HEALTH

NAD refers Mead Johnson to FTC

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday referred advertising for Mead Johnson Nutritionals’ Enfamil Lipil infant formula to the Federal Trade Commission for further review, following NAD’s third compliance review.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, initially recommended in April 2008 that Mead Johnson modify or discontinue certain claims for the product or clarify the claims to assure that consumers are provided with all pertinent information. NAD examined advertising claims for the product following a challenge by Abbott Nutrition, a manufacturer of Similac brand infant products. 

NAD recommended then that Mead Johnson make clear that Enfamil Lipil has not been shown to outperform Similac Advance with respect to mental and/or visual development. Further, with respect to a consumer-directed coupon that featured a chart inviting consumers to “compare the differences” between Enfamil Lipil and Similac Advance, NAD recommended that the advertiser either discontinue this comparative advertisement, or modify it by removing the comparison to Similac Advance.

 Since its initial inquiry, NAD has opened three compliance reviews related to the same or similar advertising claims, including reviews in June 2008, November 2008 and February 2009.

In the most recent compliance proceeding, NAD again found that the Enfamil Lipil advertising did not  comply with NAD’s decision, NAD stated. NAD noted in its decision that the “self-regulatory process cannot function properly when advertisers state, on the one hand, that they respect the process and will comply with NAD’s decision, and then do the opposite. Accordingly, NAD has no choice but to refer this matter to the appropriate government agency for possible law enforcement action pursuant to section 4.1(B) of the NAD/NARB Procedures.”

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Home Diagnostics appoints Joseph Capper president, CEO and director

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Home Diagnostics, Inc. on Monday appointed Joseph Capper as lead executive of the diabetes diagnostics companies. Capper was named president, CEO and director.

Capper succeeds J. Richard Damron, Jr., who served in the same capacity since 2001 and will be departing the company.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank [Damron] for his commitment and assistance during this transition period,” stated George Holley, HDI chairman. “We extend our best wishes to him and appreciate the leadership he provided to Home Diagnostics during the last eight years, which includes the company’s successful public offering.”

“I am pleased to appoint Joe Capper to the positions of CEO and president of Home Diagnostics and welcome him to the board,” Holley added. “[Capper] garnered extensive experience in the diabetes industry during his tenure at Bayer and CCS Medical, and has an understanding of our distribution channels as well as operations and supply chain management. [Capper] is the ideal leader to join our existing strong management team in order to move Home Diagnostics to the next stage of growth by maximizing our current product expansion and capitalizing on the strength of our distribution network.”

“I have been familiar with Home Diagnostics as a business partner for many years and look forward to leveraging my experience in the field to help accelerate the growth and expansion of our business,” Capper said. “I have great respect for the company’s ability to innovate, the product portfolio and the market position they have achieved in the industry. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join the Home Diagnostics team and look forward to capitalizing on our strong product line and market position.”

Capper most recently was president and CEO of CCS Medical, a medical supply management company, from 2003 to 2008. Under his leadership, CCS Medical’s annual sales grew from approximately $60 million to over $500 million. Additionally, he was responsible for acquiring and integrating Becton Dickenson’s blood glucose monitoring division into the CCS product line and commercializing it under the Nova Max brand.

Prior to joining CCS, Capper worked with Bayer Healthcare’s diabetes care division, where he served as the division’s national sales director. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from West Chester University and an MBA in International Finance from George Washington University.

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CDC warns pregnant women of potential infections

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday posted a number of potential infections around which women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant ought to be aware, including measures those women can take in an effort to avoid any complications.

For example, CDC noted that group B strep, also known as GBS, can be very dangerous for a newborn and that pregnant women ought to be tested for GBS between weeks 35 and 37. About a quarter of all women carry the bacteria that cause GBS infection, the CDC noted. GBS bacteria are usually not harmful to women but babies can get very sick and even die if their mothers pass GBS bacteria to them during childbirth.

For women with GBS, doctors can typically prescribe an antibiotic, usually penicillin, during labor that will prevent the bacteria from spreading to the baby.

Other concerns include the cytomegalovirus, which can lead to birth defects or other serious problems ? even death. The risk of getting CMV through casual contact is very small. Usually the virus is passed from infected people to others through direct contact with body fluids. Practicing good hygiene can reduce the chance of CMV infection while pregnant, the CDC noted.

A third concern for pregnant moms is listeriosis. Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria bacteria. It mostly affects pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. About one-third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy.

Infected pregnant women may experience a mild, flu-like illness. Listeriosis during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or infection in newborns.

In general, women can protect themselves from listeriosis by eating foods that are thoroughly cleaned and cooked. Pregnant women and others who are especially susceptible to the disease should take extra precautions.

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