HEALTH

APhA survey: Pharmacists recommend over-the-counter products to consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Pharmacists believe that 82% of consumers purchase over-the-counter products that actually were recommended to them by a pharmacist, according to the most recent “Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Product” survey conducted by the American Pharmacists Association.

The survey, completed by more than 1,000 APhA member and nonmember pharmacists, also found that pharmacists counsel 29 patients on average per week around the use of nonprescription medicines. Patients who seek their pharmacist’s advice include patients requiring assistance in identifying the most appropriate product (90%), patients that are worried about using an OTC product with other prescription medications (80%), patients suffering from an acute or chronic condition (79%), and patients worried about taking OTC products with a specific disease/condition (65%).

“Pharmacists are the medication experts on the healthcare team,” stated Thomas Menighan, APhA CEO. “[They] are trained not only about prescription medications, but also nonprescription medications, supplements and herbals.”

One of APhA’s goals in conducting the annual “Pharmacy Today Over-the-Counter Product” survey is to educate consumers that pharmacists have the knowledge and training to help them select the right OTC medications. As part of the survey, pharmacists are asked to tabulate the OTC products they recommend per week in 76 different product categories.

As part of the survey, pharmacists were asked how many times per week they had recommended each product. Those brands that indexed higher than 60% among pharmacist recommendations included: Procter & Gamble’s Crest Whitestrips (87%); GlaxoSmithKline’s Breathe Right (74%); Amerifit Brands’ AZO Test Strips (UTI test) (72%); Church & Dwight’s First Response (ovulation test kits) (70%); McNeil Consumer’s Sudafed (70%); Omron blood pressure monitors (70%); Reckit Benckiser’s Mucinex family of products (63%).

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Novo Nordisk launches online contest for insulin pen users

BY Allison Cerra

PRINCETON, N.J. Novo Nordisk is asking diabetics to show off how they flex — their insulin pens.

In an effort to change the way people think about taking insulin, Novo Nordisk has launched an online photo contest, “Where Have You Flexed,” for patients who use Levemir FlexPen, NovoLog FlexPen and NovoLog Mix 70/30 FlexPen. Patients can visit WhereHaveYouFlexed.com to submit photos they have taken in unique locations with their FlexPen.

“’Where Have You Flexed’ is an exciting way for people using the FlexPen to show first-hand how they can conveniently take their insulin on-the-go,” said Camille Lee, VP diabetes marketing for Novo Nordisk. “Through the interactive voting function on the site, we look forward to seeing which entries have the biggest impact within the diabetes community and hope that people still taking insulin with a vial and syringe will be inspired to talk to their doctor about FlexPen.”

Also on the WhereHaveYouFlexed.com site, viewers can watch video with stories from Firestone Indy Lights racecar driver Charlie Kimball, who uses the Levemir FlexPen to help manage his diabetes. The grand prize winner of the Where Have You Flexed contest (determined by a panel of judges and consumer votes) will receive a trip for two to the Firestone Indy Lights championship in Miami on Oct. 2 to see Kimball race, or an elliptical trainer exercise machine delivered to their home. Second and third place winners will receive exercise equipment for their home, while anyone who registers to vote on the site will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five iPod touch portable music players.

“As a professional racing driver, I get to ‘flex’ all over the country — including on the racetrack,” said Kimball, who drives the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car and is the only licensed racer with Type 1 diabetes in the history of the Indy Racing League. “I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of where other patients with diabetes use their FlexPen and sharing videos of my experiences on the road.”

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McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalls lots of infants’, children’s OTC medicines

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Friday voluntarily recalled all lots that have not yet expired of certain over-the-counter children’s and infants’ liquid products in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration.

McNeil Consumer initiated the recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards, though no adverse medical events have been reported, the company stated. “However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children.”

Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles.

 

“While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use,” McNeil stated.

 

 

The company is conducting a comprehensive quality assessment across its manufacturing operations and has identified corrective actions that will be implemented before new manufacturing is initiated at the plant where the recalled products were made.

 

 

For a full list of products recalled, visit http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/page.jhtml?id=/include/new_recall.inc

 

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