HEALTH

FullTurn Media’s sexual health survey receives more than 1.2 million responses

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK FullTurn Media, which hosts the Sexual Health Guru, an online destination for issues of intimate health, on Thursday released a survey that, to date, has generated more than 1.2 million online responses.

“We knew that an anonymous on-line sexual health survey would be a powerful research tool, and we thought that visitors to Sex Health Guru would enjoy participating, but we were still surprised by how quickly it has caught on,” stated Joshua Silberstein, chief executive officer of FullTurn Media.

The research has found, for example, that 27 percent of all female respondents reported taking the emergency contraceptive Plan B at least once, and that 19.1 percent of women under the age of 18 had taken it. FullTurn’s research does not indicate, however, whether those women under the age of 18 had acquired Plan B over-the-counter. Plan B is still a prescription-only medicine for women under the age of 18.

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FDA announces meeting to explore OTC flu treatments

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. Treatments to be used in the event of a pandemic flu epidemic may one day be available over-the-counter. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced a joint meeting of the Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee and the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee in the Federal Register to determine the types of studies and trial designs needed for an influenza antiviral MedKit for the treatment or prevention of pandemic influenza.

The meeting will be held Oct. 29 at the Hilton in Rockville, Md.

According to the announcement, committee members will be tasked with providing advice on issues such as the role of personal MedKits, home stockpiling, non-prescription availability of influenza medications and interfaces of home readiness with public health systems.

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Congressman recognized for stand against organized retail crime

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime on Wednesday commended Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for holding a hearing devoted to tackling organized retail crime.

The hearing is scheduled to take place Sept. 22.

Organized retail crime involves sophisticated crime rings that steal and stockpile huge quantities of merchandise that they then sell often to unwitting buyers. ORC gangs target high value consumer goods such as power tools, razors, over-the-counter medicines, items that are in high demand and are often easily concealable. The stolen merchandise is then sold through flea markets, swap meets, pawn shops and increasingly through internet auction sites.

Merchandise, such as baby formula and diabetic test strips, which can be damaged if not stored at proper temperatures, are often mishandled after being stolen, the coalition noted.

“With the recent introduction of three bills, Congress has taken a strong step forward to protect consumers and demonstrate their commitment to addressing organized retail crime,” the coalition stated.

In July Reps. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 (HR 6491). The bill would amend federal criminal code, making it illegal to engage in activities that further organized retail crime.

Soon after Scott introduced the E-Fencing Enforcement Act of 2008 (HR 6713), which addresses the selling of stolen goods online.

In the Senate, S. 3434, the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008, was introduced by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. The Durbin bill would clarify existing law to give law enforcement the tools to prosecute ORC, require online and offline marketplaces to investigate suspicious sales, and place basic disclosure requirements on online marketplaces.

The Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime, formed in 2001, is composed of 33 national manufacturing and retail organizations as well as individual companies that have come together to fight a new type of retail crime.

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