HEALTH

Citizen’s Petition asks that behind-the-counter status be mandated for St. John’s Wort

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Pharmacists Planning Services, Inc. earlier this month filed a Citizen’s Petition with the Food and Drug Administration calling to move St. John’s Wort, a mood enhancing supplement, behind the counter. 

Specifically PPSI is asking that sales of St. John’s Wort be restricted to behind a pharmacy counter, similar to pseudoephedrine. Sales of St. John’s Wort totaled $12.3 million, down 2.4%, for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 28 according to SymphonyIRI Group data across total U.S. multi-outlet. The herbal ingredient ranked No. 9 in sales of all herbal supplements. 

PPSI cited adverse events, including death, associated with drug interactions alleged to St. John’s Wort use in combination with several prescription therapies. 

This is not the first Citizen’s Petition filed by PPSI, according to a blog published online Monday by Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, a law firm that specializes in FDA regulation. 

The FDA in April 2012 denied a 2011 Citizen’s Petition filed by PPSI that called for the outright ban of PSE sales because criminals still divert the cold medicine for the production of methamphetamine. "FDA shares your concern regarding abuse of prescription and OTC drugs," Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, wrote in response to that petition. "However, any additional measures restricting the sale of PSE to reduce the likelihood of product misuse must be balanced against the need to maintain access for legitimate and safe use."

This article has been amended with some clarifications.


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Peepers Reading Glasses launches line of designer peepers

BY Michael Johnsen

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Peepers Reading Glasses on Monday launched an all-new line of designer sunglasses. The line is designed for both men and women and comprised of nearly 40 pieces with a variety of colors and 37 different styles. Suggested retail price ranges between $17 and $40.

The line highlights include a "Rainbow Bright" selection, which is an 80’s retro-inspired frame paired with vivid colors of red, orange or yellow. The line also includes "Clark Kent" frames and "The Wright Stuff," aviator-style frames that are available in both gold and silver colors. 

"Peepers Reading Glasses has made great strides over the last two years by tapping into fashion-inspired designs," the company noted. As proof that the company is filling a niche in the market, the company added it has doubled its business over the last year and expects this new line to continue further growth.

 


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Wills Eye Institute: Incidence linking aspirin to macular degeneration too low to stop aspirin therapy

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — "Talk to your cardiologist." That’s the advice offered Friday by Wills Eye Institute, a hospital specializing in eye care,  following a JAMA article linking aspirin therapy to macular degeneration. 

"There’s no need for patients to experience undue worry," noted Julia Haller, Wills Eye Institute ophthalmologist-in-chief. "The overall risk for developing serious eye disease on aspirin in the study was low — 3.7% after 15 years," she said. "It is very important to discuss your risk factors before stopping or reducing any aspirin therapy since aspirin can often stave off life threatening heart attacks and strokes."

The hospital released its statement referencing increased confusion and anxiety in the general public about whether aspirin can harm their vision and what to do if they need the heart-protective therapy.


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