HEALTH

Strides Shasun launches popular store brand H2 blocker

BY Michael Johnsen

Strides Shasun on Monday introduced its Ranitidine Tablets, USP, 150 mg, the generic equivalent to the nonprescription Zantac digestive brand, to the U.S. marketplace. Strides Shasun already has a prescription-only rantidine product on the market in both 150 mg and 300 mg strengths.

Citing IRI data, Bangalore, India-based Strides Shasun reported Sanofi’s Zantac generated some $200 million in sales.

This marks the first product approval to stem from the 50/50 joint venture with Vivimed Labs. The product will be backward integrated and will be manufactured at the JV’s oral dosage facility in Chennai, India. Strides will have exclusive marketing rights for the product in the U.S. and will begin launching the product into the market immediately.

Ranitidine belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 histamine blockers. It is used to treat peptic ulcers of the stomach and intestines and gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn related to indigestion.

Strides Shasun has 82 cumulative ANDA filings before the Food and Drug Administration, of which 50 have been approved and 32 are pending approval, the company reported.

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EZC Pak-D named ‘Buyers Choice’ at ECRM cough-cold event

BY Michael Johnsen

The PPC Group won the ECRM/Drug Store News Buyers Choice award for the second straight year with its new EZC Pak-D immune support product during ECRM’s recent Cough/Cold, Analgesics & Allergy EPPS. Unipharma was a finalist with its DrKids Himasal Babies natural saline drops.

“Retail buyers attend ECRM’s sessions looking for innovative products like these to truly differentiate their assortments,” Judy Ard, vice president healthcare for ECRM, said. “It’s clear from the two selected winners that these buyers are seeking more natural solutions to consumers’ wellness needs.”

The two companies were selected from dozens of entries in the award program, samples of which were displayed in the ECRM hospitality area during the EPPS meetings. Buyers cast their votes based on product innovation and packaging.

Los Angeles-based PPC Group is a physician-led health products company focused on solving complex health problems, with a primary focus on inflammation, wound healing and infectious disease management.

The EZC Pak-D is a brand extension of the company’s base SKU offering EZC Pak, a physician-formulated immune support pack designed to reduce the overuse of antibiotics during cold and flu season, with the “D” referring to vitamin D. According to a WebMD study cited by the company, 95% of U.S. prescribers admit to writing antibiotics when unclear of their need, and patient expectation the No. 1 reason for this practice, which has contributed to rising antibiotic resistance. The EZC Pak-D is designed as a tool to address this problem with clinically formulated immune support in a packaging design developed to maintain patient compliance and satisfaction.

PPC Group won the Buyers Choice award last year for its original EZC-Pak last year.

Unipharma, based out of Tamarac, Fla., was established as a purpose-built blow-fill-seal and conventional fill manufacturing facility designed with liquid and semi-liquid Rx, OTC and Nutraceutical product capabilities. It specializes in single-dose filling technologies such as BFS, fill-seal and liquid stickpack, as well as high speed conventional fill.

The company’s DrKids Himasal Babies are hygienic and natural saline drops made with Himalayan Salt to moisturize and soothe a baby’s airways. According to the company, Himalayan salt is a naturally occurring salt sourced from the deepest salt mines in the world and is free of many toxins and pollutants found in other forms of salt. It’s available in 30 premeasured single doses and is developed to be easy to use, practical and recyclable.

 

 

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In the East, flu still packing a wallop

BY Michael Johnsen

For the first time in three weeks, the national incidence of flu-like illnesses as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fell below the 7% mark on Friday, suggesting this year’s flu season may be packing up and headed for the door.

For the week ended Feb. 17, 6.4% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network were due to ILI. And while that percentage is still well above the end-of-the-season indicator of 2.2%, it’s suggestive that this season, too, will eventually come to an end.

That’s great news for folks who have been significantly impacted by the flu this year and have been creating runs on everything from over-the-counter symptom relievers to prescription-only anti-virals.

As was indicated Wednesday by the Walgreens Flu Index, flu incidence appears to be moving from West to East, as flu incidence is dropping across many states in the western United States even as it picks up in the Northeast. For the week ended Feb. 17, 39 states were still experiencing high rates of influenza activity. On the East Coast, high rates of flu activity were recorded as far south as Georgia and as far north as New Hampshire.

Even this late in the season, CDC continued to recommend influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older as flu viruses are likely to continue circulating for weeks and there is an increasing proportion of influenza B and H1N1 viruses being detected. Early estimates show that flu vaccine has reduced risk of having to go to the doctor due to flu by 36% overall so far this season and that flu vaccine is offering substantial protection against H1N1 flu as well as moderate protection against flu B viruses.

In addition, in the context of widespread influenza activity, CDC reminded clinicians and the public about the importance of prompt treatment with antiviral medications in people who are severely ill and people who are at high risk of serious flu complications who develop flu symptoms.

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