HEALTH

Survey: Patients oppose PSE prescription mandate

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — As many as 71% of cough-cold sufferers in search of decongestant relief oppose a prescription requirement for pseudoephedrine, according to a survey commissioned by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released Monday.

"Taking away patient freedom by requiring prescriptions for important over-the-counter medications is not a solution to the meth problem," stated Mike Tringale, VP external affairs at AAFA. "Based on our recent survey of allergy, asthma, cold-cough and flu patients, we recognize that timely access to these medicines is critical for people."

According to the findings in AAFA’s survey, two-thirds of respondents would support a law for nationwide electronic tracking of medication purchases and 64% would prefer an e-tracking law, rather than requiring a doctor’s prescription, to track and block sales of PSE that go over the legal limit.

When faced with the choice, 63% of asthma, allergy, cold, cough and flu sufferers said they agreed that the implementation of e-tracking would be the most effective way of preventing medication sales for illegal uses without penalizing those who truly need them. Only 18% indicated their belief that a doctor’s prescription would be the most effective control mechanism. The chief reasons patients in the survey preferred e-tracking include:  

  • It is more effective and less burdensome than requiring prescriptions (66% support);

  • It doesn’t infringe on law-abiding citizens who want easy and immediate access to the OTC meds they need (49% opposed a prescription requirement for this reason);

  • E-tracking builds on the existing framework and law enforcement in states and regions (65% support);

  • It can be updated in real time (59% support); and

  • Health records remain private and protected (65% support).

The survey of 2,006 consumers who purchased nonprescription medicines for their condition was conducted by Harris Interactive and supported by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

The survey report is available online at AAFA.org/pse.

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Study: TheraTears Nutrition improves eye health

BY Michael Johnsen

WOBURN, Mass. — Advanced Vision Research on Monday announced results from a pilot trial published in the journal Cornea that demonstrated a reduction in dry-eye symptoms and an increase in tear volume and tear flow for those patients taking TheraTears Nutrition, an optimized blend of omega-3 oils.

Almost 3-in-4 symptomatic dry-eye patients who received the omega-3 supplement reported having no symptoms of dry eye after 90 days. In the placebo group, only 7% had a complete reduction of symptoms.

The study also found that supplementation with TheraTears Nutrition, when compared with the placebo, resulted in 0.10 microliters/min. higher tear flow and 0.94 microliters higher tear volume, two objective parameters that are key to the improvement of disease in patients with dry eye.

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Perrigo to buy Paddock for $540 million

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Perrigo will buy Paddock Labs for more than half a billion dollars, Perrigo said Thursday.

Perrigo, an Allegan, Mich.-based company that makes generic prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including private-label products, announced that it would buy Minneapolis-based Paddock for $540 million in cash.

“This acquisition is an important step forward in executing on our strategy to expand our specialty portfolio of generic prescription drug products,” Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said. “It adds incremental scale, as well as excellent development and manufacturing capabilities across a spectrum of niche dosage forms.”

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