CHPA supports Congressional effort on drug abuse education
WASHINGTON In preparation of a hearing held Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control entitled “Generation Rx: The Abuse of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs,” Consumer Healthcare Products Association Linda Suydam issued the following statement:
“CHPA and its member companies take very seriously our obligation to educate and raise awareness among consumers, parents, community leaders, and policymakers about medicine abuse. On behalf of the leading makers of cough medicine, we have reached 100 million people across the country through our educational programming and are continuing these efforts through our partners at key organizations such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America.
“In addition to our long-term commitment to education and awareness, CHPA supports federal legislation that would ensure that raw, unfinished dextromethorphan—the active ingredient in cough medicine—does not fall into the wrong hands, and that minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to purchase cough medicine.
“While national sales restrictions and preventing the raw dextromethorphan from falling into the wrong hands would serve as major steps forward in reducing abuse, education remains paramount. Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness about medicine abuse among parents and encourage them to talk to their kids so we can put a stop to this abuse.”
Schering Plough files NDA for Zegerid OTC heartburn treatment
KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough has submitted a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for an over-the-counter branded version of its prescription heartburn treatment drug Zegerid.
The application was submitted due to a license agreement between Schering and Santarus, which was signed in October 2006. The agreement grants the right to market the OTC Zegerid product using Santarus’ patented technology.
Under the agreement with Santarus, Schering-Plough is responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of Zegerid OTC products for heartburn-related indications in the United States and Canada. Santarus continues to manufacture, promote and sell its Zegerid prescription products in both 20 mg and 40 mg strengths for the proton pump inhibitor market.
“Schering-Plough is looking forward to working with the FDA to bring this prescription product to consumers as an OTC treatment for frequent heartburn,” said John O’Mullane, group vice president of research and development at Schering-Plough Consumer Health Care. “When approved, Zegerid will be a valuable addition to our expanding portfolio of gastrointestinal OTC products, such as Miralax, which was launched last year for the treatment of occasional constipation.”
Santarus is entitled to receive up to $22.5 million in regulatory milestones and up to $37.5 million in sales milestones. Schering-Plough previously had paid Santarus a $15 million upfront license fee, and a $5 million milestone payment.
Kmart rewarding pharmacy customers with $1 promotion on OTC medicines
HOFFMAN ESTATES , Ill. Kmart is launching a new promotion that rewards its pharmacy customers with low-cost over-the-counter medications for every prescription they have filled at one of its pharmacies.
Under the new American Fare Dollar Program, pharmacy customers can choose from 10 OTC medications from Kmart’s proprietary American Fare brand for a cost of $1 with every prescription purchase. OTC medications in the program include aspirin, ibuprofen, children’s pain reliever, baby aspirin, nasal decongestant, cough suppressant, anti-diarrhea medication and cold and allergy tablets.
“We’re always looking for ways to provide more value … especially when healthcare costs are generally on the rise,” said Mark Doerr, vice president of Kmart Pharmacy. “The American Fare Dollar Program rewards our pharmacy customers with an amazing deal and introduces them to our great private-label OTC products at the same time.”
The discount chain, a division of Sears Holdings Corp., unveiled the program in its Florida pharmacies Friday. The promotion will roll to all Kmart pharmacies in April, the company reported. All of the $1 American Fare products, which are specially labeled, will be available behind the pharmacy counter. Regular-priced versions of the 10 American Fare products in the program will continue to be available on store shelves.