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FDA names new acting director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs

BY Michael Johnsen
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steven Tave was recently elevated to the role of acting director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration. Tave takes the place of Robert Durkin, who has been the acting director since May 2015.
 
“The dietary supplement industry is growing at a rapid rate and it is critical that ODSP utilizes all resources at its disposal to increase enforcement against deliberate criminal activity and protect consumers,” stated Daniel Fabricant, executive director and CEO of NPA. “NPA commends Robert Durkin for his leadership during his time as the acting director.”
 
The NPA plans to reach out to Tave to request a meeting and to discuss how the newly elevated ODSP plans to increase enforcement of adulterated products masquerading as dietary supplements and punish companies with bad GMPs. 
 
“NPA looks forward to working with Mr. Tave on increasing the visibility and attention for dietary supplement safety and compliance measures,” Fabricant said. 
 
 
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PharmaChoice now Canada’s 2nd largest independent retail pharmacy operator

BY DSN STAFF
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Senate HELP Committee members tackle mental health care access, funding

BY David Salazar
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee announced Tuesday their plan to address and improve the state of mental health care in the United States. 
 
The Mental Health Care Reform Act of 2016 is aimed at ensuring programs that work with patients with mental illness are serving them efficiently, help states fund mental health care effots, promote evidence-based treatment and best practices and increase access for veterans, homeless patients, women and children. 
 
“One in five adults in this country suffers from a mental illness, and nearly 60 percent aren’t receiving the treatment they need,” HELP Committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said. “This bill will help address this crisis by ensuring our federal programs and policies incorporate proven, scientific approaches to improve care for patients. States like Tennessee and local governments are on the forefront in treating mental illness and substance abuse, and this legislation will support their efforts so people can get the help they need.”
 
Alexander is joined in the effort by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. There is a planned markup session on March 16, during which the committee will consider additional measures to address mental health and tackle the ongoing opioid abuse and addiction issue. 
 
“Our mental health care system is failing those who need it most. Individuals struggling with mental illness may go years without receiving treatment, ultimately suffering in isolation, or being cast aside and abandoned by the very system they should be relying on,” Murphy said. “Too many Americans with serious mental illness slip through the cracks, and Congress must act to stop it.”
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