HEALTH

Retractable Technologies, Smart Meter win DSN/ECRM Buyers Choice Awards

BY Michael Johnsen

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Retractable Technologies earlier this month won the Drug Store News/ECRM Buyers’ Choice Award for its VanishPoint syringes, blood collection products, and IV catheters during the recent ECRM Diabetes/Clinical Programs, Chronic Care Management & Adherence Solutions EPPS, held here.

The finalist was Smart Meter for its iGlucose Diabetes Solution.

The two companies were selected from dozens of entries in the award program, samples of which were displayed in the ECRM hospitality area during the EPPS meetings. Buyers cast their votes based on product innovation and packaging. The session featured products, patient services and retailer programs targeting the diabetic or other chronically managed patients.

Retractable Technologies manufactures safety medical devices. Its VanishPoint syringes, blood collection products and IV catheters feature pre-removal activation, effectively reducing the risk of needlestick injuries and preventing reuse. The EasyPoint retractable needle is compatible with both luer lock and luer slip syringes (3 mL or smaller) and can be used with pre-filled syringes.

The company also makes Patient Safe syringes, which are designed to reduce the risk of bloodstream infections resulting from catheter hub contamination.  

Smart Meter is a global diabetes management technology that enables the proactive management of diabetes by way of a cell-enabled solution that uploads real-time glucose readings to people with diabetes and their circle of care. It includes a cell-enabled blood glucose meter, an automated virtual care coach and web-based patient and population management portals, and was developed to eliminate syncing or paring complications when trying to share blood glucose test results.  

 

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PLx Pharma supports Aspertec product with two key executive appointments

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — PLx Pharma recently named Tom Long  VP manufacturing and technical operations, where he will oversee ongoing manufacturing efforts for Aspertec. In addition, PLx Pharma appointed Steven Valentino as VP trade sales, effective Oct. 1. He will be responsible for building retail trade accounts, developing retailer and wholesaler relationships for PLx and securing distribution and merchandising support.  

Concurrently Gary Mossman, COO, will transition into a senior advisory role. Mossman will continue to actively advise the company to ensure that appropriate manufacturing capacity is available for Aspertec through launch.

“Key for PLx is Tom Long’s experience in successfully manufacturing and launching OTC products with high demand and his experience with both New Drug Applications and OTC Monograph Drugs. Having his expertise on hand will strengthen and support the team as the requirements of our business expand," stated Natasha Giordano, president and CEO. "Steven Valentino will be instrumental in building trade sales for PLx and positioning Aspertec with retailers and wholesalers to maximize the launch potential and build retail equity. We are delighted to welcome them both to the PLx team.”

Most recently, Long has independently consulted in building manufacturing and technical operations for several manufacturers. Long served as SVP and general manager, manufacturing and operations, for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, where he managed the overall supply of Mucinex, Mucinex DM and Mucinex D. For more than 17 years, he had various responsibilities including materials management, international manufacturing, process engineering, production planning, inventory control, materials control, quality engineering, as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging.

Valentino is a highly-credentialed executive with more than 25 years of experience in the OTC and consumer healthcare space. His experience includes Rx to OTC switches, brand management, trade sales and operations and customer development across drug, mass, food and specialty. He has held positions of increasing responsibility at Warner Lambert Consumer Health, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies.   Most recently, Valentino served as VP Crossmark Drug, a division of Crossmark, where he was responsible for drug wholesale, dollar and retail merchandising for brand and private label products.

 

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GSK ready to kick the tires of any Pfizer OTC divestiture

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — If Pfizer follows through with its announcement last week to potentially place its consumer business up for sale, GlaxoSmithKline, presently the third-largest OTC seller in the U.S. marketplace, would certainly take a look at it, the company's CEO shared Wednesday morning.

"We did say we'd be potentially interested in building up our consumer business; it's a business we like. We're a world leader in consumer healthcare and have a demonstrated track record of successful integrations," GSK CEO Emma Walmsley, explained to investors during the comany's quarterly conference call.

"So you would expect us to look at any assets that compliment our portfolio from a power brand or geographic footprint point of view," she said. "We've been looking at it, but they only announced the process last week, so it's a bit premature and it's not even confirmed for sale to discuss in any detail if and how."

But one can wonder.

The biggest impact of any potential acquisition of Pfizer's consumer business by GlaxoSmithKline would be that company's entree into VMS. Pfizer is the market leader in liquid vitamins through its 2012 acquisition of Alacer and its Emergen-C business. For the 52 weeks ended Sept. 10, Alacer posted $168.1 million in liquid vitamin sales across total U.S. multi-outlet, according to IRI, on growth of 9.1%. And Pfizer's multivitamin Centrum brand, which contributed to $282.1 million in multivitamin sales on growth of 7.1%, is second only to Bayer's One-A-Day in that category.

The rest of Pfizer's brands would add to GlaxoSmithKline's already considerable heft in OTC: Pfizer fields Dimetapp and Robitussin in cough/cold to GlaxoSmithKline's Triaminic and Theraflu; Pfizer wields Nexium 24HR in the antacid space against GlaxoSmithKline's venerable Tums brand; in pain, it's Pfizer's Advil vs. GlaxoSmithKline's Excedrin (though the external analgesic Thermacare line of adhesive heat would be additive to GlaxoSmithKline here).

A combination of GlaxoSmithKline, its joint venture with Novartis' consumer healthcare brands and the onboarding of Pfizer's consumer business would leapfrog the company over both Bayer and Johnson & Johnson in becoming the clear market leader. According to Kline Group, based on 2016 sales Bayer had an 8.2% market share, Johnson & Johnson 7.5% and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare 6.5%. The addition of Pfizer's 6.2% would concievably bring the combined  GlaxoSmithKline business to a marketshare of 12.7%.

GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday posted $2.6 billion in global sales, representing growth of 5%. In the U.S., GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare generated $568.7 million on growth of 1%. Private label competition across GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare's Flonase offset strong performance by the company's OTC power brands.

Without the infusion of Pfizer's OTC business, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare expects low to middle single-digit growth through 2020, including a comparable 1% growth into next year as store brand versions of Flonase continue to impact that business.

 

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