HEALTH

CRN refutes claims made in Reader’s Digest article about vitamins, supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Friday issued a response to a recent article in the April 2010 issue of Reader’s Digest magazine, which suggested that advice to take vitamins is a “folk tale.”

CRN pointed to an updated position paper issued in December by the American Dietetic Association, which states dietary supplements can help Americans better reach recommended consumption of nutrients, as just one affirmation as to the importance of supplementing.

“The reality is that vitamins and other dietary supplements play an important role — along with other smart choices such as healthy diet and exercise — in helping promote and maintain overall health and wellness,” stated Douglas MacKay, CRN VP scientific and regulatory affairs. “The [Reader’s Digest] article fails to put the science into perspective, cherry-picking through the scientific literature and, as the article concludes, providing ‘the Reader’s Digest Version’ to what should be a more thorough explanation of the role of vitamins.”

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Merix unveils new over-the-counter genital herpes treatment

BY Michael Johnsen

BARRINGTON, Ill. Merix Pharmaceutical unveiled its new Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment this month while attending the ECRM Cough, Cold and Allergy conference in Dallas.

The only OTC treatment for genital herpes, Fast-Results! answers an unmet need of people who suffer painful symptoms associated with genital herpes outbreaks. Designed to be used in conjunction with prescription medication, Fast-Results! also brings needed treatment to consumers who cannot afford prescription medication.

Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment is comprised of Merix’ patented technology Viracea, which contains an approved ingredient under the FDA OTC antiseptic/antimicrobial monograph, the company stated. At clinical trial, Viracea was shown to be effective in lesions caused by herpes.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of Americans currently suffer from genital herpes, which equates to approximately 37 million adults.

“We believe there is a very strong market need for this product,” stated Merix CEO Meryl Squires. Several major retailers have already committed to carrying Fast-Results! genital herpes treatment, Squires said. CVS will begin stocking in mid-May, soon thereafter followed by Rite Aid.

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CHPA honors Stan Barshay with outstanding achievement award

BY Michael Johnsen

AVENTURA, Fla. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Friday honored recently retired Stan Barshay, former chairman Schering-Plough Consumer Healthcare, with its Ivan D. Combe Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements that advance self-care and the public health through business or volunteer efforts.

The award was established in honor of Ivan D. Combe who was extremely active in CHPA activities and served on the Association’s board of directors from 1958 until his death in January 2000.

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