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OTC GERD aids

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

OTC medications "have a clinically meaningful role in treating" gastroesophageal reflux disease and provide "rapid, effective and safe relief" of episodic heartburn for periods not exceeding four weeks, an 1American Gastroenterological Association consensus panel report says. In treatment guidelines released Nov. 14, AGA panel concludes 60%-70% of patients studied in randomized clinical trials responded to acid neutralization or acid inhibition by OTC medications, such as antacids, H2 antagonists and H2/antacid combinations. Citing data from J&J/Merck's FACT study of 1,640 patients who were randomly assigned the H2/antacid combination Pepcid Complete, famotidine alone, antacid alone or placebo, AGA panel asserts H2/antacid combination "provides an incremental improvement in efficacy, compared with the individual agents." J&J/Merck provided an unrestricted educational grant for the AGA panel's work...

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