-for-sale-over-the-counter-again Are these products similar? Is it the same formulation process? Same effectiveness for cold, allergy and asthma? Did Acura Pharmaceuticals get this exemption? In all cases I find it very promising: first it will hopefully reduce the number of meth labs and second it will force the industry to switch to this new generation meth-resistant products. Cheers, Mike

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Study: Parents confident in administering correct acetaminophen dose with AccuDial dosing label

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — As many as 97% of parents are confident they administered the correct dose of acetaminophen when using AccuDial Pharmaceutical’s weight-based dosing label, according to research published earlier this year.

In 2011 Concentric Research conducted a two-phase label comprehension and dosing study on behalf of AccuDial Pharmaceutical. In phase one, 61 adult parents/caregivers with children below 18 years old participated. In phase two 565 adult parents/caregivers with children below 18 years old participated. Of those, 10% of the parents were in the lower literacy category based on the REALM literacy test that all participants were required to take prior to participating in the study.

The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the ability of parents with children below age 18 to understand the dosing instructions of AccuDial’s Children’s Acetaminophen product with a new rotating weight-based dosing label (dosing comprehension) and to demonstrate their understanding by measuring a dose (dosing behavior) when given various scenarios.

As part of the phase one study, 30 participants evaluated the AccuDial acetaminophen dosing chart, and 31 participants evaluated the five Age/Weight Range Dosing chart — the dosing chart that national brand and store brand manufacturers display on their product labels.

Parents that evaluated AccuDial scored significantly higher — between 84% and 93% — in their comprehension of the correct amount of medication to give a child. There was less comprehension associated with using the Age/Weight Ranging Dosing chart.

In situations where a child’s age and weight match the dosing directions on the Age/Weight Ranging Dosing chart, the comprehension was 80.6%. However, when the child’s age and weight did not match the age/weight range on the chart, dosing comprehensions was between 58% and 67%. Parents were less sure of how to dose when their children were heavier than indicated on the chart against the corresponding age range.

The phase two study was conducted in 10 cities across the United States. Comprehension results for AccuDial ranged between 84% and 97%, and were statistically comparable to the comprehension results in phase one. The dosing section in phase two produced slightly better results, as 97% of parents were confident they administered the correct amount of medication.

In phase one AccuDial included a calibrated dosing spoon, and the Age/Weight Comparator product used a calibrated dosing cup. Between phase one and phase two, AccuDial replaced the calibrated dosing spoon with an oral syringe (and a Push-In Bottle Adapter). The syringe proved easier to measure the correct amount of medication, was easier to administer the medication directly from the syringe and parents were concerned that the thick viscosity of acetaminophen caused between .5 mL and 1.5 mL to remain in a dosing cup or spoon.

Subsequently, AccuDial includes a Push-in Bottle Adapter and oral syringe with all acetaminophen products.

Click here for the complete study results.

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