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Study: PPIs shift NSAID stomach damage to small intestine; probiotics possible solution

BY Michael Johnsen

HAMILTON, Ontario — Proton-pump inhibitors may aggravate, not soothe, stomach discomfort created through chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for such conditions as arthritis, according to research released Thursday.

In a study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology, principal investigator John Wallace reported the extent of the hard-to-detect damage caused to the small intestine only recently has been discovered through use of small video cameras swallowed like pills.

“Suppressing acid secretion is effective for protecting the stomach from damage caused by NSAIDs, but these drugs appear to be shifting the damage from the stomach to the small intestine, where the ulcers may be more dangerous and more difficult to treat,” Wallace said. He is director of the Farncombe institute and professor of medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster.

He added that the use of probiotics is being investigated as a potential cure for the small intestine damage.

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a CIHR/Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Fellowship.

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GSK announces VP sales Clark Brown departure

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday announced that 25-year veteran Clark Brown, VP sales at GSK Consumer Healthcare, will be leaving the organization effective Sept. 2.

“Clark has been a valuable team member throughout his many years with GSK, and his passion and effective leadership of the U.S. consumer sales team has been critical to the success of our business,” stated Colin Mackenzie, president GSK Consumer Healthcare North America.

“GSK has been a great company to be part of, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside so many outstanding people," said Brown, who is departing the company to pursue opportunities outside of the organization. "I want to extend my deepest appreciation to those I have built partnerships with over the years, both internal and external, that have made me proud to be a part of this industry.”

Brown was named VP field sales in January 2005 and then became VP U.S. sales in January 2010. He was responsible for the customer sales force in the United States. Brown initially joined SmithKline Beecham in 1986 as a territory manager, and throughout his tenure he has held several internal positions and senior management sales positions. During his time with GSK, Brown played a key role in five Rx-to-OTC switches and created the first U.S. customer segmentation model.

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BTS, pharmacy lift sales across Southeast discount chain

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Back-to-school and improved pharmacy performance lifted Fred’s sales for the month of August, the company reported Thursday.

Fred’s total sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 27 increased 3% to $137.8 million. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.6% on top of an increase of 3.6% for the same period last year.

Fred’s total sales for the year-to-date period increased 2% to $1.1 billion. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.6% versus an increase of 2.6% for the same period last year.

"We continue to see proof that our initiatives to drive sales and market share growth are resonating with challenged consumers throughout our markets," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "Overall, August sales mark a solid start to the third quarter."

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