Sickweather offers market-level flu forecasts
With cough-cold season upon us, real-time sickness tracker Sickweather is getting more granular with its offerings. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company now is providing market-level forecasts for 50 cities, with more in development, it announced Wednesday.
“As we continue to enhance the Sickweather application and our forecasting abilities, we are able to provide more geographically targeted forecasts,” said Graham Dodge, CEO and president of Sickweather. “The greater the detail, the greater the ability to provide actionable information for our clients and the public as a whole.”
Sickweather said that it maps illness incidence by collecting and processing millions of illness reports monthly, including the flu, cold and allergies, among others. Sickweather said that nationally, it expects flu activity to swell around the week of Thanksgiving, with a steady increase until the first peak of the season in the second week of January 2019.
The company said its market-level insights offered its clients the ability to better plan distribution and marketing of healthcare supplies, including vaccines and OTC medications, as well as planning for retailers and healthcare providers.
“The later, less intense season means manufacturers and marketers of OTC flu relief products will be competing more intensely,” said Laurel Edelman, Sickweather chief revenue officer and sector subject matter expert. “The sales window will be limited to Q1 for most areas of the country, and the number of people in need of remedies is expected to be less.”
Primatene Mist gets OTC reintroduction
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals is bringing its Primatene Mist back to OTC aisles. The Food and Drug Administration approved the product on Wednesday, making it the only agency-cleared nonprescription asthma inhaler in the United States. It is indicated to temporarily relieve mild symptoms of asthma in patients 12 years old and older.
The metered-dose inhaler had previously been taken off the market because it contained chlorofluorocarbon propellants. The new CFC-free version uses hydrofluoroalkane propellants and uses the same active ingredient, epinephrine, as the original Primatene Mist. It also features a built-in spray indicator and a metal canister that replaces the glass container used in the original Primatene Mist.
“We are very happy to have received FDA approval for Primatene Mist and are proud to bring this important product back to the over-the-counter market in the United States,” said Amphaster CEO Jack Zhang. “We are grateful to the FDA team for working closely with us to make this approval possible, recognizing the important role of OTC bronchodilator drugs such as Primatene Mist.”
FDA director Scott Gottlieb and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock issued a joint statement Thursday, noting that the product comes with updated instructions, is not meant to replace a patient’s current treatment, nor meant to treat anything other than mild asthma, and should be used in consultation with a physician.
“The product is appropriate for mild symptoms of intermittent asthma, however, even patients with mild asthma can have severe exacerbations — so it’s still important to consult a healthcare provider about appropriate care and have their condition reassessed,” Gottlieb and Woodcock said. “And, of course, all patients who experience severe exacerbations should go to the emergency room right away.”
Amphastar said that Primatene Mist would be available in major drug stores in the United States starting in early 2019.
Durex goes (RED) with latest launch
RB’s Durex condom brand is partnering with non-profit (RED) to launch a special edition (Durex)RED condom, as well as a $5 million donation to the organization, which works to raise money through brand partnerships to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa.
The limited-edition condom is being offered online through Amazon, as well as in select retailers, including Target. Available in 12- and 42-count packs, the product will see 35 cents per purchase of the former and 84 cents per purchase of the latter go to a program in South Africa. The program, Keeping Girls in School, works to reduce HIV infections and pregnancy among young women through educational programs and access to sexual health and reproductive services.
“This meaningful partnership between Durex and (RED) stands for the responsibility we all have, as individuals and organizations, to join the fight against HIV and AIDS around the world,” said Nadja Körner, marketing Director for sexual wellbeing at RB. “We want our consumers to feel empowered to take action and quite literally ‘Have Sex and Save Lives’ through the purchase of the new (Durex)RED condom.
As part of the launch, the company has released a provocative short film encouraging users to show their support using the hashtag #HaveSexSaveLives. The film includes singer Zara Larsson, actor Thandie Newton, Broadway star Javier Muñoz, influencer Tyler Oakley, rapper/singer Jacob Latimore and actor Christian Navarro.
“It is exhilarating for (RED) to partner with a global brand like Durex in such a provocative, inspiring and creative way. In addition to millions of dollars to the Global Fund, there is brilliance and beauty in a (RED) partner product that saves lives in more ways than one,” said Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED). “Thank you to all at Durex for bringing this important campaign to people and places all around the world.”