OTC Product News provides forward-looking, independent commentary on how current events impact consumer health and beauty care companies and their products. Coverage includes editorials and opinion you won’t find elsewhere. Our readership includes stock analysts, marketers, retailers, regulators, journalists, lawyers, and product developers. Our opinion is not biased by stock ownership, vested interests, or business relationships.
Donald Kay Riker, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, OTC Product News and President & Founder, On Point Advisors, LLC
Dr. Riker was a Fellow at the Rockefeller University, earned his Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Cornell and won a three-year NIH Fellowship on neurological disease in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard and Robert Roth at Yale University School of Medicine. In 1982 he joined Richardson-Vicks, an over-the-counter healthcare company later acquired by P&G. During this time he also helped implement the first prescription drug monitoring program for the National Football League and was a member of the US Antarctic Research Program.
At P&G Dr. Riker worked to support over-the-counter product development rising to the rank of Associate Director & Research Fellow while managing over 125 clinical trials of OTC products. He was a key player in the academic/industry consortium investigating the common cold co-authoring a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine on sinus involvement in common colds quoted in over 500 investigations. Dr. Riker recommended the acquisition and OTC switch of both Rx naproxen [1985, Aleve] and omeprazole [1996, Prilosec]. During his tenure at the world’s most disciplined consumer products company Don worked closely with marketing, finance, regulatory, and consumer insight functions. He supported brands such as Nyquil, Dayquil, Vicks 44, Sinex, Aleve, Chloroseptic, PeptoBismol, and Prilosec.
In 2001 Dr. Riker was recruited by Chattem, Inc, a leading acquirer of OTC health and beauty products, to rebuild R&D as its last long time Vice President of R&D & CSO. Over his five years at Chattem Don installed a first-rate product development function launching 6-8 products per year across diverse categories, including topical analgesic [Icy Hot, Capsaizin, Aspercreme], skin care [Gold Bond], lip care [Herpecin], dandruff shampoo [Selsun], sunscreens [Bullfrog], supplements [Dexatrim, Garlique, CardioAssist, New Phase], and menstrual products [Pamprin]. During his tenure [2001-2007] Chattem’s stock price rose 7-fold, a rise accounting for 65% of the take-out price when acquired by Sanofi in January, 2010. Dr. Riker managed product development, QA/QC, analytical services, global regulatory/safety, and consumer affairs. In 2007 he founded On Point Advisors, LLC and later OTC Product News in 2009. He is also a founder and CEO, Modular Therapeutx, LLC, a start up developer of a medical device for breakthrough relief of lower back pain launched into the professional market in 2012.
Few people in consumer healthcare share his experience as both a scientist and consumer product leader. Dr. Riker is a member of the Society of Neuroscience, Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, Licensing Executives Society, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, American Society of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Infectious Disease Society of America, Drug Information Association, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Sigma Xi. Dr. Riker received his BA from the University of Kansas, and completed a course in technology management at Yale School of Management, and an executive course in finance at Stanford School of Business. He is widely quoted in the mainstream press on all matters OTC.