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Study measures efficacy of lice remedies

BY Alaric DeArment

Head lice have long been the scourge of schoolchildren and their families. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6 million to 12 million lice infestations occur each year among children ages 3 to 11 years. Lice can spread quickly through direct contact with the hair of a person who had them — though personal hygiene, cleanliness of the home or school, and sharing of clothing and personal items is not usually the cause. (Lice are less common among African-Americans, which may be because of the shape and width of African-Americans’ hair, according to the CDC.)

If the ease by which they spread isn’t bad enough, there’s also growing concern that lice could become resistant to over-the-counter medicines used to kill them. A recent study, funded by skin treatments maker Tec Labs and published in the journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy, compared two treatments for head lice: sodium chloride spray in the 1% strength and the current, recommended treatment 1% permethrin crème rinse. 

Though the brand has been on the market for 15 years, “this is the first clinical trial we’ve done on any Licefreee-branded product,” a Tec Labs spokesman told DSN Collaborative Care. Tec Labs markets sodium chloride 1% under the brand name Licefreee Spray, and also markets the treatment in gel and shampoo forms.

The study enrolled 42 treatment subjects, ages 4 years and older, who were diagnosed as having an active head lice infestation, defined as having at least 10 live lice found during a screening. They were then divided into two groups of 21, one of which received sodium chloride spray, while the other received permethrin. Treatment was administered over a course of 15 days, with administration on the first and eighth days and checkups on the first, eighth and 15th days. Only those found with live lice using the same products and protocols as on the first day were given a second administration on the eighth day.

 

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Arizona partners with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal for new soda line

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Arizona Beverages has teamed up with former NBA All-Star and champion Shaquille O’Neal to launch an all-natural cream soda line. Soda Shaq has hit the market in Arizona’s single-serve 23.5oz. can from Rexam.

Soda Shaq contains real vanilla from Madagascar, is sweetened with pure cane sugar and has just 90 calories per serving. Like all Arizona products, it is made with no artificial colors or preservatives and is available in Original Vanilla Cream, Orange Cream, Blueberry Cream and Strawberry Cream flavors.

"We are excited to expand our offerings to include a great carbonated beverage innovation based on a soda shop classic," said Don Vultaggio, chairman of Arizona Beverages. "With nearly a third less calories than the competition, Soda Shaq’s great-tasting and all-natural cream sodas are perfect for consumers looking for variety. And through our continued partnership with Rexam, we are bringing them to market in another great version of our iconic big cans."

The new can designs include the tagline "A Big Can for the Big Man" and prominently feature O’Neal’s likeness.

Rich Grimley, president and CEO, Rexam BCNA, says, "As the industry leader in 24oz. ‘big’ can production, we continue to grow our relationship with Arizona Beverages, supporting this brand extension with an ideal packaging choice that delivers superior recycling and environmental benefits as well as filling and distribution economics."

Soda Shaq is currently available at retailers nationwide at a suggested retail price of $.99 per can. For more information on this or any other Arizona product, please visit www.drinkarizona.com.


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Walgreens selected by CMS to be an enteral nutrition provider in most competitive-bidding areas

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced. 

“We’re pleased to have been chosen to continue to serve Medicare beneficiaries in competitive bidding areas coast to coast,” stated Paul Mastrapa, president of Walgreens Infusion and Respiratory Services. “Walgreens is well-positioned to continue making a meaningful difference in patient lives by delivering high-quality, personalized patient care. Walgreens has high rates of patient satisfaction and safety.”

The competitive bidding program launched the first nine metropolitan areas in 2011 and is expanding to 91 more areas beginning July 1. Requirements for the bidding program were established by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and modified based on the subsequent Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The contracts will be up for re-bid every three years. Those awarded the bids must comply with Medicare enrollment rules, be licensed and accredited and meet financial standards, Walgreens noted.


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