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FDA approves GSK’s Flonase as an OTC treatment

BY Ryan Chavis

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Flonase Allergy Relief (fluticasone propionate 50 mcg spray), as an over-the-counter treatment for temporary relief of the symptoms of hay fever or upper respiratory allergies.

Around 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies, and in 2010, Americans with allergic rhintis spent approximately $17.5 billion on health-related costs, according to GSK. Additionally, they lost more than 6 million work and school days and made more than 16 million visits to the doctor.

“With the significant number of allergy sufferers in the United States and a considerable number of those unsatisfied with their current treatments, we believe the wide availability of Flonase Allergy Relief over the counter is great news for these individuals," said Colin Mackenzie, president of Consumer Healthcare North America at GSK. "GSK has a strong heritage — 40 years — in discovering and developing respiratory treatments used by patients worldwide.  We are proud of our track record of successful Rx-to-OTC switches, which over the years have significantly improved access to important medicines for our consumers.”

Flonase Allergy Relief will be available over-the-counter in early 2015.

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Abbott introduces new Similac Breastfeeding Supplement

BY Raven Romero

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott, the makers of Similac, studied the diets of more than 80 lactating women to assess how their nutritional intake compared to dietary recommendations. In the study, only one out of 10 breastfeeding moms on average got 100% of the desired levels for DHA, lutein and vitamin E from their diet.

Abbott's new Similac Breastfeeding Supplement is specially designed to enhance the levels of those key nutrients in breast milk, which are important for nourishing baby's brain and eyes. The supplement should be taken with a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin to help fill moms' dietary gaps.

″Moms are first encouraged to focus on food to obtain ideal nutrition,” said Christina Sherry, Abbott Research Scientist who led the study. ″But as demonstrated by our study, the reality is that many women find it difficult to eat a well-balanced diet while adjusting to caring for a newborn. And even though many women may continue to take a prenatal vitamin during this time, many prenatal vitamins do not have, or have enough, DHA, lutein and vitamin E.”

The clinical evidence showed moms who took one Similac Breastfeeding Supplement a day had increased levels of DHA, lutein and vitamin E in their breast milk compared to mothers who did not take the supplement.

The Similac Breastfeeding Supplement is available at Babies″R″Us and contains a 30-day supply for $9.99.

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Cardinal Health donates $2 million in 2014 through Pharmacy Scholarship Program

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health announced at its Retail Business Conference that nine pharmacy schools across the country will collectively receive $2 million in funding through the Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program in 2014.

“We know community pharmacists play a critical role in improving the cost-effectiveness of healthcare, and in helping patients better manage their overall health,” stated Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health's Pharmaceutical segment. “We’re proud to support tomorrow’s community pharmacy leaders through this scholarship program, and we’re inspired by the impact we know they’ll have on their patients and communities, when they become pharmacy owners.”

The nine schools that have received pharmacy scholarship funding from the Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program in 2014 include:

  • East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy in Johnson City, Tenn.;  
  • The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio;
  • Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, Ala.;
  • Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Buies Creek, N.C.;
  • Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy in Boston;
  • St. Louis College of Pharmacy in St. Louis;
  • Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy in Auburn, Ala.;
  • University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences  in Stockton, Calif.; and
  • Idaho State University College of Pharmacy in Pocatello, Idaho.

The nine schools that were selected to participate in this year’s Cardinal Health Pharmacy Scholarship Program were chosen based on their commitment to advancing the independent pharmacy profession. These schools offer curricula focused on operating an independent pharmacy; support student-run chapters of the National Community Pharmacists Association; endorse internship and co-op programs with local independent retail pharmacies; and demonstrate high post-graduate placement rates in community pharmacy settings.

The company has donated nearly $4.2 million to more than 20 universities through this program since its launch in June 2011.   
 

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