HEALTH

NAD supports Quten Research Institute’s dietary supplement claims

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Quten Research Institute can support certain claims made for its Qunol CoQ10 dietary supplement, though recommended the company modify certain other claims.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined print and Internet advertising for Qunol CoQ10, following a challenge by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

The company has said it will appeal a portion of NAD’s decision to the National Advertising Review Board, though Quten Research asserted it had voluntarily discontinued several of the claims at issue — most notably disease-state-type claims that would have run the company afoul of the Federal Trade Commission.

In addition, the Quten represented that it permanently discontinued its “Doctor Recommended CoQ10 Formula” claim and modified its claim “Clinically Proven,” to read, “The hydrosoluble CoQ10 in Qunol softgels has been used in several clinical studies.”

NAD noted that the advertiser had modified its “Clinically Proven” claim to state that “The hydrosoluble CoQ10 in Qunol softgels has been used in several clinical studies,” but found that modified version could be understood by consumers to mean that the product has been proven effective in clinical studies, a claim that is not supported.

NAD found that Qunol provided a reasonable basis for its claims that its Qunol soft gel product is “up to 300% more absorbable…” but recommended that the advertiser clarify the point of comparison – specifically that Qunol is “up to 300% more absorbable” than a standard powder form of CoQ10.

NAD, however, recommended that Qunol discontinue its claim that Liquid Qunol is “Up to 6X better absorption than regular CoQ10.” as well as the claim that “100 mg Qunol Liquid CoQ10 = up to 600 mg regular CoQ10.” since these claims are based solely on the results of laboratory, rather than human, testing.

Qunol, in its advertiser’s statement, stated it respectfully disagrees with NAD’s findings regarding the claim that Qunol liquid CoQ10 provides “up to 6x better absorption,” and will appeal that finding to the National Advertising Review Board.

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Lansinoh, Teva make donations for Haiti earthquake relief

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A supplier of breast-feeding products and a drug maker are participating in providing relief to Haiti following a devestating earthquake that struck the country last week.

Lansinoh donated $10,000 to UNICEF in support of the organization’s disaster relief efforts, while Teva contributed more than $7 million in medicine to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti.

UNICEF was chosen for its support of breast-feeding in emergency situations, Lansinoh said.

 

“Breast-feeding support is crucial right now for the people of Haiti,” said Gina Ciagne, certified lactation counselor and director, breast-feeding and consumer relations with Lansinoh. “Breast-feeding is a safe, sanitary and reliable food source for the thousands of infants in danger. The devastation in Haiti calls for relief workers to support mothers in breast-feeding their babies, and protect them from disease and risk of malnourishment.”

UNICEF stated the following in a press release about breast-feeding as an emergency response:

  • Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of children. It provides valuable protection from infections, which is all the more important in environments lacking adequate water supply and sanitation.
  • Feeding such breast-milk substitutes as infant formula during emergencies offers no immune protection against diseases and poses health risks because mothers have to depend on the quality and supply of formula, water and fuel for preparation and cleaning of feeding bottles.
  • Mothers also should be aware that they can increase their milk supply and relactate after having stopped breast-feeding.

“Our hearts go out to the tens of thousands of devastated Haitians,” said Gary Downing, CEO of Lansinoh. “We’re encouraging others to donate what they can to UNICEF and the Haiti disaster relief efforts. There is no better time to make a small sacrifice for those who are in need.”

Meanwhile, Teva said it is working with several of its nongovernmental organization partners to ensure these drugs are delivered to Haiti without delay.

“As a company, Teva was devastated to hear about the earthquake, and our hearts and thoughts go out to the country of Haiti,” said Shlomo Yanai, Teva’s president and CEO. “Working with our partners, we are providing essential medical products to assist in the relief efforts.”

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Alcon criticizes Novartis’ acquisition offer

BY Alaric DeArment

HUNENBERG, Switzerland Alcon has seen Novartis’ acquisition offer, and it is not impressed.

Novartis announced Jan. 4 that it would acquire a 77% stake in the Swiss eye-care company for $38.5 billion, but an Alcon independent director committee called that amount “grossly inadequate” and said Novartis’ tactics were “coercive” and “offensive.” The Novartis proposal would distribute much of Alcon’s value to its two largest shareholders, though many of Alcon’s minority shareholders have been long-term investors in the company since its 2002 initial public offering or are employees of the company.

“Advocates of sound corporate governance and well-established principles of fairness and equity in both Switzerland and the U.S. are rightly offended by Novartis’ coercive attempts to take advantage of the Alcon minority shareholders,” committee chairman Thomas Plaskett said in a statement. “The committee will evaluate and take all appropriate and available steps to ensure that the rights of Alcon’s minority shareholders are not trampled on in the manner proposed by Novartis.”

UPDATE: A Novartis spokesman told Drug Store News Friday that the company declined to comment on the matter.

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