HEALTH

SDI: Rx antivirals are booming due to swine flu outbreak

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. For all the consternation generated around fears of an H1N1 pandemic, sales of prescription antivirals are booming. SDI’s Vector One: National shows that for the week ended May 1, the number of new antiviral prescriptions dispensed at retail pharmacies was 277,196 — more than 19 times higher than the prior week.

“The number of new antiviral prescriptions last week was nearly double that of new antiviral prescriptions during the peak of the 2008-2009 flu season,” SDI noted.

According to SDI’s Sentinel Laboratory Network, which monitors circulating strains of influenza by tracking influenza type, location and patient age groups infected, the peak of this most recent flu season was during the week of March 7. The weeks before and after showed new prescriptions ranging from approximately 150,000 to a high of nearly 155,000 during the week ending Feb. 27.

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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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