HEALTH

Breathing OTC life into asthma

BY Michael Johnsen

Asthma has been becoming more relevant in the nonprescription aisles of late. Even as Armstrong Pharmaceuticals phases out what was an almost $100 million-and-growing brand in Primatene Mist 
— the Food and Drug Administration has removed any inhalers containing 
chlorofluorocarbons from the market — homeopathic supplier King Bio is currently presenting an alternative in its AsthmaCare product.


And IMSHealth in the fall launched the site Azma.com — an asthma-related site where content has been organized into three distinct categories by demographics and features a four-day forecast on air quality and potential asthma triggers by zip code. IMSHealth, which also manages pollen.com, is in the beginning stages of marketing its asthma site.


Asthma is already relevant for patients — 7 million children and 18.7 million adults have asthma. And asthma is the primary diagnosis for as many as 17 million annual visits to a healthcare professional on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


There is even a seasonality associated with asthma that mirrors allergy season. “There is a very strong co-morbidity between allergy and asthma,” Scott Hanslip, director of sales at IMS Consumer Health told DSN. “In particular, you’re talking about a 30% base that suffers from both fronts, particularly for kids.”

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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HEALTH

Homeopathy stocks kids’ cough-cold

BY Michael Johnsen

The kids’ cough-cold space has become a significant category for homeopathic manufacturers. With the safety and efficacy of cough-cold medicines called into question several years ago, the category now is stocked with homeopathic remedies and reformulated/repackaged allopathic medicines.


“Since that shakeup of [about] five years ago … those products have either gone away or reformulated,” noted Dale Nepsa, Hyland’s president. That situation gave many homeopathic manufacturers an entrée into the kids cough-cold sets, he added. And the section has been doing well; at one major retailer, Hyland’s has been seeing turns of between seven and eight pieces per store, per week, versus an average two turns per store, per week.


In January, Hyland’s fortified its presence within the children’s cough-cold set with the launch of Hyland’s Baby cough syrup.


Zarbee’s also has been expanding its pediatric natural cough-cold line featuring buckwheat honey with the launch of Zarbee’s Nighttime cough and sleep drink. “In this product, we’ve taken the dark honeys, but we’ve put it in a granulated form so that it can be mixed in hot water,” noted Zak Zarbock, the pediatrician who created the product. In the first two months on shelf, Zarbee’s Nighttime moved more than 180,000 units across one national pharmacy retailer.

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Switching things up

BY Michael Johnsen

Clarinex (desloratadine), the next-generation prescription allergy remedy to the second-generation Claritin, is 1-of-3 blockbuster prescription medicines that may make the crossover from prescription-only to over-the-counter in the near future. If so, the medicine may take the podium as one of the four best-selling allergy brands — Zyrtec and Claritin currently top that list, with Allegra, launched last year, beating out all other cough-cold and allergy tablet brands with more than $220 million in sales through December.


Private-label manufacturer Perrigo already is prepared to offer a generic version of Clarinex in June, be it prescription or OTC. “It still has a very high probability it could be OTC, but [it’s] unclear at this time,” noted Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa in January. “Many of the remaining nonsedating antihistamines like Clarinex, like Allegra D12, we expect to have those over-the-counter.”


Other possible near-term switch candidates include the Lipitor statin, conceivable if Pfizer can generate favorable consumer usage studies where four had failed before. Beyond Lipitor, insomnia is another category under consideration for switch with the drug Silenor (doxepin). Somaxon Pharmaceuticals and partner Procter & Gamble this past fall announced the two companies were exploring switch options in time for the patent expiry in March 2013.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Cough-Cold & Allergy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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