CHPA addresses economy, OTC abuse at annual conference
NAPLES, Fl. The big issue addressed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Friday at its 2009 Annual Executive Conference was, without surprise, the economy.
“Much has changed since we met last year in Washington, D.C.,” said Linda Suydam, CHPA president, in her annual state of the association address.
But as challenging as the economy may be, Suydam said that “American consumers are counting on this industry. We are certain that millions of consumers look to us” for continued access to safe, effective and affordable healthcare.
To that end, CHPA has significantly stepped up its consumer education efforts in the past year, from outlining a plan to address the safety and efficacy questions raised around pediatric cough/cold medicines, which is “by far the biggest education initiative ever undertaken by this association,” Suydam said, referring to the abuse of over-the-counter medicines like dextromethorphan.
Incidentally, thanks in part to the association’s outreach to 24 million parents through its Five Moms campaign, the abuse of DXM is in fact down and awareness around the dangers of abusing DXM is up.
Going forward, CHPA plans to make consumer education around the proper use of OTC medicines one of its hallmarks, especially across the association’s consumer education web site.
“We are positioning OTCsafety.org as the preeminent home of OTC information … period,” Suydam said.
The association is also looking to step up its lobbying activity, both on the national and state levels, Suydam added. For example, CHPA is strongly supportive of increased regulatory control over the distribution of raw ingredient dextromethorphan, and plans to support a national age limit on the sale of products containing dextromethorphan.
Study: Psorent improves, controls symptoms of plaque psoriasis
SAN FRANCISCO A nonprescription topical solution made with a new formulation of liquor carbonis distillate known as Psorent is significantly more effective than prescription-strength calcipotriol cream in improving and controlling the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, according to research findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 2009 Annual Meeting NeoStrata, which markets Psorent, announced Tuesday.
“We knew, based on the preliminary study results we presented at the summer AAD, that in the treatment phase of this study, twice-daily LCD outperformed calcipotriol cream for control of psoriasis symptoms,” stated Alexa Kimball, a CURTIS researcher who was also a study investigator and author. “But we were encouraged by the fact that the improvements also persisted longer after patients stopped their twice-daily treatments for six weeks.”
The team’s conclusions are based on data from 55 patients who received treatment for up to 12 weeks and 43 patients who returned for re-assessment 6 weeks after treatment stopped.
“Because no single treatment is right for everyone, dermatologists are always looking for new ways to improve outcomes for their psoriasis patients,” stated Mark Lebwohl, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “The results of this trial suggest that LCD may be an appropriate treatment choice for psoriasis patients with mild or moderate disease.”
Probiotic intake can boost the body’s immune response, study shows
CLEVELAND, Ohio A new study in the March issue of Postgraduate Medicine suggested that a strain of probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, PTA-6086), increases the body’s immune response to viruses that cause common viral respiratory tract infections, such as colds and flu.
Study data showed significant increases in T-cell production of TNF-alpha, a key immune marker, versus control upon exposure to adenovirus and influenza A in healthy adults, who consumed a daily capsule of GanedenBC30 for 30 days.
The study measured the changes in blood TNF-alpha levels in 10 healthy adults prior to and following a 30 day regimen of GanedenBC30, which is marketed as a dietary supplement called Sustenex, and is also available in a variety of fortified packaged foods. Results showed a 250% increase in TNF-alpha levels with adenovirus, and a 1709% increase in TNF-alpha levels with influenza A, after subjects took the probiotics for a period of 30 days. Increased production of TNF-alpha in response to viral exposure indicates a heightened immunological effect.
“These results demonstrate the ability of GanedenBC30 to boost the immune system of healthy adults against viruses that cause some of the most common human illnesses,” said Mira Baron, M.D., author of the study. “The study helps support the long-suspected belief about the beneficial effects of GanedenBC30 on the immune system and adds to the emerging body of evidence that probiotics can benefit healthy people as well as those with specific health issues.”