HEALTH

Wyeth reports dip in revenues; attributes flux to upheaval over kids’ cough-cold dosing

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. Net revenues for Wyeth’s Worldwide Consumer Healthcare division fell 5 percent for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, the company reported Wednesday morning, primarily to a decrease in sales of Robitussin and Advil. Sales of Advil were down 7 percent to $165 million; and while Robitussin sales were not broken out specifically, the brand is one of several that have been negatively impacted over the confusion on whether or not pediatric cough-cold are safe and effective.

“The cough-cold market is changing considerably as illustrated” by the recent announcements from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association around voluntary label changes advising consumers not to give cough-cold medicines to children under the age of four and the January 2008 Food and Drug Administration announcement banning the marketing of these medicines to children under the age of two, commented Greg Norden, Wyeth senior vice president and chief financial officer, this morning during a call with analysts. Wyeth expects this business to rebound in the coming season, Norden noted.

“We’ve also launched a new product, Robitussin DM” to take advantage of a growing adult market, commented Cavan Redmond, president of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

The company’s dietary supplement franchise proved positive, however. Sales of Centrum were up 7 percent to $186 million.

Wyeth completed its acquisition of the Thermacare product line from Procter & Gamble last month and is expected to enhance Wyeth’s global position in pain management, the company stated.

Overall, worldwide net revenue increased 4 percent, to $5.8 billion, for the quarter. Excluding the favorable impact of foreign exchange, worldwide net revenue increased 2 percent.

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Continua to demonstrate interoperable products at Connected Health symposium

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. The Continua Health Alliance, an organization dedicated to enabling interoperable healthcare products and solutions, on Tuesday announced that the first demonstration of seamlessly connected Continua pre-certified products and solutions will take place Oct. 27 at the Partners Center for Connected Health 5th Annual Connected Health Symposium in Boston.

“With close to a quarter of the world’s population overweight, more than 600 million people with some form of chronic disease, and millions more reaching retirement age, the time for greater personal health management is now,” Dave Whitlinger, Continua Health Alliance president said. “Continua member companies are working on real solutions that will empower consumers and healthcare professionals to access and share information quickly and easily through connected products and solutions.”

A&D Medical, Cambridge Consultants, Cypak, FitLinxx, Google Health, IBM, Intel, National Health Service, Nonin Medical, Oracle, Partners, Philips, Roche Diagnostics and University Health Network will participate by providing devices and software solutions that support Continua’s upcoming Version One guidelines and share a common interface. The devices and solutions will be set in both home and professional settings. Audience members will see the benefits of real-time information sharing, including improved data for diagnostics and treatment, time and cost savings, and an improved patient experience.

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Continua taps Parker for executive director

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. The Continua Health Alliance on Tuesday named Charles Parker to the post of executive director. Parker was most recently the chief technology officer and senior vice president of business development and marketing at Masspro, a performance improvement organization dedicated to advancing healthcare quality.

Beginning in January, Parker will work with Continua’s board of directors to develop a vision and strategic plan for guiding new initiatives for growth, financial stability and services to membership.

“Continua is at the forefront of a revolution in personal healthcare,” Parker said. “By focusing on the creation of a new market of connected health and wellness devices and solutions, Continua is empowering healthcare professionals, individuals and their families to better manage health and wellness at every stage of life. I’m proud to join Continua and look forward to helping the organization achieve its goal of better health, through connectivity.”

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