HEALTH

GNC making push into mass market

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — General Nutrition is looking to get into the health diagnostics business with Monday’s announcement of a licensing agreement with technology and consumer products manufacturer Sakar International on a line of more than two dozen branded health-and-wellness products.

The announcement comes on the heels of another distribution agreement brokered by GNC: distribution of its GNC-branded supplements through approximately 400 Sam’s Club locations.

"Until now, the GNC brand has been largely confined to our 7,100-plus GNC stores," stated Tom Dowd, EVP stores, operations and development for GNC. "This license reflects a strategic decision to leverage our strong brand recognition in order to provide consumers with health-and-wellness products offering GNC reliability regardless of where they are shopping."

"GNC is synonymous with health and wellness. It’s a name that consumers trust," added Liza Abrams, Sakar VP licensing. "Partnering with GNC gives us an opportunity to join that circle of trust with a suite of products that helps people both monitor and improve their own health profiles."

The line’s initial merchandise offerings will range from heart-rate and blood-pressure monitors to weight scales, exercise accessories and electronic pill boxes that will be distributed through drug stores, home stores, supermarkets, mass market retailers and other locations in addition to GNC stores.

The first SKUs are scheduled to hit store shelves in the fourth quarter.

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NPA celebrates 75th anniversary

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association last week celebrated 75 years of advocacy for the natural products industry.

"The Natural Products Association, as the leading voice of the natural products industry, represents more than 1,900 members who share a vision of a healthier America,” stated John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO. “Our 75th anniversary focuses on the valuable contribution that our industry makes to the health and well-being of millions of people. With [more than] $108 billion of natural products sold in the United States each year, this growing industry not only helps Americans lead more healthful lives; it also supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs."

"As a long-time supplement retailer, I am proud to celebrate the important role that natural products play in achieving a sustainable and healthy future for all Americans," said Pat Sardell, NPA president. "The benefits of these products to our country are far-reaching, both in healthcare savings and in strengthening our nation’s economy. NPA members — both retailers and suppliers — create jobs, generate revenue and contribute significant tax dollars to local communities."

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Smith & Nephew recalls antiseptic wipes

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Smith & Nephew’s advanced wound management division on Saturday announced a U.S. voluntary nationwide recall of selected lots of IV PREP antiseptic wipes (product No. 59421200), manufactured for Smith & Nephew by the Triad Group, due to concerns about potential microbial contamination with Bacillus cereus.

Use of contaminated alcohol prep pads, wipes and swabs could lead to life-threatening infections, especially in such at-risk populations as immune-suppressed and surgical patients.

The specific lot numbers involved in the recall are: 9K141, 9K142 and 9K143; 0F131; 0F140; 0G249; 0G255, 0G256; 0G259; 0K139, 0K140 and 0K141; 0K193; 0M180; 0M216; and 1A212 and 1A213.

The recall is related to the Triad Group’s January recall of all alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs and alcohol swabsticks where Triad Group was listed as the manufacturer or where the products were manufactured as private-label products for Cardinal Health, CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens, among others.

As a precautionary measure, and out of concern for patient safety, Smith & Nephew contracted an independent laboratory to test all lots of IV PREP antiseptic wipes manufactured for Smith & Nephew by the Triad Group. The results showed there is no data to suggest that Smith & Nephew’s IV PREP antiseptic wipes have been compromised. To date, there have been no reported adverse events related to this voluntary recall.

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