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CHPA stands with Indiana officials on the state’s new voluntary retail Anti-Smurfing Campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday joined Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, state Rep. Larry Bucshon, as well as local officials and leaders from the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Indiana Retail Council and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, at a press conference to launch the state’s new voluntary retail Anti-Smurfing Campaign. The initiative, which was developed by CHPA, aims to educate potential pseudoephedrine “smurfers” on the consequences of making an illegal purchase. 

"“There is no question that smurfing is a challenge for the law enforcement community and we hope that this program will help address this illegal behavior," stated Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. "In addition to electronic blocking technology and other legislative tools, we are pleased to see Indiana leaders taking concrete steps to educate the public about this type of criminal activity.”

The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is a public-private partnership that provides Indiana pharmacies signage to display at the retail counter. CHPA tested a range of anti-smurfing messages, and the research affirmed that these materials successfully educate potential smurfers about the consequence of illegal purchases without deterring honest consumers.

The Attorney General’s office, the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Retail Council, and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council are co-sponsoring the campaign along with CHPA.


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Natural Products Association lambasts Consumer Reports for ‘getting the facts wrong’ on dietary supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association on Wednesday took exception to the October issue of Consumer Reports, charging the publication with making "verifiable misstatements" on the safety and regulatory requirements around dietary supplements in an article titled "4 ways to avoid supplement dangers."

The four ways to avoid dangers include telling the family doctor about any supplement regimen; asking the pharmacist to check for drug-supplement interactions; not giving multivitamins to children; and being skeptical of claims. “It’s highly unfortunate that a publication dedicated to serving consumers’ best interests would run a story that gets the facts wrong on dietary supplements," stated John Shaw, NPA CEO. "This article from Consumer Reports is peppered with factual inaccuracies and misleading blanket statements that could scare consumers out of taking products that can benefit their health."

Specifically, NPA criticized Consumer Reports for making a sweeping declaration that too much vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer and that the industry doesn’t have to verify a product’s safety before going to market. "It is irresponsible to pick one study and mislead your readers to believe that vitamin E is harmful," Shaw said. "[And] to say that dietary supplements do not have to be safe or accurately labeled under federal law is entirely untrue. In actuality, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does require supplements to be safe and label claims to be accurate, otherwise the product is considered adulterated."

NPA asked that Consumer Reports issue a correction to the story. 


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iMedicare expands to 500 pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A patient-engagement and Medicare decision-making platform is now available in 500 pharmacies across the country.

iMedicare said the growth of the platform would help thousands of seniors enroll in affordable health insurance and prescription drug coverage by enabling pharmacists to help them shop for Medicare insurance plans, automatically integrating their prescription medications in one mobile system.

iMedicare works with major pharmacy software systems like Rx30, QS/1, Computer-Rx and others.

"Before iMedicare, choosing Medicare insurance was extremely difficult because it required manually inputting all of patients’ current medications," iMedicare CEO Flaviu Simihaian said. "Now, iMedicare has the ability to securely import the patients’ information in a matter of seconds."


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