HEALTH

Alison Sweeney becomes spokeswoman for Zyrtec product

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. “The Biggest Loser” and “Days of Our Lives” star Alison Sweeney will join McNeil Consumer Healthcare as the face of the new Zyrtec Liquid Gels, the company announced Friday.

Sweeney participated in a race in New York to officially welcome the first day of spring. The “Race Against Your Allergies” took place in New York City’s Madison Square Park.

“I’ve partnered with the makers of Zyrtec Liquid Gels as a fun way to kick off the season and show fellow allergy sufferers and lovers of the outdoors how we can outrun our allergy symptoms this year,” Sweeney said.

“We’re excited to be providing allergy sufferers with the opportunity to participate in a fun activity to welcome the first day of spring, while learning how to manage and relieve the everyday allergy symptoms the season can bring,” said Rohinish Hooda, VP marketing, upper respiratory for McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

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Valeant buys OTC, generic drug maker

BY Alaric DeArment

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. A U.S. drug maker has bought a manufacturer of branded generics and OTC products in Brazil.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International announced Friday that it had bought the company for $28 million. The company, which was not named in Valeant’s statement on the matter, mostly makes dermatology drugs and had annual sales of around $19 million in 2009.

“We are excited to advance our dermatology presence in the Brazilian market, which is one of the leading dermatology markets worldwide,” Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. “This acquisition gets us closer to building the critical mass we need in the Brazilian pharmaceutical market.”

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‘Idol’ judge announces partnership with Claritin

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Claritin is teaming up with allergy sufferer and “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi around a video contest, Schering-Plough Consumer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Merck, announced Friday.

“For contestants on [American Idol], the hottest TV show in America, the stakes are high,” DioGuardi stated in announcing the partnership. “They’re sharing their talent and giving their best, so I owe it to them to focus on their performance, not my allergies.”

Through April 20, allergy sufferers can go to www.LivingClear.com to submit a video showing what they’ve been enabled to do because Claritin relieves their worst allergy symptoms without drowsiness.  Five finalists will win $1,000, a one-year supply of Claritin products and have their video featured on the Living Clear Web site. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 and the chance to star in an online Claritin commercial to be debuted later this year.

Once the finalists are revealed May 6, voting on the best video will be opened to the general public.

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