HEALTH

Survey shows significant number of adults in their 60s use alternative medicines

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. According to a new nationwide government survey, 41 percent of adults in the United States between the ages of 60 and 69 use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, including dietary supplements, the National Institutes of Health noted Friday.

In an effort to help seniors in that age group identify appropriate remedies, NIH has added a Complementary and Alernative Medicine tab to its NIHSeniorHealth Web site, a site designed specifically for older adults.

“CAM covers a wide range of therapies and practices not currently considered part of conventional medicine,” said Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the NIH, which developed the topic. “Thus, it’s important to be well informed if you are considering using any. … It’s also important to inform your health care provider about any CAM therapies you may use.”

Older adults who go to http://nihseniorhealth.gov/cam/toc.html will find easy-to-understand information on the basics of CAM , as well as useful tips on how to be an informed consumer, choose a CAM practitioner and talk candidly with their doctor about CAM use.

According to the NIH, 68 percent of online seniors look for health and medical information when they go on the Web.

NIHSeniorHealth is a joint effort between the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine. The site is based on the latest research on cognition and aging. It features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a number of formats, including various large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos, and an audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include dry eye and substance abuse among older adults.

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Mexican product released in U.S. may prevent erectile dysfunction

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO Hispanic men between the ages of 20 and 50 are two and a half times as likely as men of other races and ethnicities to develop erectile dysfunction, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2005.

A product on the market in Mexico since 2004 and recently introduced in the United States might address the problem. CRB Ventures said the product, The Sensual Tea, has a rate of effectiveness of 87.3 percent in treating erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and has no side effects.

“It is possible to prevent sexual problems from ever occurring,” CRB Ventures president Christian Beasley said in a statement. “The Sensual Tea overcomes low libido and sexual fatigue and enhances the pleasure and intensity of sex.”

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Valeant pays $285 million for derm drug maker

BY Rob Eder

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Valeant Pharmaceuticals has agreed to buy Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences—which makes drugs to treat acne and other skin conditions, primarily for other pharmaceutical companies—for $285 million, according to several reports.

The deal, set to close in the next few weeks, considerably expands Valeant’s presence in the dermatological space.

The privately held Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences—no connection to Dow Chemical—recently received FDA approval for a new prescription topical acne medication, Acanya, which is expected to hit the market early next year and is projected to reach sales of $70 million.

Valeant also will inherit the rest of Dow’s considerable new product development pipeline, including several other drugs for treating rosacea, fungal infections and warts.

The Dow acquisition comes close on the heels of Valeant’s November purchase of Australian skin care remedy maker DermaTech Pty Ltd., for a little more than $12 million. DermaTech makes drugs for treating acne, psoriasis, warts, head lice and nits, both prescription and OTC.

Analysts are regarding the recent moves as a bit of a “turnaround story,” for the northern California-based company formerly known as ICN Pharmaceuticals, which last year reemerged as Valeant Pharmaceuticals following a considerable restructuring.

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