HEALTH

NAD recommends Matrixx discontinue preventive claims for Zicam cold remedies

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division on Friday recommended that Matrixx Initiatives discontinue advertising claims that suggest its homeopathic Zicam Cold Remedy products prevent users from catching a cold.

Claims at issue were featured in an advertising campaign that depicted a “Cold Monster” and encouraged treatment with Zicam products at the “pre-cold” stage.

Claims included “The Pre-Cold Medicine"; “Take Zicam Now And Go From Pre-Cold To No Cold, Faster"; and “clinically proven [to reduce the duration of a cold].”

Given the context in which they appeared, NAD found that the claims “Pre-Cold Medicine” and “Go from Pre-Cold to No Cold Faster” were unlikely to convey to consumers the message Zicam Cold Remedy products provide a prophylactic benefit. NAD also recommended that all iterations of the advertiser’s “clinically proven [to reduce the duration of a cold]” claims — in TV, print, Internet and other advertising media — clearly and conspicuously disclose that the claim applies solely to its Zicam Rapid Melts, Chewables and Oral mist products.

Matrixx, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company acknowledges NAD’s concerns and has taken steps to addresses NAD’s recommendations.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. ProPhase Labs had initiated the marketing challenge.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. ProPhase Labs had initiated the marketing challenge.

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Advil Relief in Action to support both Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare on Thursday launched its Advil Relief in Action campaign in support of both Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project.

Beginning May 1, a portion of the price of participating Advil bottles will go to Habitat for Humanity International and Wounded Warrior Project. The Advil Relief in Action program will also be on-site at Habitat for Humanity builds and in conjunction with Wounded Warrior Project at Tough Mudder events.

Pfizer is also kicking off a national call to action for everyone to show Advil how you see Relief in Action by sharing inspiring photos on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ReliefinAction.

As part of the launch, Advil is teaming up with comedian Aziz Ansari, who will perform a private comedy show for 200 people, 100 Superstorm Sandy volunteers and their guests, who helped their neighbors rebuild and get back on their feet.  

The Advil Relief in Action program will also be brought to life on the Daily News Plaza at Barclays Center through a mural, by Brooklyn artist Jose Roldan Rendon from Brush Décor Studio, recognizing and supporting the commitment of volunteers dedicated to relieving the pain of others.

Five volunteers, including New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz, will lend their faces and stories to the campaign. In addition to Cruz, there is 25-year-old Paul Ridley, who was the youngest American to row across the Atlantic, and Alison Thompson who set up relief and aid camps in local communities after disasters, including September 11th, earthquakes in Haiti and Superstorm Sandy.

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NIH funds drug-herb interaction research at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy on Wednesday announced that it is the recipient of a five-year, $2.1 million grant to train graduate and postdoctoral students in natural product drugs and dietary supplements. The grant is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, one of the National Institutes of Health.

“This grant will support the education of the next generation of scientists who will be responsible for establishing the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements and for the discovery of new therapeutic agents from natural product sources,” stated Richard van Breemen, professor of medicinal chemistry and director of the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research.

Two PhD students — Elizabeth Martinez and Michael Mullowney — were selected as the first recipients of the grant. Both were engaged in other careers before they began studying medicinal chemistry. Martinez was working as an industrial food scientist when she decided it was not satisfying her need to “make an impact on the lives of people.” Mullowney entered the pharmacognosy program after discovering an interest in science while working in illustration and the music recording industry.

Under the direction of van Breemen, Martinez is now studying how to prevent dangerous side effects caused by drug-herb interactions in menopausal women. She tests plant extracts used in the formulation of dietary supplements for potential connections with drugs that are metabolized in the liver by the same enzymes.

Working in the laboratory of Brian Murphy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, Mullowney is attempting to discover leads for new antibiotics in marine and freshwater bacteria — sources that he says have been “largely overlooked by traditional drug discovery programs.”

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