HEALTH

Q&A: Eyelid clean-up

BY Michael Johnsen

At the ECRM Health Care EPPS conference, OcuSoft presented a pair of new offerings. Drug Store News caught up with OcuSoft president and CEO Cynthia Barratt for a rundown on eye care today.

Drug Store News: What is the opportunity within eyelid cleansers?

Cynthia Barratt: Based on recent SymphonyIRI Group data, the eye care accessories category is a growing $49 million market with $10 million attributed to the sale of eyelid cleansers.… Doctors are seeing more and more patients with lid disease and other related ocular conditions, reaffirming the need for products that will help prevent and alleviate symptoms.

DSN: OcuSoft recently introduced a prescription kit that includes two eyelid cleansers, how will that complement the OTC business?

Barratt: OcuSoft’s prescription-only Alodox convenience kit contains a low-dose doxycycline (20 mg) to control inflammation, OcuSoft scrub plus pre-moistened pads to remove harmful bacteria, OcuSoft lid scrub original foam for daily cleansing and Tranquileyes moist heat therapy goggles for added relief. The kit is recommended for patients with moderate to severe cases of lid disease, and because these conditions usually are chronic, patients are advised to follow the entire one- to three-month course of therapy or as directed by their doctor. As a result of the awareness and demand created by the Alodox convenience kit, sales of OTC eyelid cleansers will increase accordingly.

DSN: What are the benefits of OcuSoft’s new TearsAgain?

Barratt: Tears Again advanced liposome spray was introduced as a companion product to OcuSoft lid scrub eyelid cleansers.… OcuSoft lid scrub alleviates [eye irritation] by removing oil and debris from the eyelids while Tears Again advanced liposome spray provides added relief throughout the day with a soothing mist.

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The Apothecary Shops earns spot on Inc.’s fastest-growing private companies list

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy isn’t the only one to earn a spot on Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies.

The Inc. 5000 also listed specialty pharmacy The Apothecary Shops, ranking 2,394. That marked a jump of 322 spots from last year and 1,682 spots from 2008 in its fourth annual appearance on the list.

Drug Store News reported Thursday on Diplomat’s inclusion on the list.

“It’s no secret that we have undertaken a very aggressive growth strategy for The Apothecary Shops, but our approach, particularly in a down economy, has been targeted and strategic to be in a solid position to leverage that growth when the economy turns,” The Apothecary Shops president Keith Cook said. “Our movement on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies reflects the success of our strategic direction.”

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CMPI survey: Alcohol, marijuana biggest substance problems among teens

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest on Thursday released the results of a national Teen Substance Abuse survey, indicating that police officers and high school teachers nationwide believe alcohol and marijuana are the most serious problem substances facing teenagers.

The results were released one week prior to a Sept. 14 Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee meeting called to discuss whether or not additional sales restrictions need to be placed on dextromethorphan, a popular cold remedy ingredient that has been associated with teenage drug abuse. According to the survey, police and teachers polled do not believe it is a good idea to force Americans to visit a doctor to get a prescription to purchase commonly-sold cough-cold medicines.

When asked which substances do pose the greatest negative impact on teens, teachers and police identified marijuana and alcohol, followed by methamphetamine and cocaine. More than 1-in-4 police officers (27%) identified prescription drugs acquired by teens as having the greatest negative impact on teens, as compared with 15% of teachers. Nonprescription medicines were named by 1% of police officers as having the greatest negative impact; 2% of teachers identified over-the-counter medicines as such.

The survey also revealed that by a margin of 2-to-1, police officers and high school teachers support education efforts as a means to address abuse of OTC cough-and-cold medicines, versus restricted accessibility to consumers.

“Americans expect to be able to buy cough medicines conveniently at the supermarket or their neighborhood corner store,” stated CMPI VP Robert Goldberg. “Overly restricting access to cough-and-cold products containing dextromethorphan will create more health problems than it will solve, especially during cold-and-flu seasons. We need to find common sense solutions and invest more resources in education.”

The entire Teen Substance Abuse survey is available at Cmpi.org.

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