HEALTH

Bowel-friendly iron pill to be released OTC

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO A dual-action iron supplement pill with almost no gastrointestinal side effects will soon be available without prescription, the maker has said.

Alaven announced the supplement, Bifera, at the American Dietetic Association Monday. The supplement provides protein-based and plant-based iron and will become available early next year.

“When patients are deficient in iron, their organs aren’t performing at maximum capacity, and they experience a decrease in energy,” the supplement?s product manager, Autumn Akin, said. “Similar to a hybrid car, Bifera is small, efficient and produces energy quickly without unwanted side effects, like nausea and constipation.”

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Consumer Product Safety Commission requests comments on iron shipping compliance requirements

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md The American Herbal Products Association on Thursday noted that certain dietary supplements containing iron may fall under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, passed in January, which requires that products subject to a consumer product safety rule (like those containing iron) include a Certificate of Compliance when shipped in commerce on and after Nov.12.

For dietary supplement manufacturers, products subject to a consumer product safety rule are those that contain over 250 mg of elemental iron and are required to be in childproof closures by regulations promulgated under the “Poison Prevention Packaging Act,” a statute administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, AHPA noted.

CPSC has issued a “Request for Comments and Information,” seeking, in particular, comments on the use of electronic certificates to facilitate the “accompanying” and “furnishing” requirements as well as comments on the issue of multiple certifications for the same product, AHPA reported. “The American Herbal Products Association is reviewing CPSC’s request for comments to determine what comments if any to submit,” stated AHPA president Michael McGuffin. “The association is committed to keeping members abreast of any developments and will provide guidance as needed.”

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Chattem reports four-week 10 percent sales lift

BY Michael Johnsen

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Chattem on Thursday reported a lift across its over-the-counter brands sales of 10 percent for the four weeks ended Oct. 4, citing data from ACNielsen, excluding the recalled Icy Hot Heat Therapy and the discontinued Icy Hot Pro-Therapy.

“The momentum of our business has continued as expected behind our key brands such as ACT, Gold Bond and Icy Hot,” commented Zan Guerry, chairman and chief executive officer of Chattem.

That 10 percent lift over a four-week period represents an acceleration in the rate of growth for retail sales compared with the 13-week period ended Oct. 4, in which comparable retail sales rose almost 8 percent, Chattem stated.

The year-over-year increase in retail sales was led by ACT, which took over third place in the mouthwash category ahead of Scope based on ACNielsen data for the most recent four- and 13-week periods, which grew by 33 percent and 28 percent over the respective periods. Sales of Gold Bond were up 23 percent and 13 percent, respectively, and Icy Hot 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

“In this difficult economic environment, and at a time in which concerns regarding negative consumer sentiment and spending clearly exist, we are pleased with the performance of our brands,” Guerry said. “For fiscal 2009, our exciting lineup of new products is expected to continue our revenue growth, fuel our earnings momentum and result in strong cash flow.”

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