Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Impacts
Local Business, Fleming Pharmaceuticals

May 5th, 2011

The Webster-Kirkwood Times has an article reporting on the impact the nuclear crisis in Japan has had on Fleming Pharmaceuticals:

Deborah Fleming Wurdack of Wildwood, co-owner of Fleming Pharmaceuticals in Fenton, holds a bottle of the in-demand ThyroShield radiation sickness medicine

Deborah Fleming Wurdack of Wildwood, co-owner of Fleming Pharmaceuticals in Fenton, holds a bottle of the in-demand ThyroShield radiation sickness medicine. Photo by Diana Linsley

Fenton’s Fleming Pharmaceuticals produces ThyroShield, a top medicine for counteracting radiation sickness. As leaks from the Fukushima plant complex continue into their third month, the fallout has included more business for the Fenton company.

“We used to get about 60 phone calls a week at our business,” said Fleming President Phil Dritsas. “When things went bad for the Japanese reactors in March, after the earthquake and tsunami, we started getting 2,000 phone calls a week.

“There were a lot of phone calls for our medicine and calls from the media,” said Dritsas. “CNN and FOX were in our parking lot. We’ve been in papers like the Wall Street Journal and had TV and radio interviews from all over the world.

“We did all that we could to ramp up our production to meet all the demands for ThyroShield,” added Dritsas. “Now we are studying the logistics of how we would ramp up production if there were a nuclear disaster in the U.S. and the demand spiked like it has with Japan.”

Dritsas explained that most of the orders since March for the medicine were from Japan. However, stateside companies with employees working in cities like Tokyo, also ordered lots of ThyroShield for protection of their employee families residing in Japan.

Be sure to read the full article at the Webster-Kirkwood Times website.

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IndustryWeek Reports on Fleming’s
Increased Supply of Nuclear Safeguard

April 23rd, 2011

IndustryWeek reports on Fleming’s efforts to increase supply of ThyroShield®, a potassium iodide oral solution:

Fleming Pharmaceuticals, maker of ThyroShield®– the only FDA approved liquid potassium iodide product indicated for thyroid protection in radiation emergencies — announced on April 21 that it has is now able to ramp up production to meet increased domestic and international demand.ThyroShield® is an over-the-counter iodide solution which, when taken orally, saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed.

“ThyroShield® was developed under the Orphan Drug Act -– a federal law designed to encourage the development of pharmaceuticals that have limited commercial potential,” explains Phill Dritsas, president of Fleming Pharmaceuticals.”It has always been made-to-order, rather than produced in mass quantities like other, more common over-the-counter medications. With the production changes we’ve implemented over the past six weeks, we are confident that we can now fulfill increase in demand for the product.”

Be sure to read the full article at IndustryWeek. Remember that you can find out more about ThyroShield, including how to purchase it, on our website.

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Fleming Raises Production of
Nuclear Safeguard, ThyroShield®

April 21st, 2011

ST. LOUIS, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ Fleming Pharmaceuticals, maker of ThyroShield®– the only FDA approved liquid potassium iodide product indicated for thyroid protection in radiation emergencies – announced today that it has implemented the changes necessary to ramp up production to meet increased domestic and international demand.

ThyroShield is an over-the-counter iodide solution which, when taken orally, saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed. ThyroShield is especially effective for babies and children, who are most at risk during radiation exposure.

“The March 11 incident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant has increased awareness of the need for preparedness in the event of a major nuclear emergency,” stated Phill Dritsas, president of Fleming Pharmaceuticals. “Based on the number of inquiries we have received in the past month from governments, hospitals and others around the world, it is clear to us that we need to do everything within our power here at Fleming to help meet the need for global and domestic relief. We’ve responded by taking steps to ensure that we can significantly increase production of ThyroShield.”

Working closely with the FDA, Fleming Pharmaceuticals has qualified a new potassium iodide (KI) supplier to ensure a steady supply of quality raw materials to manufacture ThyroShield. The company has also established new agreements with vendors to shorten lead times needed to complete orders for ThyroShield package components such as bottles, caps and droppers. Finally, Fleming Pharmaceuticals has completed a thorough audit to identify production line logistics that can be immediately implemented to fulfill any significant new orders for ThyroShield.

“ThyroShield was developed under the Orphan Drug Act – a federal law designed to encourage the development of pharmaceuticals that have limited commercial potential,” Dritsas said. “It has always been made-to-order, rather than produced in mass quantities like other, more common over-the-counter medications. With the production changes we’ve implemented over the past six weeks, we are confident that we can now fulfill increase in demand for the product.”

For more information, visit www.flemingpharma.com or www.thyroshield.com.

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Fleming producing more of radiation drug

April 21st, 2011

The Saint Louis Business Journal reports on Fleming’s continued production of ThyroShield:

Fleming Pharmaceuticals, which has seen a spike in demand for its potassium iodide product since the nuclear incidents in Japan last month, said Thursday that it is ready to further increase production to meet that demand. Fenton-based Fleming makes ThyroShield, an over-the-counter thyroid-blocking liquid medicine for “radiation emergencies.” Taken orally, the drug saturates the thyroid gland so radioactive iodine cannot be absorbed.

The company said it has worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to qualify a new supplier for the raw materials to make ThyroShield and struck new deals with packaging and other vendors to shorten lead times to complete orders.

Be sure to read the full article at the St. Louis Business Journal. Remember that you can find out more about ThyroShield, including how to purchase it, on our website.

 

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Fleming Sends 50,000 Potassium Iodide Formulas to Tokyo

April 5th, 2011

Greek USA Reporter has highlighted the efforts of Phill Dritsas and Fleming Pharmaceuticals to assist Japan during its radiation crisis:

During the hard hours after the tsunami, when the Japanese had to wear masks to protect themselves from radiation, a Greek pharmaceutical owner from Minnesota sold all his products. Mr. Phil Dritsas, president of Fleming Pharmaceutical located in Saint Louis since 1960, sent to Tokyo 50,000 potassium iodide formulas. These formulas are the only shield of obturator gland against exposition to radioactive iodine, which causes cancer.

Only three companies in the whole world – among them the industry of Mr. Dritsas – have the consent of the Food and Drugs Administration to produce the anti-radioactive syrup ‘Thyroshield’. Each product costs 13 dollars and 25 cents, without postage costs. In the U.S.A., where there are 144 nuclear factories, it is estimated that there is a stock of 5 million potassium iodide bottles. The formula was massively used for the first time by the government of Poland, which after Chernobyl, delivered the saturated solution of potassium iodide to 18 million children and adults.

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Local drugmaker exhausting
stores of anti-radiation medicine

March 17th, 2011

From STLToday.com:

In the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, a Fenton-based pharmaceutical company is exhausting its inventory of a leading medicine used to combat radiation sickness.

Fleming Pharmaceuticals’ shortage of potassium iodide also has sparked questions over the adequacy of the nation’s stockpile of the anti-radiation medicine.

Fleming President Phill Dritsas said in an interview Wednesday that the U.S. stockpile of potassium iodide appears to be outdated and needs to be replenished.

Thirty-five percent of the 4.8 million bottles of potassium iodide shipped by his company in recent years to the federal Department of Health and Human Services have expired, and most of the remaining bottles will expire by the end of the year.

Fleming makes ThyroShield, one of two FDA-approved potassium iodide medicines used in nuclear emergencies to block the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine to avoid thyroid cancer.

This week, the privately held company has received a huge increase in requests for the drug from as far away as Japan, China, Korea and the state of Oregon, as well as federal and state agencies such as the Department of Defense, hospitals, the American Red Cross, hospitals, and U.S. companies with employees based in Japan.

Be sure to read the rest of the article at STLToday.com. You can also find out more about ThyroShield® Potassium Iodide Oral Solution on our website.

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Japan Crisis Spikes Demand for Radiation Pills

March 16th, 2011

From ABC News:

Internet seller NukePills.com donated 50,000 potassium iodide tablets to a physician-run disaster-relief team in Japan, pills not suitable for U.S. retail sale because of packaging issues and expiration dates. Regardless, “these pills really needed to go where people were in the most dire need,” said company president Troy Jones. Meanwhile, he said he’s taken over 6,000 orders since Friday and is selling a liquid version until more pills become available.

What does this drug do?

Potassium iodide, a salt also known as KI, has just one use: It shields the thyroid from radioactive iodine. It blocks no other type of radiation, and protects no other body part.

The drug, either pill or liquid form, is sold over-the-counter and is considered safe, although some people may experience allergic reactions.

Be sure to read the full article at ABC News. You can find out more about Fleming Pharmaceuticals’ ThyroShield® Potassium Iodide Oral Solution on our website.

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