HEALTH

Sunstar Americas introduces probiotic supplement designed for oral health

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Sunstar Americas on Monday introduced GUM PerioBalance, one of the first probiotic supplements specifically created for oral health.

GUM PerioBalance is currently available online through www.drugstore.com and at Bartell Drugs retail locations in the Seattle area. The company is planning a national launch by 2010.

GUM PerioBalance is a daily dental probiotic supplement that comes in a mint flavored lozenge and is made with Prodentis, a unique blend of probiotics specifically formulated to provide oral health benefits by balancing the oral environment. It is clinically shown to reduce moderate-to-severe plaque and promote healthy teeth and gums in just 28 days, the company stated.

“Stress, illness, poor diet, or inadequate oral hygiene can disrupt oral balance, allowing bad bacteria to thrive leading to oral health problems like plaque buildup, unhealthy teeth and gums, and bad breath,” stated Nikki Lockett, marketing manager Sunstar Americas. “When taken daily, Gum PerioBalance helps keep the oral environment balanced, providing a natural defense against oral health problems.”

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CHPA addresses economy, OTC abuse at annual conference

BY Michael Johnsen

NAPLES, Fl. The big issue addressed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Friday at its 2009 Annual Executive Conference was, without surprise, the economy.

“Much has changed since we met last year in Washington, D.C.,” said Linda Suydam, CHPA president, in her annual state of the association address.

But as challenging as the economy may be, Suydam said that “American consumers are counting on this industry. We are certain that millions of consumers look to us” for continued access to safe, effective and affordable healthcare.

To that end, CHPA has significantly stepped up its consumer education efforts in the past year, from outlining a plan to address the safety and efficacy questions raised around pediatric cough/cold medicines, which is “by far the biggest education initiative ever undertaken by this association,” Suydam said, referring to the abuse of over-the-counter medicines like dextromethorphan.

Incidentally, thanks in part to the association’s outreach to 24 million parents through its Five Moms campaign, the abuse of DXM is in fact down and awareness around the dangers of abusing DXM is up.

Going forward, CHPA plans to make consumer education around the proper use of OTC medicines one of its hallmarks, especially across the association’s consumer education web site.

“We are positioning OTCsafety.org as the preeminent home of OTC information … period,” Suydam said.

The association is also looking to step up its lobbying activity, both on the national and state levels, Suydam added. For example, CHPA is strongly supportive of increased regulatory control over the distribution of raw ingredient dextromethorphan, and plans to support a national age limit on the sale of products containing dextromethorphan.

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Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. elects two to its board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

EVANSVILLE, Ind. Mead Johnson Nutrition Company announced Thursday that its board of directors has elected Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., and Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., to the board. The company said that these additions increase the size of its board to 11.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Altschuler and Dr. Sigal join our board of directors,” said James Cornelius, Mead Johnson Nutrition board chairman. “We’re looking forward to working with them and benefiting from their insights and experience.”

Dr. Altschuler is president, CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a position he has held since 2000. He joined Children’s Hospital in 1982 as a Fellow in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Currently, Dr. Altschuler serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Dr. Sigal is currently EVP, chief scientific officer and president, research and development for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Since joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1997, Dr. Sigal has held positions of increasing responsibility in genomics, discovery research and clinical development. He has more than 25 years of combined experience in medicine, research and management.

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