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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Nordic Naturals launches Omega Longevity

BY Michael Johnsen

WATSONVILLE, Calif. Nordic Naturals on Monday announced the launch of Omega Longevity, purified fish oil high in omega-3 essential fatty acids combined with two antioxidants – resveratrol and green tea extract – for targeted nutritional support for healthy aging.

Omega Longevity offers 455-mg EPA, 315-mg DHA, 120 mg resveratrol and 500-mg of green tea extract per two soft gel serving. By combining the benefits of fish oil with these antioxidants, Omega Longevity helps protect cells and tissue from damage associated with aging, neutralizes harmful free radicals, optimizes cell membrane fluidity and supports long-term physical and cognitive health for optimal aging.

“Resveratrol has captured the attention of anti-aging researchers because it specifically inhibits the proposed biochemical processes of aging by working as a strong antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation, preventing cytotoxicity and acting as a chemopreventive agent,” stated Bradley West, Nordic Naturals research advisor.

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Study shows parents speak to teens about OTC abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new Partnership/Metlife Parents Attitude Tracking Study indicates that 65% of parents are talking to their teens about the dangers of using over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to get high, up from 55% in 2007.

“We know that parents play a critical role in keeping their kids drug-free,” stated Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “It is great news that more and more parents are exercising that power and talking to their kids about cough medicine abuse just as they would about any substance abuse behavior.”

Nationwide statistics from the National Institutes of Health’s Monitoring the Future study show a slight overall decline in teen cough medicine abuse. ”That is one of the reasons the Partnership is so committed to helping parents have these important conversations with their teens.”

“The data are encouraging, since we know that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risks of drugs are up to 50% less likely to ever use  drugs,” stated Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

CHPA works with the Partnership and other interested organizations on a number of initiatives targeting teen cough medicine abuse. All of the association’s efforts can be found on http://www.StopMedicineAbuse.org.

“Our member companies are steadfast in their commitment to prevent teen cough medicine abuse,” Suydam stated. “But we know that our work is far from over. With the help of such partners as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America, we will continue our efforts to make sure all parents are aware of this substance abuse behavior and most importantly, talking with their children about it.”

The PATS-Parents 2008 is a nationally projectable survey of 1,004 parents of children in grades 4-12 and was conducted by the Partnership with major funding from MetLife Foundation.

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