HEALTH

Research concludes that black cohosh may have no effect on liver function

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO According to research presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting this week, black cohosh has no effects on liver function, Enzymatic Therapy, distributors of Remifemin, announced Tuesday.

Black cohosh has been widely used in Europe and also in North America to treat menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, occasional irritability and mood swings. While extensive research has been published on this botanical, the question of liver safety has arisen in a few isolated cases, Enzymatic Therapy noted.

According to research from Rolf Teschke, black cohosh is not connected to liver problems.

“Teschke’s re-evaluation of four … cases considered by the European Medicines Agency as having a ‘possible’ or ‘probable’ causality, concluded that there was in fact no evidence for a causal relationship between treatment with black cohosh and the observed liver problems,” stated Belal Naser, head of drug safety at Schaper & Brummer, which manufactures Remifemin in Germany.

Teschke said that, “due to incomplete data, the case of one patient was not assessable. In the remaining three cases, one patient diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis had a favorable course under continued steroid therapy. The two other patients, who required liver transplants, received a final diagnosis of herpetic hepatitis. In none of these four was there any causality between treatment with black cohosh and liver disease.”

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MannKind has dip in profit, flat sales

BY Alaric DeArment

VALENCIA, Calif. A drug company focused on developing drugs for diabetes and cancer reported a reduction in operating, research and development and general and administrative expenses of more than $32 million in its first quarter 2009 financial results Monday.

MannKind Corp. said the decrease in research and development expenses, by $15.6 million, was primarily due to decreased costs associated with the clinical development of the fast-acting insulin Afresa.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $30.2 million as of March 31, compared with $46.5 million on Dec. 31 and $269.1 million on March 31, 2008.

“This past quarter was extremely busy for MannKind, culminating in our submission to the FDA of a new drug application for Afresa.” chairman and CEO Alfred Mann said in a statement. “With this milestone accomplished, we are now turning our attention to commercial readiness activities.”

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Vagisil launches new feminine hygiene product

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. As a brand leader in the feminine hygiene product market, Combe on Monday announced the introduction of Vagisil Satin — a fast-absorbing creme that provides quick and long-lasting relief from itch and irritation as it soothes and helps heal the skin.

“Whether at work, home or on the go, external vaginal discomfort not only causes physical stress, but also puts a damper on a woman’s mood and confidence level,” stated Adelaide Nardone, board certified OB/GYN.

According to the Journal of Urgent Care, vulvovaginitis is the cause of approximately 10 million office visits in the United States annually. Vulvovaginitis can be characterized by symptoms of itching, irritation, burning, redness, discharge and discomfort.

“These uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms affect women of all ages and are common gynecological concerns,” commented Jeanne Collins, Combe senior brand manager of marketing, feminine hygiene. “We are thrilled about the launch of Vagisil Satin as we continually strive to meet the needs of women by offering them a solution that immediately helps them feel more comfortable.”

Vagisil Satin contains 1% hydrocortisone acetate and provides 12 hours of relief from itch, discomfort and distraction.

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