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Acura Pharmaceuticals announces development of advanced meth-resistant pseudoephedrine product

BY Michael Johnsen

PALATINE, Ill. — Acura Pharmaceuticals on Monday announced a second-generation prototype formulation of its methamphetamine-resistant IMPEDE technology with pseudoephedrine hydrochloride yielded no measurable amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride when processed in the direct conversion or one-pot method.  

“We are excited to advance our IMPEDE technology demonstrating its adaptability to the ever changing meth production problem,” stated Robert Jones, president and CEO of Acura Pharmaceuticals. “Nexafed is the only meth-resistant pseudoephedrine product on the market that meets the Food and Drug Administration’s bioequivalence standards for demonstrated effectiveness. If Nexafed with IMPEDE 2.0 can also meet that standard, we believe we will have a meth-resistant pseudoephedrine product that delivers unmatched performance.”

Acura intends to immediately commence development of an upgraded Nexafed tablet using IMPEDE 2.0.  

IMPEDE 2.0 was created through the addition of two new inactive pharmaceutical ingredients to Acura’s existing IMPEDE technology. IMPEDE 2.0 was tested by an outside laboratory using an optimized, high-yield direct conversion test method that is designed to replicate the direct conversion, or one-pot, process commonly utilized by clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. 

IMPEDE 2.0 yielded no measurable amount of methamphetamine in its initial testing compared to an approximate 38% yield with the older IMPEDE technology. Acura intends to validate these results and perform its battery of extraction tests on the reformulated NEXAFED tablets.

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Jennie Garth joins Alcon on promoting Eye Saw Good campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WORTH, Texas — Actress Jennie Garth, known for her role on "Beverly Hills 90210," on Monday partnered with Alcon to launch the Eye Saw Good campaign, an initiative that highlights the important role that good eye health and clear vision play in a person’s life. The campaign has been set up to inspire people to help provide good eye health and vision correction for children in need across the United States. The campaign is simple: see good, share good and make good happen.

For every picture of someone doing an act of kindness that’s posted on Twitter with the hashtag #EyeSawGood, Alcon will donate $1, up to $50,000, to fund more than 1,000 eye exams and eyeglasses for children in need through the Kids Vision for Life program.

“We believe that every person should have access to quality vision care regardless of their economic circumstances,” stated Robert Warner, area president United States and Canada, Alcon. “The Eye Saw Good campaign allows others to join us in helping to provide access to healthy vision for children in underserved communities across the United States.”

At a recent visit with children who benefited from eye exams and eyeglasses provided by Kids Vision for Life, Garth witnessed the difference vision correction can make in the life of a child. “I met one young girl who was held back because she couldn’t read — no one realized her vision was the problem,” she said. “Hearing stories like this convinces me that the need to raise awareness of healthy vision, especially for children in need, is an important cause.”

“Children who can’t see well are more likely to disengage from learning and have trouble interacting with the world around them,” stated Stephen Shawler, with Kids Vision for Life. “One-in-4 school-aged children has a vision problem and of those, two-thirds are not receiving proper care. Initiatives like the Eye Saw Good campaign are invaluable in helping to raise awareness about these issues.”

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Family Dollar shows its commitment to building its HBA business with new merchandising exec

BY Michael Johnsen

Family Dollar Stores on Wednesday named Jason Reiser to the position of SVP merchandising, where he will have executive responsibility for the company’s health, beauty, personal care and household teams. Reiser comes to Family Dollar from Sam’s Club, where he spent more than 17 years in a variety of roles, most recently serving as VP merchandising, health and family care. 

Jason Reiser is one of the brightest young merchandising executives in this industry and has proven a knack for making health and wellness relevant and exciting to shoppers in alternative channels — Reiser was instrumental in developing and implementing Sam’s Club’s three-pillar strategy around awareness, prevention and solutions. Expect Reiser to bring some innovation in the way health and wellness is sold in a dollar store environment.

While mainstream health and wellness may be new to the dollar store channel, Reiser isn’t new to making health and wellness succeed beyond the drug store and mass retail outlets. Sam’s Club steadily established itself as a health-and-wellness destination through communication vehicles such as regular in-store health screenings and a focus on social media engagement, for example.

That’s not to say what worked at Sam’s Club will work at Family Dollar. But it is to say Family Dollar just picked up an executive experienced in building health and wellness in an atypical outlet known for limited assortments. The dollar channel may need a similar reputation overhaul as the channel is chock full of no-name brands and never prestige items, when it comes to health and beauty. While a treasure hunt mentality may work well with general merchandise, when consumers have a cold or headache, they’re shopping with a purpose and destination in mind. 

Channel shopping behaviors aren’t changed overnight, however, and it’s the long play that Family Dollar is interested in when it comes to health and beauty. "We are pleased with the early returns from our investments to broaden our food, health, beauty and tobacco assortment," Mike Bloom, Family Dollar president and CEO told analysts last week, which was first initiated about a year ago. "As we anniversary these additions, our momentum will naturally slow. But I will tell you that I believe we are still in the early stages, and we have the opportunity to drive further customer awareness and sales," he said. 

Family Dollar chose well in selecting the executive tasked with driving that "customer awareness and sales" across HBA.

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