PHARMACY

Minnesota Web site offers visitors latest diabetes data

BY Drew Buono

MINNEAPOLIS Starting today, healthcare consumers can go online to www.mnhealthcare.org to view the latest comparative data about the effectiveness of medical care for diabetes and vascular diseases at more than 345 clinics across Minnesota and in bordering areas of Wisconsin and North Dakota.

“The data shows that where you go for health care matters just as much as what you eat and whether you exercise, especially if you have diabetes or a vascular condition,” said Jim Chase, executive director of MN Community Measurement, the nonprofit organization that publishes the data.

Visitors to the site will find the new data for diabetes and vascular care delivered by clinics in 2007, as well as quality standards and the results of care delivered by medical groups in 2006 in 10 other categories of preventive care, illness care and chronic disease management. Consumers can search for quality ratings by provider group quality measure or geographic area. The Web site makes it easy to spot the top-performing clinics with symbols indicating whether a clinic’s performance was above average, average or below average. For consumers with diabetes, MN Community Measurement offers a special Web site, www.theD5.org.

“We’ve designed our Web sites to serve as buyers’ guides for health care services,” explained Chase. “The quality ratings can help you choose a clinic with a good track record with patients who have concerns like yours, while the information on standards of care can prepare you to talk with your doctor about how to make your care even better. Ultimately, what really matters is the quality of your care.”

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FDA issues final approval for Perrigo’s generic Zyrtec

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. The Food and Drug Administration has given approval to Perrigo to manufacture and market cetirizine hydrochloride syrup in 1mg per milliliter strength.

The syrup, a generic version of McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Zyrtec syrup, relieves symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

“This approval reflects both our strategy to be first to market with important products and the unique position of the company both in front of and behind the pharmacy counter,” Perrigo Chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Papa said.

Pfizer, which originally marketed Zyrtec, reported that it had sales of $1 billion in 2007. Pfizer lost U.S. exclusivity for Zyrtec in January, according to its annual report.

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Nestea introduces green tea with higher antioxidant concentration

BY Adam Kraemer

ATLANTA Iced Tea brand Nestea announced today the launch of its new Green Tea Citrus and Diet Green Tea Citrus products with 50 percent more antioxidants than before, as well as a brand new look.

The new varieties combine all-natural fruit flavors and the natural goodness of tea, largely in response to consumer health awareness. Both products now contain 50 percent more natural tea antioxidants, with 96 milligrams of flavonoid antioxidants per eight fluid ounce serving.

“As summer approaches, it is the perfect time to introduce products for consumers who want to quickly revitalize their day,” said Penny McIntyre, senior vice president and general manager of coffee and tea for Coca-Cola North America. “Nestea offers delicious, simple blends of tea and natural fruit flavors. Our new Green Tea Citrus products with even more antioxidants are great additions to our line of refreshing teas.”

The new packaging features dynamic graphics that call attention to the antioxidant content and all-natural fruit flavors. Nestea’s Iced Tea with Lemon and Diet Iced Tea with Lemon flavors come in 20 ounce and half-liter plastic bottle 12-packs. The Iced Tea with Lemon also comes in aluminum cans (regular and diet) and 2-liter plastic bottles (regular).

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