HEALTH

Jinsitec working on prototype medication reminder

BY Drew Buono

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. A new life-sciences company, Jinsitec, is working on new devices to help patients remember to take their medication on time, according to the indystar.com.

The devices are pocket-sized timers—one of which fits on top of a pill bottle; the other attaches to blister packs or tubes of medication—that beep and flash at preset hourly intervals to remind patients to take their medication.

The company’s vice president explained the thought process behind developing the timer, “It’s not that the medication doesn’t work if the patient doesn’t take it in a timely manner, [but] it can be ineffective,” said Yvette Jules, Jinsitec vice president.

A prototype is in development and the company hopes it will hit market in six to 12 months.

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HEALTH

Prilosec, Nexium analysis shows no heart disease link

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday affirmed that long-term use of either of the proton-pump inhibitors Prilosec or Nexium was not linked to any increase in the risk of heart disease.

However, the FDA continues to explore a potential increased risk of hip fractures associated with the use of PPIs, FDA officials told reporters this afternoon during a press conference.

“FDA has completed a comprehensive, scientific review of known safety data for the drugs Prilosec and Nexium,” the agency stated. “FDA’s assessment of the information from the data gathered was further supported by an additional analysis of 14 comparative studies of Prilosec, four of which were placebo-controlled. Although these studies were not specifically conducted to assess the risk of heart problems, and patient follow-up was incomplete, they do not suggest an increased risk of heart problems with the use of Prilosec or its newer formulation Nexium.”

The concern over a potential increased risk of heart disease and the use of these PPIs was raised earlier this year when AstraZeneca, manufacturer of both of these PPIs, reported a difference in the frequency of heart attacks and other heart-related problems out of earlier analyses of two small, long-term studies. FDA commissioned a formal safety review of the two drugs in August.

“FDA continues to conclude that long-term use of these drugs is not likely to be associated with an increased risk of heart problems,” the agency stated. “FDA recommends that health care providers continue to prescribe, and patients continue to use, these products as described in the labeling for the two drugs.”

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Zerosmoke launches in national retailers, military bases

BY Michael Johnsen

JUPITER, Fla. Zerosmoke this month launched its drug-free smoking cessation device into several retailers, including Wal-mart, CVS, Rite-Aid and Duane Reade, and Zerosmoke will be available on more than 150 Army, Navy and Marine bases starting shortly after the New Year, the company stated recently.

The Zerosmoke method of quitting smoking is based upon the principle of auricular therapy, or the stimulation of acupressure/acupuncture points in the ear. The product features two small magnets that are placed opposite each other on a determined point of the left ear. This magnetic acupressure therapy slowly eradicates a person’s desire to smoke. The magnets are plated in 24k gold in order to ensure the highest conduction properties and to eliminate allergic reactions.

Zerosmoke is also launching an extensive consumer-advertising campaign, though the company did not quantify its consumer ad budget, that will include national radio and television spots just as many smokers pledge to quit smoking with the new year. “We’re doing in-store marketing with demonstrations for [retailers] like H-E-B,” Maury Winnick, Zerosmoke national sales manager, told Drug Store News. And because the device is drug-free, Zerosmoke is also test-marketing the product against smoking high-school students—students who shouldn’t be able to purchase either tobacco products or any smoking cessation products that contain nicotine. “We found a lot of these kids will pick up and use the product to get away from that [nicotine] addiction. … We’re just starting a marketing program right now to give [Zerosmoke samples] to kids who are smoking.”

And while Zerosmoke can be used as a stand-alone therapy, the company noted, it can also be used in conjunction with other over-the-counter or prescription-drug therapies. “It can be used by people as they are using pills, patches, gum, etc., as an adjunct to those therapies” commented Bryan Frank, Zerosmoke medical consultant. “There is no contra-indication to using [Zerosmoke] as a supplement … to one of the other common therapies.”

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