The Consumer Goods Forum board strengthens commitment to worldwide health and wellness
PARIS — The Consumer Goods Forum’s Board of Directors has reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of its Health & Wellness Resolutions published in June 2011, which set out the Forum’s belief that manufacturers and retailers have a key role to play in improving the health and wellness of consumers, employees, their families and the communities they serve.
During a meeting of the board of directors, held during its annual Global Summit currently underway in Paris, The Consumer Goods Forum has asked its members for increased alignment and engagement on its ambitious five-year plan, which aims to empower the world’s population to make healthier product and lifestyle choices.
Responding to the increasing importance of health to consumers, the board has committed to lead the industry on a number of specific actions from the Resolutions, namely:
- By 2016: Make company policies public on nutrition and product formulation;
- By 2016: Implement employee health-and-wellness programs;
- By 2018: Industry-wide implementation of consistent product labeling and consumer information to help consumers make informed choices and usages; and
- By 2018: Stop targeted advertising to children younger than 12 years for products that do not fulfill specific nutrition criteria based on scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines.
In addition, the board has approved the establishment of an External Scientific Advisory Council on Health and Wellness to give directional guidance.
In order to measure progress in implementation of the Resolutions, the industry’s first ever industry-wide survey also is being conducted. Following on from the 2013 Board pilot, the Forum is now extending the process to the entire membership with a new report describing industry progress to be published in January 2015.
Blue Diamond spreads honey across product lines
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Blue Diamond Growers, an almond processing and marketing company, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new line of honey-flavored products across the Snack Almonds, Nut Thins and Almond Breeze lines.
“Honey is growing in popularity as a great natural alternative to sugar,” said Al Greenlee, director of marketing at Blue Diamond Growers. “Honey’s sweet, yet understated flavor adds complexity to any meal or snack. We’ve incorporated honey flavors into everything from Snack Almonds to Almond Breeze Almondmilk.”
The new products include:
- Four new flavors of Snack Almonds: honey roasted, honey roasted vanilla, honey roasted cinnamon and honey roasted chipotle, all of which come in 6-oz. cans;
- New honey cinnamon and honey mustard Nut Thins, available in 4.25-oz. boxes; and
- Almond Breeze AlmondMilk in Hint of Honey and honey vanilla, available in both refrigerated and shelf-stable cartons.
Blue Diamond also announced that it is donating $100,000 to Project Apis m., a nonprofit whose mission is to direct research that will enhance the health of honey bees while also improving crop production. Since 1976, Blue Diamond has helped fund research for more than 70 projects focused on bees, pollination and colony health.
“We understand the importance of honey bees in the process of the food chain and the critical role that they play in the success of our business,” said John O’Shaughnessy, general manager of consumer foods division, Blue Diamond Growers. “We are committed to supporting honey bee health as demonstrated with this donation effort to Project Apis m.”
Study: Healthcare providers concerned about proposed FDA rule on generic drug labeling
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A survey co-released on Wednesday by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the National Coalition on Healthcare reveals that the healthcare providers patients rely on most to explain safety information about their prescription drugs have serious concerns about a proposed FDA rule on generic drug labeling.
A random phone survey of 150 physicians, 150 physician assistants and 150 pharmacists conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind on behalf of GPhA, found strong reservations about many of the rule’s key provisions among all three groups.
The study comes as FDA considers more than 100 responses to its proposed rule, “Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for Approved Drugs and Biological Products,” which would alter the current regulations to allow generic medicine manufacturers to change their safety labels without prior FDA review and without immediate access to the drug’s complete safety data.
“Doctors, physician assistants and pharmacists are on the frontlines of health care in America, and large majorities said that provisions of the proposed rule would create confusion, take up essential time and impact their likelihood to prescribe generic drugs. And most importantly, 81% of those surveyed believe FDA approval should be required prior to generic drug safety label changes. Their voices need to be heard,” stated Ralph G. Neas, president and CEO of GPhA.
“The proposed rule raises significant concerns for practicing pharmacists, particularly in regard to patient confusion and effective risk counseling,” added Thomas E. Menighan, EVP and CEO of the APhA. “Pharmacists devote a great deal of time to counseling patients on appropriate medication use, and as the survey indicates, 67% of pharmacists asked are concerned that they will not have sufficient time to effectively address issues created by this proposed regulation.”
“This new research indicates that physician and health professionals concerns about the proposed rule could significantly increase healthcare costs,” stated John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care president and CEO. “For instance, 60% say the proposed rule would have at least ‘some’ impact on their willingness to recommend generic drugs in the future. Given that generic drug use has generated more than $1.2 trillion in savings to the U.S. healthcare system over the past decade, and saved $217 billion in 2012 alone, this could undermine the sustainability of our healthcare system.”
Other key findings of the study include:
- News of the proposed new generic drug labeling rule has not yet reached physicians, pharmacists or physician assistants; in fact, 79% say they have heard “nothing” about this rule;
- Prescribers and dispensers both expressed the belief that by allowing multiple versions of labeling for the same drug, the proposed new rule would lead to confusion in the marketplace. Most (76%) say their patients would be at least somewhat confused, while more than half (53%) say having multiple safety labels would be “very” confusing for themselves;
- Most believe the new rule would have a negative impact on their time.
- 71% anticipate the new rule would increase the amount of time they need to spend with their patients reviewing patient history and the new labels;
- 74% believe it would have at least some impact on the time they will need to spend researching labeling differences;
- In addition, 68% believe they would not have the time required to keep current with the labeling changes; and
- Concerns regarding liabilities also are an issue, as 77% are at least somewhat concerned the proposed new rule could impact their legal liabilities. This concern is even more pronounced among pharmacists (85%).
Click here to access the full study.