HEALTH

Matrixx announces retirement of chief exec

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday announced that president and chief executive officer Carl Johnson will be retiring from the company, effective Oct. 31.

“[Johnson]’s contributions to Matrixx cannot be overstated,” the company said. “Under his leadership, [Matrixx] has experienced a 30 percent compounded annual growth rate in revenues and sustained profitability. The Zicam brand has ranked in the top three brands for growth in the cough/cold category for the past six consecutive years.”

William Hemelt, who joined Matrixx in 1998 and currently serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, will assume the additional roles of acting president and chief operating officer, with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company, until the completion of the company’s chief executive search.

Johnson has agreed to serve as a consultant to Matrixx until March 31, 2009, the end of the company’s current fiscal year, to assist with transition items.

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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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