HEALTH

GMA, FMI join forces to make America healthier

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The nation’s food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are taking an extra step to combat obesity.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are joining forces to develop a new front-of-package nutrition labeling system, which will present nutrition information in a fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format. The industry groups will finalize the details of the initiative, including the technical and design elements, in the coming months.

“The food and beverage industry is committed to empowering consumers by providing them with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet,” said GMA president and CEO Pamela Bailey. “This initiative comes on top of the 20,000 healthier product choices we have developed, the responsible marketing practices we have adopted and the tens of millions of dollars we spend annually on healthy lifestyle promotion.”

Consumers can expect to see the new labeling system by early next year.

“Thanks to this initiative and many other innovative industry programs, consumers will now have access to more information about their food than ever before,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “This unprecedented partnership with manufacturers will expand access to nutrition information for all Americans and give shoppers a powerful tool to assist them in selecting nutritious products.”

The industry groups also added that it will drive awareness to the new labeling system with a $50 million consumer education campaign, which also will launch in 2011.

“Through this initiative, we continue to deliver on our promise to our consumers and demonstrate that we are moving farther [and] faster in our ongoing effort to play a constructive and responsible role in the fight against obesity,” Bailey added.

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Strativa enters license, supply agreement with Sobi

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. Strativa Pharmaceuticals is working with a Swedish drug maker to develop and commercialize a prescription vitamin supplement, Strativa said Tuesday.

 

The company said it had signed a license and supply agreement with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, also known as Sobi, concerning European rights to Strativa’s Nascobal (cyanocobalamin), a vitamin B12 nasal spray.

 

 

The supplement is approved for treating vitamin B12 deficiency, designed as a once-weekly alternative to injections. Vitamin B12 deficiency usually results from pernicious anemia, a strict vegetarian diet and poor absorption of the nutrient resulting from such medical conditions as HIV infection, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and gastrectomy.

 

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PerformRx receives PBM accreditation from URAC

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA A full-service pharmacy benefit manager received its second accreditation from an independent, nonprofit healthcare-accrediting organization.

PerformRx said that its pharmacy benefit management accreditation from URAC indicated that PerformRx’s PBM business demonstrated a commitment to quality services. “This accreditation serves as a clear sign that PerformRx is committed to providing the best possible service to our existing and future customers,” said Mesfin Tegenu, PerformRx president. “The URAC evaluation is an incredibly rigorous process that evaluates the organization at all levels, and to wear the URAC seal is a mark of distinction for our company.”

In conjunction with its PBM accreditation, PerformRx also applied for URAC’s drug therapy management accreditation. PerformRx’s DTM program improves therapeutic outcomes for members by evaluating drug dose, method of delivery, cost effectiveness and other factors, the company said, adding that obtaining the DTM accreditation will allow PerformRx to demonstrate the high quality and effectiveness of its DTM program.

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