HEALTH

Study suggests pediatric use of acetaminophen can lead to asthma

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON The journal Lancet on Friday announced a large study covering children in 31 countries has found that use of acetaminophen in children in the first year may be at higher risk for developing asthma.

The study consisted of parent-provided reports of 205,000 children and found that acetaminophen use in the first year of life was associated with a 46 percent higher risk of asthma by age six, as compared to children who were not given acetaminophen in the first year.

The findings will be published in the Sept. 20 issue of the journal.

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Patent lawsuit over Perrigo’s Monistat-1 dismissed

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Thursday announced that the Hatch-Waxman litigation relating to Miconazole Nitrate Vaginal Cream and Suppository between Johnson & Johnson and Perrigo has been dismissed. Accordingly, Perrigo plans to launch a store brand version of the Monistat-1 Combination Pack following Food and Drug Administration approval, the company reported.

“This is another example of Perrigo’s commitment to continue bringing new store brand products to the market, stated Perrigo president and chief executive officer Joe Papa. “The one-day Miconazole cream and suppository introduction to the store brand market provides an important new product in the feminine hygiene category to our retail and wholesale customers while providing significant savings for the consumer. Perrigo is working every day to make quality healthcare more affordable.”

Earlier this year, Perrigo had been sued by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil unit for infringement of a patent related to Perrigo’s filing of an ANDA for a generic to Monistat-1 Combination Pack in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Monistat-1 has annual retail sales of approximately $80 million dollars, Perrigo reported. The dismissal of the lawsuit ends the 30 month Hatch-Waxman stay period, which was originally set to expire in September 2010. Perrigo expects its pending launch to have 180 day first-to-file exclusivity.

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Schiff president predicts an end to competitive discounting

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY Competitive discounting among the bone/joint supplement health business may be nearing its end, thanks to rising raw ingredient costs, Bruce Wood, Schiff Nutrition International president and chief executive officer, told analysts during a conference call Thursday morning.

“We are starting to experience joint care ingredient cost increases,” he said, which in turn may impact the ability to discount the Schiff brand in the coming year. “It remains to be seen how underlying raw ingredient price increases will impact the market,” Wood said, but conjectured that manufacturers may not be able to discount products in the bone/joint category for too much longer.

Although Wood did not mention NBTY at all, competitors in the space have in the past noted the difficulty in matching NBTY’s frequent buy-one-get-one promotions across its Osteo-Bi-Flex brand.

Schiff posted net sales of $47.8 million for the three months ended Aug. 31, 2008, a 17.4 percent increase over year-ago results. “The significant increase was driven by incremental private label sales volume as new business acquired in the fiscal 2008 fourth quarter continued to positively impact the current quarter,” Wood stated.

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