HEALTH

GNC launches new Pro Performance AMP Concentrated Intelligent Release Series products, features

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC on Thursday announced new the launch of new delivery systems and certification advancements across GNC’s Pro Performance AMP Concentrated Intelligent Release Series and the Pro Performance X.R. Series, along with three new AMP formulas. 

Optimal Timing Technology represents a technology breakthrough that utilizes an intelligent nutrient delivery system in exclusive GNC formulas to help athletes avoid the challenge and uncertainty of proper nutrient timing, the specialty retailer and sports nutrition manufacturer noted. The company also introduced Nitro-Factor, featuring an on-pack rating system for the product’s muscle-building potential. And through a partnership with the HFL Sports Science accredited laboratory, GNC will provide Banned Substance Free Certified/HFL Testing throughout GNC’s performance nutrition line, greatly reducing the concern athletes, parents, coaches and trainers may have relative to banned substances in organized sports.

In addition, GNC introduced three new formulas of its AMP Wheybolic Extreme 60 — Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 Ripped Formula, a thermogenic protein; Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 Power Formula, formulated with creatine and fenugreek to support testosterone levels and deliver more anabolic power; and Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 Platinum Edition, a muscle-building formula featuring higher-dose components of glutamine, leucine and more fast-acting hydrolysates.

According to the company, the Pro Performance line of products is approaching $300 million in sales and represents the largest sports brand in the United States.

 

 

 

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Hollywood elite get behind fitness water launch

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Music mogul Sean Combs and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg on Wednesday announced a joint venture with fitness and wellness water brand AQUAhydrate. Per the arrangement, Combs and Wahlberg will oversee business strategy along with CEO John Cochran, former president of Fiji Water.  

Together they will help drive the AQUAhydrate brand and be instrumental in helping secure retail partnerships for the water brand, such as their recently signed deals with Safeway, Kroger and GNC.

Already voted BevNET’s Best of 2012 award for Best Product Revamp, AQUAhydrate is a high-performance water that is formulated with performance-grade electrolytes and a higher pH level of 9+ and has caught the attention of elite athletes, active health-conscious consumers and celebrities.  

AQUAhydrate recently inked an official partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers on distribution to the team on and off the court.  

"This is a truly innovative company, and I’m thrilled to be part of it," Wahlberg said. "We all strive to do the best we can for our bodies, but sometimes schedules, stress and other factors get in the way."

"As a brand architect, I am incredibly passionate and equally committed to every aspect of the businesses that I get involved with," Combs added. "Partnering with AQUAhydrate and Mark is an incredible opportunity for me, and I am looking forward to making history in the process. … Together, we’re going to take AQUAhydrate to the next level."

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House calls for GAO review of pending diabetes supply reimbursement changes

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended a bipartisan push for the Government Accountability Office to review the impact on patients of sharp reductions in reimbursement for diabetes test supplies provided by community pharmacies to Medicare beneficiaries. 

“We are concerned about the impact of this reimbursement reduction, and what it will mean for beneficiaries’ access to [diabetes testing supplies] and their ability to maintain their current brand of testing strips,” both Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., noted in a letter to the GAO. “We ask that you begin this study immediately as we believe that it is of the utmost importance to diabetes patients in America."

Specifically, the representatives asked GAO to examine the cuts’ impact on the number of DTS suppliers; the quality of the DTS available to beneficiaries; the distance beneficiaries may need to travel in rural areas to obtain their supplies; patient adherence to their testing regimen; and the degree to which beneficiaries receive DTS via mail that they did not request or do not need.

Reimbursement for DTS products is scheduled to be reduced in April and then again July 1 when one national payment rate is adopted by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The two cuts combined represent a 72% average decrease in reimbursement for retail pharmacies.

Previous surveys of independent community pharmacists have found that 92% would be forced to stop offering DTS rather than accept below-cost reimbursement, NCPA noted.

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