Suppliers, FDA shine spotlight on switches
The recent Food and Drug Administration public meeting on driving future switch potential by way of the pharmacist and/or health technology sparked some discussion on what’s next.
This FDA public hearing is just the first step in what could become a major paradigm shift for companies looking to extend the patent lives of their pharmaceutical properties by engineering an Rx-to-OTC switch. From a pure business perspective, switch is one of the more substantial OTC growth catalysts, noted David Spangler, SVP policy, general counsel and secretary for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. And there is opportunity to broaden the OTC product pipeline by embracing the technology that exists today, he added.
There already are companies looking into additional, more complex switch applications. Pfizer has discussed publicly its inclination to explore a Lipitor switch, and Somaxon Pharmaceuticals with OTC partner Procter & Gamble late last year reported its pursuit of switching the insomnia medicine Silenor.
“There doesn’t need to be a third class of drugs” for the pharmacist or healthcare practitioner to become more involved, Laura Mahecha, industry manager of healthcare practice and analyst for Kline, shared with DSN earlier this year. “The onus would be on the manufacturer to provide educational programs for [healthcare practitioners] so that they would understand [the protocol].”
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Rx-to-OTC Switch Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Sunpeaks Ventures debuts TV spot for blood-thinner-friendly multivitamin
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Sunpeaks Ventures last week announced national advertising support behind its Clotamin multivitamin line — a line of supplements formulated for use by patients on warfarin or other blood thinners.
"Until now, Clotamin has never been the focus of any consumer marketing," stated Mackie Barch, Sunpeaks CEO. "The product’s popularity has been built solely through positive word of mouth from our customers and through pharmacies that already carry the product."
The commercial is expected to premiere on select cable stations on April 2 and can be previewed here.
The company announced distribution gains through both Walgreens.com and Navarro Discount Pharmacies earlier this month.
Sunpeaks Ventures noted that the global anticoagulants market is projected to surpass $11.2 billion by 2015, driven by an aging global population, rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and acute hip and knee complications, as well as emergence of innovative therapeutics targeting new and previously targeted clotting factors.
Health Choices Coalition renews plea for FSA-eligible OTCs with no Rx needed
WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the other members of the Health Choices Coalition on Friday sent letters to members of Congress urging the repeal of the requirement that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending arrangements to purchase over-the-counter medicines without first getting a doctor’s prescription.
“Over-the-counter medicines serve as a first line of defense for American families’ healthcare needs while offering a valuable cost-savings to consumers,” stated John Gay, CHPA VP government affairs. “Repeal of this provision can save time and money for patients, physicians and our healthcare system at large."
A recent survey by CHPA revealed that primary care physicians estimated, on average, that 10% or more of office visits were unnecessary and could have been avoided by self-management, including the use of OTC medications.
As the second anniversary of the enactment of healthcare reform approaches, members of the Health Choices Coalition are urging Congress to take action in order to allow consumers to use their FSAs for OTC medicines.
“As Congress considers ways to meet our nation’s healthcare needs effectively, they should work to restore an important incentive for consumers to use efficient healthcare options that save time and money,” Gay said.