HEALTH

BC, Goody’s get package updates

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS — GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday announced its support for the Wounded Warrior Project and Victory Junction, a camp for children with special needs, through its analgesic powder brands, BC and Goody’s.

The company introduced new packaging branded with country music singer Trace Adkins (BC spokesman) and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Goody’s spokesman), who each support the WWP and Victory Junction, respectively. With each purchase made between Jan. 1 and March 31 of these specially-marked boxes of BC or Goody’s, fans of Richard Petty and Trace Adkins will be helping to give back to the organization affiliated with each man and each brand.

The release of the new packages of BC powder and Goody’s headache powders is a part of the Pick A Powder campaign (Pickapowder.com) sponsored by BC and Goody’s, in which Adkins and Petty have been competing in a friendly rivalry since the summer of 2010. For the campaign, the two celebrities have gone head-to-head in each other’s "worlds" to see which one of them experiences the most pain and which brand — between BC powder and Goody’s headache powders —has the most loyal users around the country.

"With this charity component of the Pick A Powder campaign, now the loyal fans of BC and Goody’s can team up with Team Trace and Team Richard to help the two charities and benefit wounded service members and chronically ill children across the country," stated Traci Plate, powders brand manager, GlaxoSmithKline.

During the first weekend of April at the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 in Martinsville, Va., Adkins’ and Petty’s respective charities will be presented with a check from BC and Goody’s, GSK announced.

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Optivia, FDA collaborate to identify potentially harmful drug-dietary supplement interactions

BY Michael Johnsen

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Optivia Biotechnology on Tuesday announced that the company and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a collaboration agreement to assess the effect of dietary supplements on key drug transporters.

Drug transporters are proteins on the surface of cells that either facilitate or hinder the transport of nutrients or pharmaceuticals. Drug transporters can increase or decrease the absorption of drugs into the body, as well as limit or facilitate the exposure of certain organs.

The goal of the Optivia-FDA collaboration is to identify potentially harmful drug-dietary supplement interactions, such as an interaction with acetaminophen and other drugs associated with liver toxicity, the company stated.

Drug-induced liver toxicity is estimated to be responsible for as many as 5% of all hospital admissions and 50% of all acute liver failures. It is well-established that transporters greatly influence the disposition by the liver of a number of commonly used drugs (e.g., antibiotics, statins and hypoglycemic agents) and others that subsequently were removed from the market (e.g., the antidepressant nefazodone).

The research collaboration will assess the ability of dietary supplements, including black cohosh, green tea, gingko biloba, kava, usnic acid and potentially others, to affect various drug transporters. As a starting point, the seven transporters cited by the International Transporter Consortium and the FDA as the most clinically relevant to transporter-related drug-drug interactions will be examined.

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Fish oil, multivitamins among top dietary supplements used by consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Among people who use dietary supplements, the most popular products in 2010 were fish oil, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and Co Q10, according to a survey released Tuesday by ConsumerLab.com.

Women were much more likely than men to have taken vitamin D, calcium or probiotics. Men were more likely than women to have taken Co Q10, herbs and extracts, glucosamine/chondroitin, vitamin E, resveratrol, amino acids, and nutrition drinks and powders.

Use of vitamin D surged in 2010 to 56.2% of those surveyed, up from 47.9% in 2009 and 36.9% in 2008. Fish oil continued its rise in popularity, used by 75.7% of those surveyed, up from 74% in 2009.

Multivitamin use declined to 70.1% last year from 72.0% in 2009 and 73.8% in 2008. Younger adults, however, were more likely to have used a multivitamin than older adults; 73% of people ages 35 to 44 years used a multivitamin, compared with 67.9% of those ages 75 to 84 years. Younger adults also were more likely than older adults to have used amino acids, nutrition/protein drinks and powders, green tea, nutrition bars and iron.

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