HEALTH

Tylenol Arthritis caplet recall becomes a bigger headache

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson has expanded its voluntary recall of Tylenol Arthritis caplets in the wake of consumer reports of a moldy smell that can cause nausea and sickness. The recall now includes all product lots of the Arthritis Pain caplet 100-count bottles with the red EZ-Open cap.

Prior to this, the company had recalled five lots of the product in November, citing similar reasons, with user complaints of nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

According to J&J, the odor is coming from trace amounts of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole — a chemical used to treat wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials —  which is believed to be the result from the breakdown of another chemical used in the manufacture of the drug.

To date, the side effects have been “temporary and non-serious,” although the health effects of the compound have not been studied.

The recall only affects the specific lots reported, and does not extend to any other Tylenol pain products.

J&J is moving its production of Tylenol Arthritis Pain caplets 100-count to another plant, and plans to reintroduce the product in January.

J&J is advising consumers seeking a refund or replacement to call (888) 222-6036.

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CVS Caremark appoints new president of PBM business

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK If there was any doubt as to the value CVS Caremark places on personalized medicine, that doubt no longer should exist.

Clearly, the company believes that one area its PBM can create real value for payers is within pharmacogenomics or personalized medicine. Not only has CVS Caremark tapped Per Lofberg, co-founder of genetic benefit management company Generation Health, to serve as the PBM president, but it also has upped its stake in Generation Health.

Generation Health will continue to operate as a separate business from CVS Caremark, but CVS Caremark will have financial and strategic ties to the company, as well as representation on its board of directors.

The moves are undoubtedly in line with CVS Caremark’s efforts to move well beyond a traditional retail pharmacy role and into a pharmacy healthcare service company aimed at improving health outcomes and lowering healthcare costs.

PGx clinical services are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter 2010, and will initially focus on testing programs for medications in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular medicine and HIV, among others. In addition, the partnership opens the door for future programs to test for certain hereditary diseases.

According to Generation Health, genomic testing represents a $3 billion market that is growing 45% annually. There are at least 100 new tests added each year and they are usually priced at several hundred dollars each.

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P&G adds new products to Vicks DayQuil line

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble on Wedneday introduced Vicks DayQuil Mucus Control and DayQuil Mucus Control DM. These products, which work for four hours, help loosen and thin mucus.

Vicks DayQuil Mucus Control provides mucus relief, making coughs more productive. In addition, DayQuil Mucus Control DM contains a cough suppressant for combined comfort of thinning mucus and controlling cough.

“When you are sick, your body produces excess mucus, which also becomes thicker and more difficult to clear,” stated Matt Kemme, brand manager, Vicks. “We’ve uncovered an insight that some consumers are restricting their mucus treatment to avoid coughing up phlegm in public,” he said. “The expectorant agent in Vicks DayQuil Mucus Control acts for four hours, helping people control over when and where they expel their mucus out.”

Average retail price ranges between $6.49 and $7.29.

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