HEALTH

AMO plans to relaunch contact lens solution

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX Doctors drive the lens care market at retail, Jim Mazzo, Advanced Medical Optics chief executive officer, told analysts at the Credit Suisse Healthcare Conference held here earlier this month, justifying AMO’s decision to relaunch its Complete Multi-Purpose Solution brand as a rub-and-rinse solution in the wake of its product recall of Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose in May.

“Some people asked, ‘rub and rinse,’ why did you decide to come up with that versus your competition?” Mazzo said. “Well, quite candidly, we did extensive market research after the recall and went to the practitioners,” he said, and rub and rinse is what the practitioners wanted to help improve compliance. “Compliance is the number one issue—that people are not following the instructions. So we have put back Rub and Rinse on this new product line. … This business is driven by the doctor. Seventy-five percent of the time in the United States, the patient buys what the doctor tells them [to buy], regardless of price or distribution.”

Mazzo also reiterated that AMO is preparing to enter the dry eye market with a new product launch in the first quarter of next year, describing the dry eye market as a “very brand loyal and a very high-margin business.”

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GSK to market Merck’s Mevacor over-the-counter

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH What better way to try and get a statin sold as a nonprescription remedy than to sign on switch maverick GlaxoSmitthKline, the company that successfully switched complex OTC regimens associated with drugs like orlistat and smoking cessation products?

GlaxoSmithKline and Merck on Monday announced that they have entered into an agreement for the over-the-counter marketing rights for Mevacor. Under the agreement, GSK will have exclusive rights to market non-prescription Mevacor in the United States. Terms of the agreement are confidential but include milestone and royalty payments from GSK to Merck.

“This new partnership with Merck will enable GSK to address the important public health issue of high cholesterol and help patients better manage their health,” stated GSK chief executive officer JP Garnier. “OTC Mevacor will be a dynamic new addition to our fast-growing over-the-counter business and is further evidence of GSK’s ability to partner in new OTC switch opportunities.”

Merck had been planning to present to the Food and Drug Administration its justification to switch Mevacor OTC in December. It’s the third bite at the switch apple for Merck, this time without partner Johnson & Johnson. The companies will jointly seek approval of OTC Mevacor 20mg taken once daily to help lower cholesterol. OTC Mevacor 20mg is proposed for use in women age 55 and older and men age 45 and older with moderately elevated cholesterol and one or more heart disease risk factors.

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New supplement helps eliminate hangover-causing agent

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS Cheerz USA on Tuesday announced the release of IntelliShot, a Lemon-lime flavored 1.5 ounce nutrition supplement that contains a proprietary blend of immune system boosters and antioxidants that the company claims help naturally reduce and eliminate acetaldehyde, an organic chemical compound created as the body breaks down alcohol in the liver.

Acetaldehyde is popularly known as the chemical that causes hangovers. The company recommends taking one shot of IntelliShot following every third or fourth cocktail.

Cheerz USA chief executive officer Patrick Cochrane reported that the product has no effect on inebriation, does not absorb alcohol or lower BAC, nor will it circumvent the consequences of overindulgence. “Cheerz is for responsible social drinkers who want the ‘buzz’ without the dangerous lingering effects,” he said.

Approved for sale as a nutrition supplement by the FDA, the product sells online at www.CheerzHangover.com. The IntelliShot product is currently shipping to select nightclubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Miami Beach, Fla.

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