HEALTH

GlaxoSmithKline reports 16 percent drop in U.S. OTC sales

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday reported a 16 percent decline in its U.S. sales of over-the-counter-medicines, to $253.6 million for the three months ending Sept. 30. The decline included double-digit decreases across its Tums franchise and the weight loss drug alli of 16 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Tums and alli each generated approximately 29.5 million in revenue.

GSK’s largest OTC division—the company’s smoking cessation products—were up 2 percent to $98.2 million. And while sales of Breathe Right are presently down 8 percent to $21.3 million, this cough/cold season may spell opportunity for the Breathe Right brand as a drug-free alternative to pediatric cough-cold medicines.

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Dossia, Google team with Continua in growing Web healthcare information resources

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. Continua Health Alliance on Tuesday announced the addition of new members Dossia, a non-profit consortium focused on empowering consumers with personally-controlled health records, and Google, a search and information management companies that has created a healthcare online destination.

Since its launch in 2006, Continua has grown to include 170 of the world’s most successful technology companies, medical and fitness device manufacturers, and healthcare organizations working across three key markets: chronic disease management, independent aging and proactive health and wellness.

“Consumers are ready to adopt healthcare technology, such as personally-controlled health records and home health monitoring devices,” stated Colin Evans, Dossia president and chief executive officer. “Individuals with a more complete picture of their health have the opportunity to make smarter, more informed health decisions, to stay healthier and help lower out-of-control costs. Dossia is looking forward to working with Continua and its members to create open healthcare solutions.”

“Google ardently supports the concepts of interoperability, data portability, and open standards, so it was a natural fit for us to join the Continua Alliance,” added Jerry Lin, product manager for Google Health. “Our work with Continua will help us continue to develop integration with various home monitoring devices to ensure that data can be uploaded from these devices and securely stored in Google Health.”

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MiraLax reports strong sales in third quarter 2008

BY Michael Johnsen

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough on Tuesday reported strong results across its MiraLax over-the-counter laxative offering, doubling its retail sales of MiraLax to $31 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30. “Within just two years of being on the market, OTC Miralax is already a category leader, running neck and neck with Metamucil,” commented Bob Bertolini, Schering-Plough executive vice president and chief financial officer, during an analyst conference call Tuesday morning. Schering-Plough’s consumer healthcare division reached sales of $278 million for the quarter, which is up 2 percent.

Overall, GAAP net sales for the 2008 third quarter totaled $4.6 billion, up 63 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2007, the company reported.

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