HEALTH

Identigene announces winners of online video contest

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY — In coordination with STD Awareness Month, Identigene last week announced the two winners of the company’s “Talk About STDs” online video contest, each of which received cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

“The winning video really exemplifies the purpose of the contest, which was to encourage people to find ways to talk about sexually transmitted diseases,” stated Steven Smith, executive director of Identigene. “STDs can be a sensitive subject to broach, but this video presented a realistic look at how it is possible to talk openly and honestly about STDs, and how important it is to know all the facts associated with sexual health.”

The $5,000 grand-prize-winning video was submitted by the Musician’s Cooperative in Indiana. The group’s 60-second video, titled “Let’s Talk about STDs,” featured members of the cooperative discussing facts and myths associated with STDs. “Everyone should know about why it is important to talk about STDs,” said Tyler Trierweiler of the Musician’s Cooperative. “The best way to protect yourself is to be aware that there is a problem.”

An additional $2,500 was awarded to popular vote winner David Cng, whose video submission “STDs and You” was among 10 finalists featured on the contest’s website and received the most votes from visitors to the site.

Each of the finalists identified in March also received a $1,000 cash prize.

To view the winning videos, click here.

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Mark Cieslinski named Help Remedies’ SVP sales

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Help Remedies on Monday named 20-year industry veteran Mark Cieslinski SVP sales.

“We are excited to have Mark’s energy, enthusiasm and retail partnership experience as we expand on a national level,” stated Help Remedies CEO Richard Fine.

Cieslinski most recently was with Mentholatum, where he served as VP marketing and sales for that company’s U.S. arm for the past eight years. Prior to that, he worked with General Mills in business planning and sales. Cieslinski has an MBA from Canisius College and a bachelor of arts degree from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Founded in 2008 by Richard Fine and Nathan Frank, Help Remedies offers a selection of over-the-counter medicines that make self-care approachable and understandable. With sustainable packaging and a minimalist design, Help supplies pared down, single-ingredient drugs, without coatings and dyes. The company’s "simple solutions for simple problems" include healthcare products for headaches, body aches, allergies, sleep issues, cuts, blisters and more.

Currently available in Duane Reade, Pharmaca and some Target stores, Help Remedies will be expanding with major national retailers in the coming year.

Click here to visit Help Remedies’ website.

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PL Developments to sell, distribute store-brand generic Zegerid OTC

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTBURY, N.Y. — PL Developments on Monday announced that it has acquired the exclusive rights to sell and distribute store-brand over-the-counter versions of omeprazole sodium bicarbonate capsules, the generic version of Merck’s Zegerid OTC.

Par Pharmaceutical currently has approval for the prescription product and has filed for the OTC version. Upon FDA approval and upon favorable resolution of intellectual property litigation, PL Developments will begin marketing the new store-brand proton-pump inhibitor, the company stated.

Merck received approval for the Rx-to-OTC switch of this drug in late 2009 and launched it in March 2010. As a prescription, Zegerid had annual sales of approximately $218 million in 2009. Zegerid OTC is forecasted to reach sales of $100 million by 2012, according to data provided by IMS Health, PL Developments reported.

Store-brand sales within the gastrointestinal category grew 11.9%, outpacing national brand growth by 8.7%, PL Developments added, citing SymphonyIRI Group data for the 52 weeks ended in January.

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