HEALTH

NPA to hold Web conference on adverse-event reporting law

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Natural Products Association on Monday announced the scheduling of a Web conference this Friday at 2 p.m. featuring two experts—Rick Kingston, president, regulatory and scientific affairs, SafetyCall International and Daniel Fabricant, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Natural Products Association—to help companies understand both the broad and technical aspects of the new adverse-event reporting law.

“As the largest trade association representing both retailers and manufacturers, I can say there are a lot of questions and confusion about how these new rules will work,” Fabricant stated. “Every company needs to know and understand this new law and its ramifications, which is why we are conducting this special session. We will also use the knowledge gained from this session to inform our official comments that we submit to the FDA.”

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Weight loss rather than adverse effects driving patient satisfaction with alli

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW ORLEANS Data presented at the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of NAASO, the Obesity Society, found that patient satisfaction with alli, the only FDA- approved, over-the-counter weight loss product, was connected to the product’s effectiveness in helping them lose weight, and not to potential gastrointestinal treatment effects.

Treatment effects are characterized by predictable GI side effects when alli is taken with meals with too much fat.

This is important because these data show that the weight loss achieved with alli strongly motivates subjects to continue treatment regardless if they are experiencing treatment effects.

“Since having my first child, I have been carrying around extra weight and now I’m a mother of three,” stated Jaime Clear, a 28-year-old alli First Team member from Henderson, Nev. “I committed to losing the weight with alli and have lost 20 pounds in 10 weeks. The treatment effects have been manageable and have kept me honest about my diet.” The alli First Team is a group of 406 men and women that was formed after alli was approved by the FDA, and given the opportunity to use alli at no cost before it was available in stores.

In the study, less than 5 percent of subjects stopped taking alli because of treatment effects and were able to maximize their weight loss.

The analysis of controlled studies shows that during the first week of treatment with alli, the overall incidence of most treatment effects was generally low—between 3 percent and 8 percent. The overall rate was 33 percent lower when compared to those taking Xenical (which has 120 mg of orlistat, the active ingredient, as compared to the 60 mg dose found in alli). Researchers determined that when alli was used for three months without physician supervision in a non-controlled setting, the overall incidence of treatment effects was 20 percent lower compared to controlled studies.

“The alli data we’re reviewing show that treatment effects are not a major issue for most patients taking alli because they are highly motivated by the weight loss achieved,” stated Vidhu Bansal-Dev, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare director of medical affairs. “In addition, many alli users have repeatedly told us that they view treatment effects as a positive tool to help make them aware of hidden fats in foods.”

In addition to the cumulative data analysis released at NAASO, recently collected consumer data show overall satisfaction with the alli weight loss program was ranked at 85 percent among alli First Team members. Moreover, a new consumer survey conducted by Nielsen and funded by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare showed nearly 70 percent of people reported losing weight after starting the alli program.

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Amerifit reformulates its AZO Cranberry supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

CROMWELL, Conn. Amerifit Nutrition on Monday announced the reformulation of its AZO Cranberry supplement to include Probiotic Lactobacillus Sporogenes and vitamin C.

Two tablets now combine 900 mg of natural cranberry powder concentrate, 100 million 

CFU’s of Probiotic Lactobacillus Sporogenes to impede the colonization of bad bacteria and stimulate the immune response, with 60 mg of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant.

Studies have shown that cranberry helps block the attachment of urinary tract infection-causing bacteria to the urinary bladder wall, the company reported.

A 50-count package of the new supplement will retail at a suggested price of $8.99.

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