HEALTH

Novartis names new head of sales U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Novartis Consumer Health on Thursday announced that Todd Hutsko has been appointed head of sales U.S., effective March 1. 

Hutsko succeeds Roger Gravitte, who has been appointed operating unit head for UK/Ireland.

Hutsko joined Novartis in 2012 and was most recently VP U.S. field sales. In his new role, he will report to Rick Lloyd, Novartis Consumer region head, North America, and serve as a member of the North America leadership team. He will continue to be based in Parsippany, N.J.

Grafitte will now be responsible for leading Novartis’ OTC business in the UK/Ireland and will be a member of the European leadership team, with overall country management and operational responsibility. He will be based in Frimley, England.

"We would like to thank Roger for his significant contributions to the U.S. business over the last three years and congratulate both Todd and Roger on their new roles," Lloyd stated.

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CRN: Dietary supplement users consciously seeking overall wellness

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Dietary supplement users take supplement products as just one component of a larger effort to develop a healthier lifestyle, according to a newly published review in Nutrition Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific publication. The review, “Health Habits and Other Characteristics of Supplement Users” (Nutrition Journal. 2014, 13:14), co-authored by Council for Responsible Nutrition consultant Annette Dickinson and CRN’s SVP scientific and regulatory affairs Duffy MacKay, examined data from 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and found that, “overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living.” 

“Compiling the available data on the health habits of dietary supplement users, we gained a sharper insight into the positive lifestyle choices of this large segment — one half to two-thirds — of the American population that takes supplements,” Dickinson said. “Evidence from numerous surveys shows that dietary supplement users are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco products.”

The review indicated that Americans who take dietary supplements are focused on wellness for the long term. MacKay observed, “Dietary supplement users typically make healthful habits part of each day, and many stick with their supplement regimen for years. Their supplement use doesn’t appear to be something trendy, but more of a planned strategy they maintain for the long haul.” 

The results of this review counter concerns that dietary supplement users are operating under a “halo effect” or are somehow short-changing themselves, eating poorly, using the remote control for exercise, and relying on a supplement alone for good health. The data indicate that, in fact, dietary supplement users make better food choices in addition to taking supplements. A report on the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys calculated nutrient intakes of dietary supplement users as compared to non-users and found that people who used dietary supplements had somewhat higher intakes of most nutrients from food alone (not counting the nutrients in dietary supplements) than people who were not supplement users. 

On the flip side, contrary to assertions that supplement users are eating better already and therefore don’t need the supplements they take, the NHANES data shows many Americans failed to consume the Estimated Average Requirement for many nutrients when only naturally-occurring nutrients in foods were considered. Enrichment and fortification of foods decreased the prevalence of intakes below the EAR, and the use of dietary supplements further decreased shortfalls. For example, for vitamin A and calcium, more than half of NHANES respondents fell short. Food fortification lowered the prevalence of shortfalls to 50% for these nutrients. Supplementation drove the prevalence of shortfalls down even further, but 33% of the respondents still fell short. 

“It’s important to give dietary supplement users credit for their efforts to improve their overall wellness profile with thoughtful choices,” said MacKay. “The scientific evidence indicates that they tend to incorporate these products into their lifestyles as part of a broader focus on healthy living, with supplement use just one of a constellation of smart, healthy habits.”

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CADCA, CHPA honor SAFE with this year’s Dose of Prevention Award

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Thursday joined forces to honor Chesterfield, Va.-based Substance Abuse Free Environment with this year’s Dose of Prevention award. The award recognizes community-based organizations that have implemented successful initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and OTC cough medicine abuse.

"Prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse is a serious issue that is affecting communities across the country,” stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Thankfully, there are coalitions like SAFE that are implementing innovative strategies to educate their community and prevent medicine abuse — engaging parents, youth, prescribers, policymakers and other key sectors. That’s why we’re honored to recognize SAFE as our 2014 Dose of Prevention award winner.”

The abuse of medicines — both prescription and OTC products — continues to be a major problem throughout the country. After discovering that OTC cough medicine abuse in its area was at levels significantly higher than the national average, SAFE disseminated educational materials to nearly 8,000 parents in their school district and educated their community about the dangers of abusing cough medicines containing dextromethorphan through community forums and health fairs.

The group also addressed prescription drug abuse by conducting prescriber education trainings for physicians and other healthcare providers and held prescription drug take-back day events.

“SAFE’s efforts show how local coalitions drive awareness and reduce abuse, and we applaud their efforts to educate their community and give parents and other community stakeholders the tools they need to fight this problem," commented CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville.

According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, 4% of teens have abused OTC cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year. Teens report getting many of these medicines from home medicine cabinets and mistakenly believe that abusing them is “safer” than other drugs. CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s StopMedicineAbuse.org campaign educating teens and parents of teens about the dangers of OTC cough medicine abuse.

The group received its award Thursday during CADCA’s 24rd Annual National Leadership Forum at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, attracting more than 2,500 community and state leaders from across the country.

 

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