HEALTH

Congressional Task Force to explore VMS regulations in Puerto Rico, NPA reports

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – A new Congressional Task Force will investigate the impact of Puerto Rico’s regulations on the dietary supplement and natural products industry, the Natural Products Association reported Wednesday. This comes as part of the federal government’s efforts under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.

"Due to the efforts of the NPA and its allies in Congress, the Task Force will examine the economic impact of Administrative Order 346, which created extensive new fees and regulations for retailers and distributors of natural products in Puerto Rico," the association stated.

“This rule is arbitrary, unnecessary and potentially damaging to consumers and economic growth in Puerto Rico,” added Daniel Fabricant, CEO and executive director of NPA. “This policy increases prices on the island for vitamins and natural products, which hurts consumers and low income people the hardest. NPA looks forward to working with the task force," he said. "NPA is optimistic that the report will encourage the federal government to remove economic impediments that keep Puerto Ricans from enjoying the extensive health benefits of dietary supplements and other natural products.”

NPA worked closely with members of the House Natural Resources Committee, including Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to  attach language to PROMESA requiring the Task Force to examine Puerto Rico’s AO 346 as part of its analysis of Puerto Rico’s economic woes.

Last week, House and Senate leaders announced appointments of eight members to the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico.. The Task Force will issue a report on Puerto Rico’s economic status and recommendations going forward by the end of the year.

Members of the newly formed bipartisan Task Force include:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah;
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.;
  • Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.;
  • Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.;
  • Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis.;
  • Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J.;
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y.; and
  • Rep. Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico.

 

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Ansell trades condoms for performance apparel with SkynFeel intro

BY Michael Johnsen

 

ISELIN, N.J. – Ansell is parlaying its brand recognition as one of the leading condom manufacturers with Skyn Condoms into a new out-of-the-box venture – performance apparel. The new SkynFeel is a one-of-a-kind conceptual long jump suit for elite athletes that's made of the same condom material that lets a person "feel" everything.

"The Skyn brand has innovation woven into its DNA," stated Jeyan Heper, president and general manager, Sexual Wellness Global Business Unit at Ansell. "In the world of competitive sports, athletes look for every advantage, and we knew our SkynFeel condom material was revolutionary in our own industry, therefore we turned to the world of performance athletics and decided to conduct an experiment in apparel. We wanted to allow ourselves to think differently, outside of our own condom box."

To create the one-of-a-kind concept garment, Skyn Condoms partnered with fashion designer Pauline Van Dongen, whose wearable technology creations have won wide acclaim. "Experiments like this can point the way to the future," Van Dongen said. "For me, SkynFeel Apparel is about challenging the status quo, trying something totally new, daring to innovate, imagine and inspire."

The resulting SkynFeel Apparel garment features dragonfly wing-inspired flaps located on the edge of the body, constructed from a thin layer of SkynFeel and reinforced by a geometric laser cut grid. Designed with the long jumper's technique in mind, the flaps stay flat during the run, to open up with the jump – just as the athlete twists their arms and straightens their legs. The aerodynamic design creates an upward lift that could help long jumpers stay in the air just a little bit longer.
 

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Clarion Brands adds probiotic Florajen to product lineup

BY Michael Johnsen

TREVOSE, Pa. – Clarion Brands, a portfolio company of Swander Pace Capital, on Tuesday announced the acquisition of the probiotic brand Florajen.

“Florajen is the perfect addition to our portfolio,” stated Gary Downing, CEO of Clarion Brands. “We have a longstanding history of partnering with healthcare professionals to provide consumers with trusted solutions to their everyday health needs, and Florajen represents both an exciting and strategic next step for us.”

Florajen joins Lipo-Flavonoid, an OTC product for ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and Certain Dri, an OTC treatment for controlling excessive underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis).

Florajen is a high-potency probiotic dietary supplement that contains high concentrations of the same beneficial microorganisms that occur naturally in healthy people to help maintain the balance of flora in the intestinal tract. Florajen probiotic supplements, taken concurrently with antibiotics, can help avoid unpleasant side effects and aid in digestive health.

“The founders of Florajen have created a remarkably effective product with demonstrated success in helping consumers of all ages maintain the natural microbial balance the body needs to stay healthy,” Downing added. “We’re eager to not only continue the successful marketing approach established by Florajen’s founders, but to intensify the scope and reach within the professional community and leverage our strong pharmacy relationships to increase awareness of, and access to, Florajen.”

“When we partnered with Gary to establish Clarion in 2014, our mission was to build a leading platform in the OTC and supplement category,” said Mo Stout, a managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “Acquiring brands like Florajen that are category leaders in growing personal health niches is a key part of that strategy.”

The Clarion Brands leadership team has a successful track record of reenergizing iconic heritage brands through strategic marketing and merchandising efforts. Downing and VP marketing Jennifer Moyer were previously leading Insight Pharmaceuticals, parent company of leading women’s health brands Monistat and e.p.t, as well as Bonine, Nix and Sucrets, among others. In 2014, Insight Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Prestige Brands for $750 million.

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