HEALTH

NAD recommends modification of Peak Life’s ad claims

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday recommended that Peak Life modify its advertising to clearly convey the message that claimed sleep benefits associated with its Somnapure dietary supplement are achieved from a regular, consistent program of supplementation with these ingredients, and not with one-time use.

The NAD also found that Peak Life failed to make clear that visitors to its website are viewing advertising and not third-party, independently generated health news, and failed to adequately disclose that the site is owned and operated by the advertiser itself.

The NAD recommended that the advertiser take further steps to clearly and conspicuously disclose these material connections. The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would “make appropriate adjustments to the format and presentation of certain claims consistent with the NAD’s recommendations.”

The NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed advertising for the product as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with its initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand its review of dietary supplement claims.

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Arkansas PSE bill could spark fresh debate

BY Michael Johnsen

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — SB 437, a bill passed Wednesday by the Arkansas House by a vote of 60-31, introduces a number of new issues to the debate on whether or not pseudoephedrine and similar ingredients should be sold behind the counter or by prescription only.

For starters, the bill — supported by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy — would restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine products in Arkansas to residents and military personnel only — out-of-state patients, even those who live in another state but work in Arkansas, would be unable to purchase PSE products.

Second, the bill includes a provision that would allow the state board of pharmacy to add additional nonprescription medicines to be included as part of this legislation without having to pass additional legislation. The provision was included with dextromethorphan in mind, associating DXM with the same abuse potential as PSE. After public hearings, “this would allow the board of pharmacy … to do the same thing with a product like that that’s being abused — to put it back where a pharmacist has to sell it — and we don’t have to ban it from the marketplace,” testified bill sponsor Sen. Percy Malone, D-Ark., who also is a pharmacist and pharmacy owner.

Finally, the bill not only restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine to behind a pharmacy counter, but to be sold/dispensed by pharmacists only — not pharmacy technicians — and at their discretion.

On these grounds, Tim Koch, Walmart health-and-wellness division director of pharmacy regulatory affairs, communicated the Bentonville-based retailer’s opposition to the bill before a House committee on Tuesday. “It places pharmacists unfairly into the role of law enforcement — to make a decision, ‘Yes, I am going to dispense this.’ or ‘No, I’m not.’ ‘Yes, you are sick.’ [or] ‘No, you’re not [sick], you’re a drug abuser,’” he said.

Walmart steadfastly supported a separate bill put forth by Rep. Marshall Wright, D-Ark., 51st District, that would classify PSE products as prescription only. Wright’s bill did not make it out of the Arkansas Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday.

The PSE bill will go before Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

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Dulcolax maker sponsors CCA’s fashion show

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — To help promote the third annual St. Louis Undy 5000 5K run on March 26, the Colon Cancer Alliance is introducing the “Parade of Undies” fashion show, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of Dulcolax products.

Rather than wear race-day t-shirts, participants will wear specially designed boxer-style shorts, providing a fun way to bring attention to a serious disease. American fashion designer and colon cancer survivor Carmen Marc Valvo will serve as one of the judges.

“St. Louis has become a mainstay for the Undy 5000 due to the community’s overwhelmingly positive response to this event,” stated Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance. “Each year the run attracts more and more people to help us bring more awareness to colon cancer and the importance of screenings to help save lives.”

The Undy 5000 — a family-oriented event open to all ages — is held in cities nationwide to educate the public about colon cancer, promote screenings and encourage people to talk about the disease. The event raises funds to support and build the CCA’s national and local patient support and public awareness programs. In addition, a portion of the funds raised from the St. Louis Undy 5000 will be distributed locally to fund services for those diagnosed with colon cancer. In addition to the 5K, there will be a 1-mile family fun run.

The Undy 5000, created by the CCA, stresses the importance of timely colon cancer screening, and also provides valuable information for those already affected by the disease. Walgreens serves as St. Louis’ local retail sponsor. Additional national sponsors include the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Genentech and Salix Pharmaceuticals.

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