HEALTH

Perrigo launches new gluten-free labeling initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Monday announced it will implement a new labeling program to help consumers more clearly identify more than 200 of the company’s over-the-counter store-brand medicines that are gluten-free, starting in January 2010.

“Our retail customers can continue to rely on Perrigo to pinpoint and act on consumer trends,” stated Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa. “This includes the growing list of individuals who need to know whether or not a product is gluten-free.”

The new initiative will include all of Perrigo’s best-selling categories, including pain relievers, cold-and-allergy and antacids. The company already has more than 200 dietary supplements that are part of a similar labeling program.

To support the gluten-free labeling initiative, Perrigo has instituted a gluten-free assurance program. Perrigo’s program is based on the acceptable thresholds of gluten (less than 20 parts per million) identified by the Food and Drug Administration for the food industry. It is comprised of a gluten testing methodology for raw materials and products, as well as ongoing quality assurance for ingredient and formula changes.

Perrigo initiated the labeling program specifically in response to an increasing market demand for gluten-free products.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is estimated that in the United States, 1-in7 people have a gluten intolerance, and three million people suffer from celiac disease – a condition where it is medically necessary to consume only food and medicines that are gluten-free.

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Walgreens gets in the holiday spirit

BY Alaric DeArment

Walgreens is promoting general merchandise and personal care products with its ‘Big Joy. Little Prices’ campaign.

The campaign is a way for Walgreens to drive sales by promoting everyday, front-end items ranging from shampoo to diapers.

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Quigley to tap into OTC market

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. Quigley plans to focus on product developments in the over-the-counter arena, as opposed to developing prescription drug products, the company announced Thursday.

Though Quigley will continue to pursue the prescription-only development of QR333, a medicine for the symptomatic relief of diabetic peripheral neuropathy; QR440, a remedy for relief of inflammation and joint pain; and QR448, an anti-infective against infectious bronchitis in poultry.

Ted Karkus, Quigley chairman and CEO, suggested that Quigley would be placing the lion’s share of its investment behind brand development of Cold-Eeze. “We are particularly interested in leveraging our distribution network in mass, pharmacy and grocery retail by acquiring or developing additional personal care and OTC products,” he said. “We are aggressively searching for product acquisitions and researching line extensions of our Cold-Eeze and Kids-Eeze brands to accomplish these goals, diversify our product offerings and to set the stage for future growth of our company.”

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