HEALTH

CHPA names two directors for regulatory, scientific affairs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association has selected John Punzi and Jay Sirois to serve as directors of the organization’s regulatory and scientific affairs department.

Punzi will serve as director of quality assurance and technical affairs and will serve as coordinator for CHPA’s Product Quality and Operations workshop and the CHPA liaison to the manufacturing controls committee and its subcommittees. In addition, Punzi acts as CHPA’s industry liaison to external standards-setting agencies, including the U.S. Pharmacopeia, and oversees the industry’s involvement in USP monograph modernization. Punzi represents CHPA member companies as their delegate to the 2015 USP Convention.

Meanwhile, Sirois is serving as director of regulatory and scientific Affairs and is responsible for regulatory and scientific affairs activities, including cooperative programs with the Food and Drug Administration, ingredient safety and dietary supplement programs at CHPA.

CHPA’s regulatory and scientific affairs department currently is led by VP Barbara Kochanowski, while Marcia Howard serves as senior director.

“I’m thrilled to have such a strong and diverse team in regulatory and scientific affairs,” Kochanowski said. “We have a variety of projects where Jay’s regulatory and pharmacology expertise can be immediately applied. John’s chemistry and government team leadership skills will be critical in moving ahead our work with FDA and USP to modernize ingredient monographs, a priority project.”


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Nature Made selects ad agency of record

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO — Dietary supplement brand Nature Made has tapped a new advertising agency to lead all brand positioning and integrated marketing for the company.

Nature Made said Amazon Advertising would serve as the company’s new agency of record. Amazon Advertising, Nature Made said, will be responsible for creating national advertising campaigns that incorporate both traditional and digital media. The agency’s clients include such brands as Kashi, Bear Naked, P&G’s Naturella brand and Yogi Tea.

"Nature Made takes great pride in our science-based approach and superior quality," Nature Made VP marketing Erin O’Malia Gehan said. "From the beginning, Amazon fully understood and embraced our principled approach to making high-quality products that consumers can trust to deliver the nutrients they need, as its own guiding principles are strikingly similar. We feel there is a cultural fit between the two organizations and we look forward to working together."

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Workable solution to meth epidemic right under authorities’ noses

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — That one of the latest attempts to require prescriptions for cough-cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine appears headed for failure isn’t just good news for the retailers that sell those products and the people who need them, it also may encourage those trying to curb the manufacture and use of methamphetamine to focus their efforts on methods that already work, such as the National Precursor Log Exchange, also known as NPLEx, a real-time, industry-funded electronic system that tracks sales of PSE products and is active in 17 states.

(THE NEWS: California Senate committee tables PSE Rx-only bill. For the full story, click here.)

Oregon and Mississippi already classify PSE as a prescription-only medication, and Drug Store News reported last month that North Carolina soon may follow. Authorities in these states have legitimate concerns: Meth is an extremely dangerous drug that destroys lives, families and communities. But the experience of many areas so far has indicated that efforts to make PSE prescription-only don’t just create inconvenience for people who actually need it to alleviate their cold and allergy symptoms; it also forces drug pushers simply to look for alternative sources.

In October 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that sales of PSE drugs jumped by 81% in three St. Louis County, Mo., cities along the border of neighboring St. Charles County, which had made PSE prescription-only in August. While a spokesman for Walgreens told the Post-Dispatch the jump was the result of people buying PSE medications for legitimate purposes, local law enforcement officials said it was meth makers crossing the county line for easier access to their ingredients.

Whether the Walgreens spokesman, the local officials or both are correct, it shows that laws like this have a habit of spurring people who need PSE — for legitimate or illegitimate purposes — simply to sidestep the law and find a more convenient means of getting it.

By contrast, NPLEx appears more effective. According to a Consumer Healthcare Products Association report in October 2011, 47,866 sales of PSE products were blocked in first quarter 2011 in all the states with NPLEx, representing 4.1% of sales; in non-NPLEx states, 19,535 sales, or 1.4% of the total, were blocked. In September 2011, a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that even as illegal drug use climbed between 2008 and 2010, meth use declined by 50%, a drop for which the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators credited NPLEx.

Lawmakers and other authorities who want to make PSE Rx-only should take a cue from Prohibition — far from stamping out alcohol, it simply drove Americans to get it illegally and helped create modern organized crime. That’s not to say that the experience of Prohibition will repeat itself, but it goes to show, as Sam Neill said in "Jurassic Park," nature always finds a way.

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