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Similasan signs PR firm GroundFloor Media as agency of record

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — GroundFloor Media — a Denver-based, integrated agency focusing on strategic communications, social media, reputation and crisis management, and digital strategy — on Thursday announced Similasan USA as the newest addition to its client roster.

Similasan offers a variety of products in several key categories, including eye care, ear care, allergy relief and pediatric remedies.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Similasan USA as their public relations agency of record, and look forward to leveraging our experience in health-and-wellness and consumer products to help build awareness for their exceptional line of products,” stated Laura Love, president GFM.

 


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Kadmon announces launch of 600 mg/day dose pack of Ribasphere RibaPak

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Kadmon Pharmaceuticals earlier this month announced that it has launched a new 600 mg/day dose pack of Ribasphere RibaPak (ribavirin, USP), Kadmon’s proprietary ribavirin regimen available in a daily, two-pill compliance package for enhanced therapy adherence.

The new dose pack is designed to provide added dosing control to improve the management of hemolytic anemia in certain patients prescribed the triple therapy of a protease inhibitor, pegylated alpha interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

"Anemia, particularly severe anemia, is an important concern with hepatitis C treatments, one which may be effectively controlled through ribavirin dose reduction," stated John Ryan, EVP and chief medical officer of Kadmon. "Anemia can also affect treatment adherence and a patient’s ability to complete therapy. The new 600 mg/day Ribasphere RibaPak dose pack ensures that physicians can seamlessly reduce ribavirin dose without compromising the adherence advantages of RibaPak."

Pooled data from studies of the protease inhibitors Victrelis (boceprevir) and Incivek (telaprevir), approved in 2011 for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus, showed that anemia was a frequently observed adverse event in both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients, in some cases exhibiting a doubling of incidence over control (peginterferon/ribavirin). In clinical studies, anemia has been managed with ribavirin dose reduction and/or with off-label use of erythropoietin.

With the new 600 mg/day dose pack, Ribasphere RibaPak now is available in four dosing options: 600 mg/day, 800 mg/day, 1,000 mg/day and 1,200 mg/day. Ribasphere RibaPak offers a unique packaging and dosage form designed to simplify treatment, reducing ribavirin pill burden by up to 66% over a 48-week course of treatment, and to make it easier for the patient to keep track of his or her treatment.

Adherence to therapy is an important component in the successful treatment of hepatitis C. The risk of noncompliance includes treatment failure or relapse and, because of the direct antiviral mechanism of protease inhibitors, missed doses of a protease inhibitor could lead to viral resistance.

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White paper: Independent pharmacist recommendations drive sharper growth across certain OTCs

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A significant growth opportunity for independent pharmacy may be in its sales of over-the-counter products, according to a recent white paper published by the Hamacher Resource Group. Patient access to pharmacists and their product recommendations contribute to improved OTC performance within independent pharmacy, the report noted.

Using first aid as an example, first aid bandages remained a strong category in chain pharmacy, however first aid treatments — antibiotics, skin treatments, wound cleansers and antiseptics — were stronger across independents. "The story that unfolds indicates that consumers tend to favor independent community pharmacies for medicinal or clinical-type purchases, but chain pharmacies for healthcare items that might be considered more mass market," the paper read.

According to the report, sales of treatment-focused OTC products represented a larger percentage of category sales within independent pharmacy, and increases in market basket can be attributed to companion product sales and category adjacencies.

“Growth Drivers” is a follow-up to HRG’s 2011 white paper “Supply Chain Collaboration: Maximizing Health, Beauty and Wellness Product Sales in Independent Pharmacy,” which addressed the relationships among suppliers, distributors and independent pharmacy. “Growth Drivers” is a more in-depth dissection of the reasons that certain categories outperformed in independent pharmacy over chain drug.

“These two studies have highlighted the importance of independent pharmacies and the growth potential of OTC remedies and certain categories at these retailers," stated HRG VP Dave Wendland. "Combining disciplined merchandising tactics and strategic store layout with ongoing pharmacist education will continue to drive growth in this channel."

Hamacher Resource Group published the white paper, titled “Growth Drivers: The Factors Behind Independent Pharmacy OTC Sales,” with the support of two trade associations — the Healthcare Distribution Management Association and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

Wendland presented the white paper on Monday at HDMA’s Business & Leadership Conference during the Health, Beauty and Wellness Products Forum in San Antonio, Texas.

The “Growth Drivers” white paper is available at no charge at Hamacher.com/GrowthDrivers.

Wendland also will present the findings from the “Supply Chain” and “Growth Drivers” white papers during an upcoming webinar sponsored by HDMA and CHPA.

 


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