HEALTH

NAD to Novartis: Modify or discontinue advertising claims for Extra-Strength Excedrin

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Wednesday recommended that Novartis modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Extra-Strength Excedrin.

NAD examined claims that Novartis’ Extra-Strength Excedrin provided pain relief in as quickly as 15 minutes, based on a challenge from Wyeth. NAD examined evidence that included a study provided by Novartis on subjects who took either Extra Strength Excedrin or a placebo. NAD determined that the evidence demonstrated that while some consumers may feel some relief in fifteen minutes, most consumers will not experience perceptible relief in that short of a time period.

NAD recommended that the advertiser either discontinue the claim or substantially modify it to reflect the results of its study — that some people, not most, will experience some relief in as little as 15 minutes.

“Novartis respectfully disagrees with the NAD’s decision as to how consumers interpret its express claim ‘Start[s] relieving your headache in just fifteen minutes,’” the company stated in its response to NAD.

Novartis has reported it will appeal certain NAD findings to the National Advertising Review Board.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined broadcast advertising for the product following a challenge by Wyeth, a manufacturer of competing pain relief products.

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FDA approves new packaging of Children’s Zyrtec Allergy

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved new packaging for McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Children’s Zyrtec Allergy syrup, grape sugar-free, dye-free flavor, in a letter addressed to the supplier.

The new packaging will include a prefilled dosing spoon that will deliver a single dose, or 5 mg, of Zyrtec (cetirizine).

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LifeScan, Apple demonstrate prototype diabetes management software

BY Michael Johnsen

MILPITAS, Calif. Johnson & Johnson’s LifeScan on Tuesday demonstrated a prototype diabetes management software application, integrating the company’s OneTouch blood glucose meters with the Apple iPhone and iPod touch products. LifeScan was one of a handful of companies invited by Apple to develop and preview innovative new applications at Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 software event, the company stated.

Using a modified OneTouch Meter, the prototype application demonstrated transmission of a blood glucose test result to the Apple iPhone. Once on the iPhone, test results were available for integration with other information in a series of user-friendly graphics, including the user’s level of glucose control over time relative to targets established with his or her healthcare professional.

The application also will include a customizable food database to help users determine the amount of carbohydrates consumed during meals. Future applications also may include the capability for users to calculate a bolus insulin dose based on the last glucose result and the number of carbohydrates that will be consumed.

A demo of the new product functionalities is available at  www.apple.com/iphone/preview-iphone-os. The LifeScan demo begins at approximately the 43 minute, 32 seconds mark.

The new OneTouch/iPhone application is in the early stages of development, the company noted.

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