HEALTH

FDA exploring how to expand eligible Rx-to-OTC switches by utilizing pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced it will hold a public hearing on March 22 and 23 to discuss how technology can expand which drug products can be switched from prescription to over-the-counter status.

"These conditions of safe use would be specific to the drug product and might require sale in certain pre-defined healthcare settings, such as a pharmacy," the agency stated in the Federal Register. "For example, some conditions of safe use could be designed to assist patients in self-selection of an appropriate medication or provide for follow-up monitoring during continued use. The conditions of use could include requiring pharmacist intervention to ensure appropriate nonprescription use."

Other innovative technologies could include diagnostics approved for use in a pharmacy setting, the agency added. "For example, some diseases or conditions might require confirmation of a diagnosis or routine monitoring using a diagnostic test (e.g., a blood test for cholesterol levels or liver function) that could be available in a pharmacy."


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Pfizer acquires Alacer

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies has acquired the maker and distributor of Emergen-C products.

Pfizer on Monday announced its acquisition of Alacer, a privately held company best known for its vitamin C supplement products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Pfizer did note that the deal would complement its Consumer Healthcare division.

“We are very pleased that the Emergen-C family of products will become part of Pfizer’s portfolio. We expect that our global network and deep expertise in dietary supplements combined with our desire to provide consumers with high-quality products will make Emergen-C more accessible than it has ever been before,” Pfizer Consumer Healthcare president Paul Sturman said. “Emergen-C products add to and greatly complement our market-leading dietary supplement portfolio.”


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AllergEase brings new lozenges to market

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. — An organic honey lemon herbal lozenge has hit the market.

AllergEase lozenges are designed to offer all-natural support to allergy sufferers by featuring such ingredients as nettle, eyebright, elderflower, plantain, vitamin C and menthol, AllergEase said. The lozenges are recommended for children ages 12 years and up.

AllergEase lozenges carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 per pack.

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