HEALTH

CRN taps FDA’s Sharfstein as annual symposium’s keynote speaker

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday announced the Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein is slated to return as a keynote speaker at The Conference, CRN’s annual symposium for the dietary supplement industry.

Sharfstein will make the opening address to attendees, providing an update on the FDA’s dietary supplement-related regulatory activities on Sept. 30.

Sharfstein will discuss the impact of the current regulatory landscape of the recently fully implemented dietary supplement good manufacturing practices, as well as the adverse event reporting law. Sharfstein also will provide attendees with advice on what a responsible industry can do to aid the FDA in its mission to protect the public health.

Additionally, Sharfstein will update conference attendees on critical supplement industry issues, such as the new dietary ingredient notification guidance.

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WHO: H1N1 in post-pandemic period, but it’s not over

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK The World Health Organization’s director-general Margaret Chan issued a statement on Tuesday that the H1N1 influenza has entered the post-pandemic period, but warned that the virus has not yet gone away.

While WHO has reported marginal levels of H1N1 transmission worldwide as of late, Chan said it expects the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

 

NEW YORK The World Health Organization’s director-general Margaret Chan issued a statement on Tuesday that the H1N1 influenza has entered the post-pandemic period, but warned that the virus has not yet gone away.

While WHO has reported marginal levels of H1N1 transmission worldwide as of late, Chan said it expects the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

 

"Pandemics, like the viruses that cause them, are unpredictable," she said. "So is the immediate post-pandemic period. There will be many questions, and we will have clear answers for only some. Continued vigilance is extremely important, and WHO has issued advice on recommended surveillance, vaccination, and clinical management during the post-pandemic period.

 

"As I said, pandemics are unpredictable and prone to deliver surprises. No two pandemics are ever alike. This pandemic has turned out to be much more fortunate than what we feared a little over a year ago," Chan added.

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GNC reports increase in Q2 net income, EBITDA

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH General Nutrition Centers reported a 42.5% increase in net income for its second quarter ended June 30.

GNC said Tuesday that its net income totaled $25.6 million, compared with $18 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA for second quarter 2010 was $68.6 million, an 18.1% increase over the adjusted EBITDA of $58.1 million for second quarter 2009.

In the second quarter, the company opened 13 net new domestic cmpany-owned stores, 1 net new company-owned store in Canada, 43 net new international franchise locations, and 49 net new franchise store-within-a-store Rite Aid locations, and closed nine net domestic franchise locations. As of June 30, GNC operated more than 7,100 locations, of which more than 5,500 retail locations are in the United States (including 892 franchise and 1,972 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations), and franchise operations in 50 countries.

GNC CEO Joe Fortunato said, “Our second-quarter results demonstrate the continued momentum of the business and our ability to consistently grow revenue and adjusted EBITDA. Beyond the core business, I am also pleased with our ongoing corporate partnership initiatives, such as our previously announced venture with Pepsi and our most recent project with PetSmart. As a leader in the health-and-wellness industry focused on science and innovation, GNC is well positioned to continue to build on the valued brand that gives us an edge in the marketplace and allows us to continue to enhance financial leverage.”

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