HEALTH

Nature & Health Co. announces voluntary, natiowide recall

BY Michael Johnsen

BREA, Calif. Nature & Health Co. on Tuesday announced that it is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall of the company’s supplement product sold under the name Libimax after being informed by representatives of the Food and Drug Administration that Libimax samples could contain tadalafil, the active ingredient in Lilly’s prescription-only erectile dysfunction drug Cialis.

The product is distributed through vitamin stores, grocery stores and liquor stores, according to the company’s Web site.

FDA advised that this poses a threat to consumers because tadalafil may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. According to the FDA, consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.

FDA advises that ED is a common problem in men with these conditions, and they may seek products to enhance sexual performance. FDA advises that tadalafil, may cause side effects, such as headaches and flushing.

The recalled Libimax is sold as a 1 capsule individual pack or 10-capsule and 20-capsule plastic bottles in retail stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Ohio.  The product label neither states it contains tadalafil nor warns consumers with high blood pressure not to ingest the product.

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CDC updates swine flu cases to 91

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the number of confirmed swine flu cases to 91 late Wednesday morning, up from 46 the day before, and confirmed one death.

Incidences of swine flu are now apparent in 10 states — Arizona (1), Califorina (14), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Nevada (1), New York (51), Ohio (1) and Texas (16). The death occurred in Texas.

“The outbreak of disease in people caused by a new influenza virus of swine origin continues to grow in the United States and internationally,” the CDC stated. “The more recent illnesses and the reported death suggest that a pattern of more severe illness associated with this virus may be emerging in the U.S. Most people will not have immunity to this new virus and, as it continues to spread, more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths are expected in the coming days and weeks.”

CDC has implemented its emergency response. The agency’s goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by the new virus. Yesterday, CDC issued new interim guidance for clinicians on how to care for children and pregnant women who may be infected with this virus.

Young children and pregnant women are two groups of people who are at high risk of serious complications from seasonal influenza. In addition, CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile continues to send antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment and respiratory protection devices to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir).

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available,” the agency stated.

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NPF: Dietary supplement industry contributes $60B to national economy

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new study funded by the Natural Products Foundation has determined the total economic contribution of the dietary supplement industry to exceed $60 billion dollars, or 0.5% of the national GDP, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

“Not only does the dietary supplement industry represent an important and growing component of the U.S. economy, it is interconnected in essential ways with many other industries,” wrote the study’s authors. “For example, the dietary supplement industry contributes to [spending] in other industries, such as retail and wholesale trade; real estate, rental and leasing; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and manufacturing.”

Dietary supplements generate more than $20 billion in annual consumer sales, but the industry’s overall economic contribution goes well beyond the direct purchase of goods, NPF stated.

The Economic Impact Report, completed by Dobson DaVanzo, a Washington-based economic research firm, is the first to quantify the dietary supplement industry’s total financial bearing on the national economy. It considers multiple tiers of contributing factors, including supply, production, research, direct employment, manufacturing and taxes, as well as these dynamics’ longterm financial effects.

“Most industry assessments typically focus on retail sales,” stated Tracy Taylor, NPF executive director. “Realistically though, sales are really just the tip of the iceberg. … The labor, materials and technology necessary to move any product from staging grounds to the final sale trigger a cascade of economic consequences,” she said. “Consider for example that the dietary supplement trade generates enough activity throughout production and sales to support over 450,000 jobs, and that industry concerns paid more than $10 billion dollars in taxes in 2006.”

Moreover, the dietary supplement industry’s influence is expanding, growing at a rate that exceeds inflation. While health care providers are usually given a “market basket” increase of between 2% and 3% to account for medical and other price increases, the dietary supplement industry is steadily growing at a rate of more than 5% per year.

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