HEALTH

FDA warns consumers of counterfeit ExtenZe

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned consumers about a counterfeit product represented as "ExtenZe," which is the name of an authentic dietary supplement for male sexual enhancement.

The counterfeit product looks similar to the actual product, but either contains tadalafil, or a combination of tadalafil and sildenafil, all active ingredients in FDA-approved prescription medicines for erectile dysfunction.

"This incident is an example of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals," said Ilisa Bernstein, deputy director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "These types of products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building, and are often represented as being ‘all natural.’ Consumers should exercise caution before purchasing products promoted for these uses."

The counterfeit product has the following lot numbers on the packages: LOT 1110075 and LOT F050899.

“Consumers who have an ExtenZe product should check the lot numbers on the package to make sure they do not have a counterfeit product,” the FDA said. “Consumers who think they might have the counterfeit product should stop taking the product and contact their healthcare professional if they are experiencing any negative side effects.”

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Joe Montana tapped for Joint Juice partnership

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — Joint Juice earlier in the week announced a partnership with National Football League Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana on the Joint Juice challenge.

To kick off the partnership, Joint Juice and Montana launched a contest: “Do What You Love with Joe Montana.” Americans who share their joint health success stories will be entered to win an all-expenses-paid trip to spend an afternoon doing their favorite activity with the legendary football star, as well as $5,000 in cash.

“Joe is the perfect embodiment of what Joint Juice stands for: staying active at any age,” stated David Ritterbush, Joint Juice CEO. “As a company whose products were originally developed to help athletes, we’re thrilled to join efforts with a football legend.”

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Health Choices Coalition urges Congress to repeal OTC restrictions on FSAs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The Health Choices Coalition sent a letter to members of Congress, urging them to repeal legislation that limits coverage of over-the-counter medicines.

The coalition is looking to Congress to repeal a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that prevents consumers from using their flexible spending accounts to purchase OTCs without first getting a doctor’s prescription. Members of the Health Choices Coalition are urging Congress to take action in order to allow consumers to use their FSAs for OTCs.

"This issue is about empowering millions of American consumers to cost-effectively manage their families’ healthcare needs," said Bill Head, VP government affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which is part of the coalition. "The availability of OTC medicines through an employer-sponsored FSA provides valuable cost-savings to consumers, increases worker productivity and encourages smart healthcare decisions by both employers and employees — all of which are consistent with the goals of healthcare reform."

The Health Choices Coalition represents physicians, consumers, retailers, manufacturers, pharmacies, pharmacists, patients, pharmacy benefit managers, small businesses and employers.

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