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Congress, industry call on FDA to ban DMBA from sports nutrition supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

 

WASHINGTON — Congress and the sports nutrition industry independently called upon the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to act on removing an untested synthetic stimulant that was found in 12 products marketed as sports nutrition supplements, according to research published online yesterday by the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.
 
"A synthetic stimulant never before studied in humans, 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), was suspected of being present in dietary supplements," noted lead researcher Pieter Cohen, of Harvard Medical School. "DMBA is an analogue of the pharmaceutical stimulant, 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), which was recently banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," he wrote. "The stimulant has never been studied in humans; its efficacy and safety are entirely unknown. Regulatory agencies should act expeditiously to warn consumers and remove DMBA from all dietary supplements."
 
“We agree with the authors of this analysis that DMBA is an illegal dietary ingredient and therefore should not be used in dietary supplements," stated Steve Mister, president and CEO for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "In fact, last month, CRN formally requested that the Food and Drug Administration investigate the regulatory status of this ingredient, marketed as Amp or Amp Citrate," he said. "Further, we urged the agency to consider the potential dangers of this product, given it is a similar substance, in chemical structure and in effect, to DMAA, an ingredient already prohibited by FDA from use in dietary supplements."
 
Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also called the agency to task in banning this ingredient. "We call on FDA to take action against products containing DMBA," the senators wrote. "We believe products containing DMBA are adulterated and/or misbranded, and the FDA has a responsibility … to take action against the manufacturers of such products."
 
According to a USA Today report published Thursday morning, GNC has stopped selling supplements containing DMBA as of Wednesday.  

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P&G launches Peptocopter promo at the Fright Fest at Six Flags featuring Pepto-Bismol

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
CINCINNATI — Pepto-Bismol announced Thursday that Fright Fest at Six Flags will be a little less scary for those who fear stomach upsets. Pepto-Bismol, with the help of the Peptocopter, will make an appearance at four Six Flags theme parks this fall. The Peptocopter experience will come to life to benefit guests who have overindulged in the delicious park food, so they can get back to the fun at Fright Fest.
 
The Peptocopter tour will kick off on Oct. 11 at the world’s largest theme park, Six Flags Great Adventure, and will continue on to Six Flags Great America on Oct. 18; Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Thrill Capital of the World, on Oct. 25; and make a final stop at Six Flags Over Texas on Nov. 1.
 
In partnership with Six Flags, Pepto-Bismol and hosts of the new Spike TV show Frankenfood, Chef Josh Capon and Tony Luke Jr., created a one-of-a kind food mash-up item called the Frank'n Bacon Funnel Dog that will be available at select Six Flags parks beginning Saturday, Oct. 11.
 
And if guests overindulge in the tasty food and drink, they will be able to “Tweet for Relief” at the first sign of stomach trouble and have Pepto-Bismol delivered on demand via the Peptocopter street team during designated times throughout the promotional period.
 
“Both Pepto-Bismol and Six Flags want people to celebrate life, so our partnership was a natural fit,” stated Phil McWaters, associate brand director, North America Personal Health Care at P&G. “We are happy that we are able to liberate consumers from stomach upsets with Pepto-Bismol while at the park, so they can get back to the fun and thrilling experiences Six Flags has to offer.”
 
“We are thrilled to work with P&G on this innovative experiential marketing campaign,” commented Stephanie Borges, director corporate alliances for Six Flags. “This promotion provides an entertaining way to provide our guests a little relief during a fun day at one of our incredible parks.”
 
For those who cannot make it to Fright Fest at Six Flags to check out the Peptocopter in action, Pepto-Bismol and Six Flags will be giving five winners a 4-pack of 2015 Season Passes to a U.S. park of their choice complete with four all-season dining passes. For information on how to enter the sweepstakes, visit Sixflags.com/pepto.
 
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Intel-GE Care Innovations to launch Health Harmony platform to connect patients, caregivers and practitioners

BY Michael Johnsen

 

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Intel-GE Care Innovations on Wednesday announced that it is expecting to release its Health Harmony platform in late 2014. The Health Harmony platform connects patients, their families and physicians through a series of portals where they can share health data, educational information and best practices. 
 
Through the Health Harmony platform, patient consumers will be able to receive interactive, evidence-based educational content and securely send vital signs and other health measurements to physicians from their homes. Family caregivers can monitor the health status of their loved ones, better communicate with physicians and access nutritional advice to manage the daily challenges of caregiving. For physicians and nurses, Health Harmony aggregates and analyzes the data available from patients and their families at home and turns it into actionable insights that can help them provide better care.
 
Often, much of the care post-discharge occurs within the home and is facilitated by a family caregiver. Health Harmony aims to help improve the patient’s health while also simplifying the life of a family caregiver. 
 
To identify the optimal design and user experience, Care Innovations applied Affinnova’s optimization technology to test almost 1.2 million website design alternatives, experimenting with different content and visual components. Through an online survey, consumers selected their preferred designs from among the many different options, while an algorithm learned from consumer choices to evolve the best design. 
 
“Most healthcare technology is developed by engineers and coders who don’t get the benefit of acting upon real consumer insights and preferences,” stated Karissa Price, chief marketing officer for Intel-GE Care Innovations. “With the Harmony Health platform, we wanted to collect more data and use the best analytics and insights to optimize an experience consumers would be excited to try and use regularly. By allowing us to test a much wider space of design ideas Affinnova’s technology has helped identify a much more engaging solution, faster and more cost effectively than other research options.”
 
“Design is fundamental to the adoption of any new technology application, but it’s almost impossible to accurately predict all of the content and design elements that will resonate with consumers,” said Waleed Al-Atraqchi, president and CEO of Affinnova. “By empowering consumers – not internal committees – to guide critical design decisions, Intel-GE Care Innovations is pioneering a new patient-centered approach to developing healthcare applications.”

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