HEALTH

Perrigo gains OTC rights for generic Allegra products

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Tuesday announced that it has acquired the exclusive U.S. store brand rights to sell and distribute OTC versions of fexofenadine HCl 180 mg and 60 mg tabs, plus fexofenadine HCl 60 mg and pseudoephedrine 120 mg tabs, the generic versions of Sanofi-Aventis’ Allegra and Allegra D-12 products, respectively.

Allegra 180 mg, 60 mg, and Allegra D-12 are indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Sanofi-Aventis has applied to the Food and Drug Administration for the Rx-to-OTC switch of these drugs, even going so far as to acquire OTC supplier Chattem as an in-house distribution arm for the allergy medicine.

It is assumed Allegra will be approved for its switch OTC, especially as an FDA advisory committee in 2001 recommended Allegra be eligible for switch.

Prior to generic competition entering the fexofenadine Rx market in 2005, Allegra 180 mg and 60 mg had combined annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion, and in 2009, Allegra D-12 had annual sales of $600 million according to data provided by Wolters-Kluwer.

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HEALTH

Pepto-Bismol sponsors hot dog-eating contest

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble and Major League Eating on Monday announced that Pepto-Bismol will be the first-ever stomach remedy sponsor of the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

“We are very excited to welcome Pepto-Bismol on board as our newest sponsor,” stated George Shea, MLE president and emcee of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. “Pepto-Bismol has been around for more than 100 years, and in the 95 years of the contest, many people have often asked if the competitors experience stomach upsets and whether they use Pepto-Bismol. Nearly every eater does, and so for us, this sponsorship was a natural fit.”

“Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is the ultimate case in point of celebrating the summer with food, so we’re excited to announce our sponsorship of the event,” said Colleen Jay, VP P&G personal health care. “We wanted to show that whether you’ve gone a little overboard on your favorite food or eaten one too many hot dogs at your backyard BBQ this summer, turn to Pepto-Bismol.”

The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is an annual event that has become part of America’s Fourth of July celebration. The final event on Coney Island winds through many American cities, with regional qualifier competitions occurring at a variety of Nathan’s Famous retail locations.

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Gaia Herbs’ Professional Solutions becomes EQP gold partner

BY Michael Johnsen

BREVARD, N.C. Gaia Herbs professional division, under the brand name Professional Solutions, on Monday announced its acceptance as a gold partner in the Emerson Quality Program, a voluntary program for the nutritional supplement industry to help facilitate increased awareness of quality.

The objective of the EQP is to provide a convenient information portal for healthcare practitioners interested in recommending dietary supplements to their patients. “The launch of EQP was inspired by the knowledge that medical practitioners spent too much time searching for evidence and independent verification for supplements,” stated Fran Towey, president of Emerson Ecologics. “By making all the data needed to make informed decisions regarding quality and efficacy easily accessible, we have done this homework for them.”

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