HEALTH

Study: Zinc good for healthy immune function, destroying viruses, bacteria

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK It’s a study that probably couldn’t have come at a better time given the recent recall in this space, except you may not yet have heard of the zinc study. That’s because for all the major news media outlets that quickly picked up on Matrixx’s recall a few months back on a pair of Zicam products, not one of them picked up on this news — news that not only supports the efficacy of zinc-based products, but also provides a little insight into how it may work.

 

Not getting picked up as a news story a second time around may not be altogether bad news, however, as it may have only confused consumers around the immune-boosting benefits in supplementing with zinc.

 

But there is an important takeaway here. Zinc works. And while the Food and Drug Administration has certainly questioned the safety around a pair of zinc products, that news will eventually fade from the public consciousness. What will not fade away is the anecdotal consumer experience backed up by sound science. Studies like these only underscore what Matrixx, Quigley and now Novartis have in their zinc-formulation cough/cold SKUs — a safe and efficacious cold buster good for cutting into symptoms when you can’t afford to miss work.

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Take Care Health Systems expands services; now offering nebulizer treatments at clinics nationwide

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK The fact that Take Care Health Systems has expanded its service offering to include nebulizer treatments is important for several reasons, one of which is that it will further help alleviate some of the pressure at overflowing emergency rooms.

The move also helps Take Care Health prepare to deal with chronic disease management for asthma in all of its clinics.

With rising healthcare costs, overbooked doctors’ offices and emergency rooms spilling over with patients in need of care, convenient care clinics have emerged as an integral player in the U.S. healthcare system. Providing patients with convenient, affordable and quality healthcare is the mission driving such retail-based clinics as Take Care Health, and easing the strain currently weighing on emergency rooms is certainly part of that equation.

According to National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care data provided by Take Care Health, “diseases of the respiratory system” were the third largest primary diagnosis among visits to the emergency room in 2005 and 2006, comprising of 2.8% and 3.1% of all emergency room visits, respectively.

Furthermore, Take Care Health Systems president and CEO Peter Miller stated that over the past year, its clinics have seen more than 300,000 cases of acute respiratory conditions and its nurse practitioners and physician assistants have written prescriptions for nebulizers or meter dosed inhalers for about 10% of visits.

Clearly, there is a need in the marketplace and Take Care Health has stepped up to further meet that need as patients can now turn to Take Care Clinics for those nebulizer treatments, if deemed medically necessary, and receive prescriptions for nebulizers.

As mentioned earlier, this new service offering also helps prepare the clinic operator to deal with chronic disease management for asthma in all of its 340-plus clinics, and is a nod to the future.

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Sanofi Pasteur submits supplemental application to FDA for flu vaccine

BY Michael Johnsen

SWIFTWATER, Pa. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, on Friday announced the company has submitted a supplemental application for licensure of its influenza A(H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration.

Responding to recent recommendations by the FDA, the company’s supplemental application requests the FDA’s evaluation of the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 strain change, which is expected to expedite the licensure process for the pandemic vaccine.

“Filing this application is consistent with our commitment to work collaboratively with public health officials in producing a vaccine against the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus,” stated Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. “It is essential that we pursue the vaccine licensure pathway made available to us, while at the same time, continue the important clinical studies of our vaccine.”

The supplemental application follows recent recommendations by the FDA to evaluate the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccines using the same regulatory process by which it approves new viral strains contained in the annual seasonal influenza vaccines.

While these strain change supplements are not required to be supported by new clinical data, immunogenicity and safety data will be made available through clinical studies. Sanofi Pasteur will test the immunogenicity and safety of its influenza A(H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine through clinical trials in the U.S., which began Aug. 6. The planned clinical trials will consist of approximately 2,000 subjects and will also evaluate the safety and potential benefits of adding an adjuvant to the pandemic vaccine.

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