Firebrick launches Nasodine in Singapore

Firebrick Pharma (ASX: FRE) jumped by almost 20% this morning after announcing the availability of its product, Nasodine Nasal Spray, for sale in Singapore.

Customers can now purchase Nasodine through Firebrick’s dedicated website for Singapore sales at

In Singapore, Nasodine is classified as a topical antiseptic and does not require approval or licensing by Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) before being sold.

However, any advertisements targeting Singapore consumers must receive prior approval from the HSA. Firebrick obtained approval from the HSA for its consumer advertisements on June 12.

Nasodine is the first PVP-I (Povidone-iodine) nasal spray available in the region, marking it as a pioneering product in its category.

In Singapore, Nasodine will be promoted as “The nasal spray that kills germs,” emphasising its ability to combat germs in everyday situations such as commuting, socialising, working, and traveling.

Unlike in the US, where Nasodine is marketed solely as a nasal cleanser without therapeutic or germicidal claims, in Singapore, Firebrick can actively promote Nasodine for its germ-killing properties.


Doctor Care Anywhere upgrades guidance

Doctor Care Anywhere (ASX:DOC) also lifted by +14% this morning after announcing an upgrade to its revenue growth guidance for the first half of 2024 compared to the same period last year.

The revised guidance now anticipates a growth range of 10-15%, up from the previously forecasted 5-10%. This adjustment reflects robust consultation volumes observed during the period.

As outlined during the Annual General Meeting presentation released on April 29, DOC has been embarking on a strategic restructuring of its clinical operations. This initiative aims to optimise the mix of clinicians and reduce operational costs.

Concurrently, Doctor Care Anywhere is phasing out its AXA Health secondary care pathway, which includes specialists’ advice and diagnostics, due to its underperformance in generating commercial returns.

DOC is a leading provider of telehealth services in the UK. The company collaborates with insurers, healthcare providers, and businesses to offer patients access to a variety of digital healthcare services through its platform.


ACCC flags concerns over Sigma-Chemist Warehouse merger

Meanwhile, Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) dropped -6% this morning after competition watchdog, the ACCC, raised concerns about its proposed merger with unlisted Chemist Warehouse.

ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway highlighted that combining Sigma, a major pharmaceutical wholesaler, with Chemist Warehouse, the largest pharmacy chain by revenue, could significantly alter the pharmacy sector’s landscape.

This merger involves integrating a key wholesaler for independent pharmacies that compete directly with Chemist Warehouse.

Preliminary concerns from the ACCC include potential impacts on competition at both the retail and wholesale level. The watchdog says it will gather feedback from various stakeholders, including rival pharmacies, to assess these concerns thoroughly.

Sigma currently supplies prescription medicines and a variety of products to community pharmacies under banners like ‘Amcal+’, ‘Discount Drug Stores’, ‘PharmaSave’, and ‘Guardian’.

Chemist Warehouse, on the other hand, operates as a franchisor and wholesaler under multiple brands such as Chemist Warehouse, MyChemist, Ultra Beauty, My Beauty Spot, and Optometrist Warehouse.

The ACCC said it was particularly concerned about the merger’s effect on independent pharmacies currently supplied by Sigma, potentially reducing competition in pharmacy retailing.

Moreover, the ACCC is examining how the merged entity might favour Chemist Warehouse stores or disadvantage non-Chemist Warehouse banner stores, potentially increasing costs and reducing competitiveness for the latter.

The ACCC said it will continue its investigation to evaluate these competition issues.