HEALTH

Frost & Sullivan report increase in sales of glucose testing strips

BY Michael Johnsen

PALO ALTO, Calif. It’s not just the rising number of diabetics that are helping to drive ever-higher sales of the testing strips used in conjunction with a blood glucose meter, Frost & Sullivan stated Monday, glucose strips in North America have received a boost from enhanced awareness of the importance of blood glucose management and greater implementation of tight glycemic control protocols at point of care.

The healthcare cost pressures associated with diabetes has helped feed that expansion of diabetes education programs, the report states, prompting many manufacturers of glucose monitoring equipment to invest substantially in awareness campaigns as a defensive measure to maintain market share. “The decrease in customer loyalty compels manufacturers to increasingly invest in marketing to maintain their customer bases,” noted Frost & Sullivan research analyst Mike Arani. “This need is strengthened by the generic brands offered by pharmaceutical chains.”

According to the new F&S report, sales of glucose strips alone reached higher than $3.1 billion in 2006 and are projected to grow to $44.8 billion by 2013.

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Study says children can get key vitamins, nutrients from cereals

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition has released a report that said a significant number of American children and adolescents do not receive adequate amounts of calcium and another report cited that 42 percent of adolescents received a lower amount of vitamin D levels than recommended.

Some dieticians and General Mills cereal maker have said that including vitamin D- and calcium-fortified cereals in a child’s diet helps promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life,” Kathleen Zelman, master of public health, registered and licensed dietician, said.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that children ages 2 to 8 should have two cups of dairy each day. The dairy can come from cheese, fat-free milk, low-fat milk, or yogurt. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for children aged1 to 3 years is 500 milligrams of per day and they should receive 200 IUs of vitamin D, sources said. Children 4 to 8 years of age should have 800 milligrams per day and the same amount of vitamin D as younger children.

General Mills said that all of its Big G Kid cereals include 12 vitamins and minerals—including calcium and vitamin D—and each has 8 grams of whole grain in each serving. In addition, by the end of the year General Mills has committed to reducing the amount of sugar per serving in its Big G Kids products to12 grams.

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FDA panel recommends stricter labeling for eye care products

BY Michael Johnsen

GAITHERSBURG, Md. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on June 10 recommended there be stricter labeling and testing for contact lenses and cleaning solutions, following a meeting of the Ophthalmic Device Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee.

The meeting was called by the FDA, in part, because of the number of product recalls associated with contact lens cleaning solutions in the past few years.

Specifically, the advisory committee suggested stronger label warnings that would identify potential infections that can lead to blindness, for example, as a possible consequence of not following product instructions. 

Panelists also recommended the agency require pre-approval testing of the efficacy of lens solutions against Acanthamoeba keratitis, a parasite involved in one of the outbreaks. 

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