Thursday, April 29, 2010

First approval for vaccine from cancer - Dungreon's Provenge

The FDA approved Dendreon's immunotherapy Provenge for the treatment of certain men with advanced prostate cancer, marking the first approval of a vaccine to treat cancer. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said the autologous cellular immunotherapy "provides a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer, who currently have limited effective therapies available.”


Monday, April 26, 2010

AstraZeneca's $520-million knockout

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) said it has reached a $520 million agreement "in principle" to settle a U.S. investigation into the company's marketing of schizophrenia drug Seroquel.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia has been leading an investigation into AstraZeneca's marketing of Seroquel, including allegations that the company promoted the drug for uses for which it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the company said Thursday.

more at

Not much, comparing to Pfizer and Eli Lilly!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'd love to see the photos of your coffee cups! Share them with me in the comments

Let's do it like this - you take your coffee cup and put it in front of your monitor showing your twitter profile!

I'm a coffee cup addict and this is probably my favorite cup I've ever had (got it from 'Fish's Eddy')
But I love to see new ones and I'd love to see yours!

and it's on tweetphoto too!


REALLY? Ladies, you never thought that makeup testers at stores which are accessible by everybody are dangerous?

When I shop at Sephora or Macy's or Century21 makeup area, I sometimes want to wipe half of the tester with the napkin and then try it. It really is a huge problem for me since, thanks to conventional wisdom, I did know the things above said before LA Times. I really think that non-testable Rx makeup is more healthy because no one was touching it before you bought it.

Most harbor bacteria that can lead to infection — think staph, strep, even E. coli. But if you test makeup properly, you can remain safe.

You know that sharing makeup is a no-no, and for good reason.

"If a woman has a cut on her lip and borrows lipstick from someone who has a cold sore, she'll get a cold sore. You can pass herpes [the cold sore virus], conjunctivitis [pink eye] and all sorts of things through sharing makeup," says Dr. Zein Obagi, a dermatologist based in Beverly Hills.

Now imagine sharing your makeup with a few thousand or so of your closest friends when you sample makeup in testers in stores. If you don't insist on practicing safe hygiene, or insist that the workers behind the counter practice safe hygiene when they're applying makeup to your skin, it can get ugly fast.

Dr. Elizabeth Brooks, a biological sciences professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, conducted a much-quoted two-year study on public makeup testers when she was with Rowan University in New Jersey about five years ago. "We went to department stores, specialty stores, drugstores — everywhere," she says. Her researchers found staph, strep and even E. coli bacteria on makeup testers. "Wherever you see E. coli, you should just think ‘E. coli equals feces,' " Brooks says. "That means someone went to the bathroom, didn't wash their hands and then stuck their fingers in that moisturizer." Brooks says that when they tested the makeup on Saturdays — the day with the most traffic at cosmetic counters — the percentage of tainted makeup was 100%.

The FDA concurs. In recommendations for cosmetic safety, the agency warns against sharing makeup, saying, "Don't share or swap eye cosmetics — not even with your best friend. Another person's germs may be hazardous to you. The risk of contamination may be even greater with ‘testers' at retail stores, where a number of people are using the same sample product."

But there are solutions. For instance, if you want to try lotions, use samples that people don't have to put their fingers into; instead of sampling from a jar, try a lotion you can squeeze on instead.

You can also clean the surface of the makeup tester with a tissue or a tissue dipped in alcohol before applying makeup. If you're trying lipstick, debride it with a disposable applicator. And always use disposable applicators or cotton swabs, never communal makeup brushes. "If the brush is made of animal hair, bacteria can grow into the actual hair and be harder to clean," Brooks says. You can also ask for a clean tester.

"Every makeup display that we tested, and we tested hundreds, always had disposable brushes and little pads to put on makeup, and they had all of that behind the counter but it was for the asking — they didn't have it for the general public just to pick up at their leisure," Brooks says. "And of course your Avon or Mary Kay lady had one-shot testers that have just enough to put on your lips or eyes, and some of the bigger brands had one-shot testers of foundation, lipstick or eye shadow as well — but not every brand carries that."

Brooks' most adamant advice is not to test publicly used makeup on your eyes, nose or mouth. "Mascara is the most troubling," Brooks says. "I have two teenage daughters —I tell them never, ever, ever use a tester mascara because there could be cross-contamination, and this is your eye — there could be some serious ramifications."

Brooks says a lipstick is usable if the surface layer is scraped off or if it is dipped in alcohol. "But if you're asking me if I would personally try a public lipstick tester or if I would let my teenage daughters do that, the answer is no. I would ask for an individual tester," she says. "Even when the ladies [behind the counter] are very diligent about dipping it in alcohol, they're not lab technicians and I'm not 100% sure about it. Viruses are so small in comparison to bacteria it's harder to get rid of a virus. Lipstick you can actually test on your hand and see if you like the color. I also wouldn't test something like a face cream where I could not remove the top surface."

But despite all of her research, Brooks is not a makeup killjoy. "Even doing all of this research, I'm not afraid or afraid to send my daughters to the mall. I just tell them not to put anything near their eyes, nose or mouth and you'll be OK. I want women to be happy that they're women and enjoy makeup but just be careful."

Thanks LA Times for enlightening people! (Source)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"I'm not comfortable with this" (c) can't-remember-name-hero from "Burn after reading"

Past days brought us some news on Twitter and honestly I am very disappointed. This was one socmed tool that was ad-free and very plain, and yet it didn't look like Middle Ages thing or it wasn't a closed community.

what we have now?

a) Sponsored tweets (not getting on my nerves yet)

b) Whoa! Library of Congress archiving all tweets since March 2006! How nice of them! I was just thinking of making a recovery copy!

(a) makes me feel very sad, because ad-free world is no longer such
(b) makes me feel very insecure about privacy and arouses legal issues

The trend just doesn't feel good, oh no.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

so there I was

...wondering "there are no traffic lights, no roads and no signs, what a fine job to manage flights!"

Neighbors airplane window flying flight

and the next week after that was filled with sorrow in connection with airplane catastrophes
still can't get believe the plane from Poland crashed

Can't help spreading this presentation around part II - 8 Stages of Social Media Psychosis

via @PhilBaumann

Great initiative from Jamie Oliver on better food and healthy diet

This is what I was talking about!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why do you have to take pills if you feel good? Feeling being pushed?

James Le Fanu accuses pharmaceutical companies of fuelling the demand for 'lifestyle’ drugs .

The therapeutic revolution of the post-war years ranks amongst the most impressive of all human achievements. So dramatically successful has been the assault on disease that it is almost impossible to imagine what life was like back in 1945, when there were no drugs for tuberculosis or schizophrenia or rheumatoid arthritis, or indeed for virtually any illness that a doctor encountered; a time before open heart surgery, transplantation and cures for cancer. These and a multitude of similar developments have been of immeasurable benefit in freeing people from the fear of illness and untimely death.

Yet, as Professor Joan Busfield from Exeter University argues – in a paper, “A Pill for Every Ill”, in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine this month – there is something very peculiar going on to account for why, over the past two decades, the Health Service’s drugs bill should have exploded, with little evidence of any measurable improvement in the nation’s heath.

From £4billion a year in the early 1990s, the cost of NHS prescriptions had topped £10billion by 2006, is now in the region of £18billion, and is expected to soar to £24billion by the middle of this decade. During this time, Professor Busfield points out, the average number of prescriptions issued per head of population has doubled to 16 per year. Millions of the healthy young and middle aged seldom see a doctor, so this can only mean that many, especially in the older age group, must currently be taking a fistful of drugs every day.

Read the rest at Telegraph's

Food Revolution: Jamie Oliver's presentation on child obesity and diet-related health problems

He's not just a good-looking guy sometimes appearing naked in kitchen, he's just a great guy who's terrified by the same things as I do.

Most people whom I met in US were puzzled why would I cook at home. Sometimes they would every try to turn me into a total 'call-this-guy-he-brings-you-food' person. No, hell no. I don't mind food delivery, but I'm very picky.

But most of all I love my Mom's cooking.

I wish him all the best in his efforts and here in my blog I'm going to post updates about his activity from time to time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can't help spreading this presentation around - Social Media Is Dead

I've seen a lot of slideshows and presentations on social media and this particular one is really good. Crystal clear.
I do feel enjoyment and gratitude when I realize people saved my time by doing such a great job.

Author: David Armano

Friday, March 26, 2010


Another Friday and it's very hard not to mention #hcsmeu - a highly educative source for people involved in social media for health care or wanting to be involved.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

#39 Y in Periodic Table of Science Bloggers

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome #39 in Periodic Table of Science Bloggers of David Bradley - Your Daily Pill blog!

Raising the bar for the content quality, I believe!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

World TB Day

Heard it's World TB Day today... Few years ago my very close relative went for a regular chest scan at the hospital and doctor "didn't look thoroughly at the scan" and told her in a very rude manner that she has TB.

Thank G-d she didn't have TB, but she could have had heart attack that moment.

It's a pity there's no point on suing anyone in Ukraine. In any other country I would make that doctor think 10 times before saying things like that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the Nestle 'situation'

Social media in healthcare or any other sphere is supposed to be aimed at making things better - companies extract important info from the buzz about their products and then make corresponding changes. Companies listen to their customers, to experts expressing their opinions, etc. They don't ignore them and certainly don't do childish or foolish mistakes.

This is how I see it working in the ideal world.

What happens in reality is quite a dilemma and I've been thinking for a while about the way it could possibly be solved. Companies can listen to the critics, can be polite and look thoughtful to satisfy social media activists/participants for some period of time, but when it gets down to business... well. I suppose, not much will be done. There's a need for a fundamental change in everything for these companies, like for Nestle to deal with forest issues and palm oil. They need to change everything, because they've been doing things they do for a very long time. And doing them in other way is scary and not attractive at all. Smells like losing profits and cheap company cars (if any).

But there's no way out of this dilemma other than facing it, and good idea here is, to my view, for companies to turn to HCSM specialists for help. Or HCSM specialists should address companies on this issue. Cooperation is the key!
If healthcare bill could get passed, I believe now even stronger that this can be solved too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Prospective scientists, cardiologists, firefighters, writers and cosmonauts are getting heavier?

"Overweight kids are getting even heavier" - what? Seriously, is this some kind of joke? Our future is getting heavier? Prospective scientists, cardiologists, firefighters, writers and cosmonauts are getting heavier?

Bloomberg reports, that "Extreme obesity affects about 6.4 percent of children, according to a Kaiser Permanente study that suggests overweight kids are getting even heavier. More children are graduating from “obese” to “extremely obese,” according to the study, the first to evaluate kids using U.S. guidelines published last year that distinguish among degrees of obesity". You can read the full article here.

Such news blow my mind and make me very angry at many people - firstly, parents who failed to teach their kids to eat properly - it's hard with temptations all around, but no one said raising up a child is easy. But then I remember, that HQ & organic food costs more than junk and I think of how many people struggle today to earn a dime and I calm down a little and start being sympathetic. Just to become mad again passing to the thought that obesity is quite a long-time problem coming from the age of economical boom.

I am typing this right now and my heart is beating very fast - when news get to children I take them very close to my fast-beating heart.
Mostly because I realize that the whole world has to turn upside down to bring change for the environment kids are raised in - cheap crappy snacks every day, drinking liters of sodas, no eating culture, busy parents, ads all around pushing crappy food like drugs - for me, it's hard to resist sometimes, though I'm generally more into fruits and homemade food.
And also - in almost every American restaurant I usually order half portion - half salad, half pasta, etc. not because we're short on food in the city where I come from, but because I'm not used with stuffing my stomach till I can't breathe. 

I would really like to promote healthy eating for kids and banning such pushy advertising for cheap and low-quality snacks.
I watched "Food, Inc" documentary and remembered that they had few links in the end of the movie and Hoorayy - I had no doubt other people also care about this, so:

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act

Moms Rising

Hungry for change

I'd be very grateful for other links on the subject!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pushing to think your own thoughts

Yesterday I spent wonderful 1h and thirty-something minutes watching a documentary "Food, Inc" and this great piece of art finally released all my remaining fears about food. It's not that I never gave a thought about what I eat - contrary, I think of it quite a lot and read the small font on the packages. Now I will have to read even more attentively.

Being brought up by two scientists (organic chemists) I was being informed about the structure of everything I see from my early childhood and my parents tried to educate me in every aspect of life. I used to like to play with and read an "Encyclopedia of young chemist" and many other books on chemistry in my house, just to become a theoretical economist years later (oops). Imagine the disappointment of my parents!

I'm distracting a little bit from my initial purpose of posting - I was trying to say, I was taught to think and analyze everything all the time and this made me consider myself a quite smart person. And this documentary again proved me how little I know and how little an ordinary citizen can know.

What each and every citizen can do is: THINK, read small letters on the pack and be logical. I am not even speaking about thinking of a healthy diet and ignoring fast foods and etc.

I am so disappointed and frustrated that it's really hard to express.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I can't help posting this - Onion's Alternate Health Care Bills

In response to President Obama's call for compromise, several lawmakers have concocted their own health care reform bills. Here are some provisions of the top contenders:

  • Hoyer-Larson Bill: All 45 million uninsured Americans would be guaranteed medical care, all of it provided by Dr. Tom Janicak of Houston, TX
  • Melancon-Cooper Bill: Would create a low-cost government-administered health insurance plan, but would prohibit anyone from buying into it
  • Griffith-Cantor Bill: Low-income families would be allowed to huddle outside hospital windows in the cold and look at wealthier families receiving care
  • Hutchinson-Snowe Bill: Children insured on a cuteness scale
  • Murray-Menendez Bill: Doctors only allowed to mention giving birth as a viable alternative after providing counseling on the many different ways one can have an abortion.
  • Luetkemeyer-Fortenberry Bill: They just liked the way their names looked together, and this seemed like the most high-profile opportunity to put it out there
  • Grayson Bill: Rep. Alan Grayson will personally punch in the face any insurance executive who turns down a valid claim
  • Blookross-Feiser Bill: Although no one is exactly sure who these two shadowy congressmen are, their bill would mandate a twofold increase in insurance premiums and force patients to buy name-brand drugs



Looks like I haven't been here for a while. I really do not want to merely re-post news and articles and information that I consider important, and my thoughts were really in a mess.
I tried to sit and take them down meticulously, but it never worked because of too many ideas and things to do besides blogging.

What do you do - we live in a crazy world full of information that is pouring on and in my head every day. Sometimes I think of it as a dependent intensive production line - you're responsible for it, you miss one thing and all the rest goes wild, and if well-automated, it can work smoothly without you - and again, you're overboard!

Today I again took part in an amazing initiative in Twitter - Healthcare and Social Media in EU - follow hash-tag #hcsmeu
Comparing to most participants, I am quite new to this and, after being distracted by some other business for 3-4 mins, I get back and see... what... around 50 more tweets. I've been 'out of production line' for such a short period of time and I already have to put in extra effort to catch up with discussion.

But I have to say - it is well worth it. I am looking forward to next Friday and next #hcsmeu - the discussion really works and hopefully it will lead to something important. As amateur I have very little contribution to the process, but I will try to work harder.

Thank you, HCSMEU guys!

General info here:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GlaxoSmithKline shares drop 2,5%

Is really Avandia that bad or is it just a game of GSK's competitors? I'd love to know the truth.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poll: will Avandia be eventually pulled off the market?

Decided to try SurveyMonkey and at the same time figure out what people think of the possible end of the story with GSK's Avandia.
Here's the link to the poll, it's very simple (yes/no)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I love Sunday

Day with no major breaking news! Such a relief.

Heard the news?

Take a deep breath... everything is not so bad

So upsetting to read the news about such vital meds - when life is going to get better and taking meds from asthma won't cause death?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Remove Diabetes Drug Avandia From Market: FDA Reports

The blockbuster type 2 diabetes drug Avandia raises users' odds for heart attack and heart failure and should be removed from the market, according to confidential government reports.
The New York Times on Saturday reported on documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that find that if people now taking (rosiglitazone) Avandia switched to a similar medication, Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be eliminated each month. And in a report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practice, Avandia was linked to 304 deaths in the third quarter of 2009 alone, the highest for any prescribed drug in that time period, the Times reported.
In one of the FDA documents, dated October 2008, Drs. David Graham and Kate Gelperin -- drug safety officials at the agency -- agreed that "rosiglitazone should be removed from the market."
The reports, obtained early by the Times, are yet another chapter in Avandia's checkered history. The drug was once taken by millions worldwide, but that changed after a study released in early May of 2007 by the Cleveland Clinic suggested that Avandia carried cardiovascular risks. That study, which included more than 28,000 people, found that Avandia increased a user's odds of heart attack by 43 percent compared to those not taking the medicine.
At the time, Dr. Bruce M. Psaty of the University of Washington -- who also co-wrote an accompanying editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine -- urged the FDA to restrict access to Avandia and cited both the agency and the drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, for poor oversight.
"The primary problem here is that studies that were needed early on about the health benefits of this drug were never done," Psaty told HealthDay. "As a result of the failure of the sponsor to do long-term clinical trials to show health benefits, as a result of the failure of the FDA to insist on it, we have data that are weak."
Following on the Cleveland Clinic study, the FDA demanded "black box" warnings on labeling for both Avandia and Actos, warning of a potentially heightened risks for heart failure. However, other studies found no raised level of heart risk, and at the time the agency said it had not reached a definitive conclusion on the data.
In November of the same year, the FDA updated Avandia's labeling to include a caution regarding heart attack risk. At the time, Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that, "we are keeping Avandia on the market because we have concluded there isn't enough evidence to indicate that the risk of heart attack is higher for Avandia than other type 2 diabetes treatments."
The story got more complicated in 2008, as a number of studies emerged tying the use of Avandia to increased bone fracture risk.
Throughout 2009, more studies reiterating the drug's heart risks also came to light, including one published in the BMJ suggesting that Avandia's risk for heart failure seemed to outstrip those of its related rival, Actos.
By that point, "most clinicians [had] stopped using Avandia -- some will use Actos instead or go to another class completely," Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, told HealthDay at the time.
The emergence of the leaked documents on Saturday comes at a time when officials within the FDA seem to be at loggerheads over whether to ban Avandia or not, the Times reported. The newspaper said that some officials believe that safer alternatives exist, while others say the evidence on Avandia's safety is conflicted and the drug should remain available as a treatment option.
Trying to sort things out, in December of 2009 Woodcock asked officials at the FDA to convene another advisory committee to determine whether Avandia should remain on the market, with a decision expected this summer.
In the meantime, a bipartisan Senate investigation -- overseen by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley(R-Iowa) -- has pored over 250,00 internal documents from GlaxoSmithKline. The investigation has placed much of the blame for the Avandia debacle on the company, contending that it neglected to warn patients for years of the drug's dangers.
"G.S.K. executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk," according to the Senate investigation report, which is slated for release Monday but was obtained early by the Times.
Speaking to the newspaper Friday night, agency commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said that, "I await the recommendations of the advisory committee. Meanwhile, I am reviewing the inquiry made by Senators Baucus and Grassley and I am reaching out to ensure that I have a complete understanding and awareness of all of the data and issues involved."
For its part, GlaxoSmithKline continued to assert that "scientific evidence simply does not establish" that Avandia heightens heart attack risk, and it disagrees with the Senate investigation findings.
In the wake of the controversy, the drug company had been directed by the FDA to conduct a trial comparing rates of heart attacks, strokes and heart-linked deaths among users of Avandia, Actos or a placebo. But according to internal documents accessed by the Times, Graham and Gelperin characterized the study, called TIDE, as "unethical and exploitive," with patients being given Avandia despite the fact that it appears to come with greater risks and no added benefit over Actos.
One of the Graham/Gelperin reports -- dated October 2008 -- concludes that, "Although the proposed TIDE trial is motivated by a desire for definitive answers regarding the cardiovascular safety of the drug rosiglitazone, the safety of the study itself cannot be assured and is not acceptable."
However, other FDA officials overruled those concerns and TIDE is still enrolling patients, with preliminary results expected by 2014.
The ongoing controversy has dampened patients' and physicians' enthusiasm for Avandia. According to the Times, while sales of the drug topped $3.2 billion in 2006, those numbers plummeted soon after the first studies suggesting risk emerged a year later.
Still, "hundreds of thousands" of people still take Avandia, the Times noted. GlaxoSmithKline's patent on the drug expires in 2012.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

OTC shopping destination: Japan

Boehringer Ingelheim’s buyout of the remaining stake in Japanese over-the-counter drugs maker SSP Co Ltd. is a bet on a recovery in Japan’s (OTC) sector. That may mean more buying opportunities.
The liberalization in 2009 of OTC drug sales in Japan may prove to be the turning point for a return to health. Pharma companies with an established interest in consumer brands - Novartis, for example, which is pushing Japanese growth - should take a close look.
Relatively unchallenging current valuations of two local players, Taisho Pharmaceutical Co and Lion Corp., could spur bite-sized M&A if acquirers take as bullish a view as Boehringer.
Sanofi-Aventis, which last year bought Chattem Inc. in the U.S., and GlaxoSmithKline, an established consumer health player with a strong focus beyond its traditional markets, might also be looking to buy. Outside big pharma, interest could come from cash-rich Reckitt Benckiser.
Taisho is Japan’s largest OTC player, and last year bought Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Asia-Pacific OTC business. It expects its self-medication division, which includes energy drinks as well as OTC cold remedies, to post full-year 2009/10 sales of Y159 billion, down 2% on the year, with operating margins squeezed well below the 18% seen the previous year.
Okay, that’s not bullish, but it isn’t worse than most other Japanese OTC firms. Acquirers could follow the example of Boehringer, which has hinted at cutting costs out of SSP and using the group to sell additional switch-OTC products.
Although Taisho’s EV multiple of 8.6x reported Ebitda is at the top of the OTC sector, this likely reflects its smaller, but growing, prescription pharma unit. This business could be integrated into a pharma firm’s operations or, for a non-pharma player like Reckitt, divested.
As a comparison, Boehringer is buying the 40% SSP stake at an 8.8x multiple, but that puts a 34% premium on SSP’s share price.
Meanwhile, Lion trades at a more modest multiple, and an 18% premium to the current price would see an acquirer pay Y143 billion, an EV of 8.8x Ebitda. Lion’s healthcare business, including cosmetics as well as OTCs, accounted for 42% of Y228 billion nine-month group sales, which feature its struggling household and chemical products divisions.
Turning around these non-healthcare assets might be of particular interest to Reckitt, a major player in household detergents, which needs more OTC drugs to plug the gap left by patent expiry for its heroin addiction treatment Suboxone.
Another strategy for an acquirer could be a buyout of an OTC business of one of Japan’s larger pharma groups, say Takeda Pharmaceutical or Daiichi Sankyo, if these companies see more sense in focusing on their higher-margin prescription drug operations.
Takeda had nine-month OTC sales of Y47 billion, while Daiichi Sankyo’s were Y35 billion, roughly on a par with SSP. Sales at both firm’s OTC businesses were down by 6% year on year, and the divisions comprised 4-5% of each group’s revenue.
Japan’s OTC drug sector is worth a little over $1 billion a year in sales, and lack of growth has spurred internal consolidation, such as Lion’s purchase of the local OTC businesses of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Chugai, and Astellas Pharma Inc.’s divestment of OTCs to Daiichi Sankyo.
The change last year to Japan’s Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, which allowed general retailers to start selling many non-prescription drugs, may mean increased competition for pharmacies from supermarkets but could stimulate overall growth in OTC sales.
That’s what Boehringer is banking on.

Source: The Wall Street Journal