HEALTH

Reps. introduce FDA Globalization Act of 2009 to earmark funding against increased inspections of int’l food and drug facilities

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON In an effort to better safeguard America’s food and drug supply, Reps. John Dingell, D-Mich., Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., on Wednesday introduced the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009, a piece of legislation that would earmark funding specifically against increased inspections of international food and drug facilities and improve information systems.

The legislation also would require food producers to have preventive food safety plans in place and subjects the plans to FDA inspection; require food imports to meet all U.S. standards; would close the loopholes in the FDA’s ability to trace the source of contaminated products; and would impose stiff penalties on companies that violate safety standards, according to a press release issued announcing introduction of the legislation.

“Antiquated authorities and years of starving the FDA of resources has put the public health at risk,” stated Dingell. “Every few months brings another crisis — E. Coli in spinach, contaminated heparin, tainted peppers and now salmonella in peanut butter — that has killed eight people and sickened more than 483 people. The time to act is now,” he said. “Americans shouldn’t have to worry about whether the food they serve their families and the medical products they use to improve their health might actually make them sick.”

“As witnessed by the latest salmonella outbreak, the Peanut Corp. of America’s outrageous actions show that food manufacturers cannot be trusted to self-regulate,” Pallone charged.

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Vestcom announces continued expansion of Healthy Aisles in-store marketing

BY Michael Johnsen

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Vestcom International, a provider of customized shelf-edge marketing solutions to retailers and brand manufacturers, on Wednesday announced the continued expansion of its successful health and wellness in-store marketing program, Healthy Aisles.

Vestcom’s program gives retailers the opportunity to add value to the shopping experience by providing quick and simple health and nutritional information that can be delivered via customized shelf labels, in-store kiosks, customer newsletters, circular and promotional advertising, Web-based applications, aisle experts and more.

“Expanding our Healthy Aisles program marks another step forward in our commitment to providing retailers with integrated shelf-edge marketing solutions that make healthy products easily identifiable for shoppers with specific dietary needs, or those wanting a healthier diet,” stated John Lawlor, EVP and chief communications officer of Vestcom. “Healthy Aisles makes it easy to connect shoppers to the information and expertise they need to make the choices they’re looking for quickly and accurately.”

As part of its expansion, Vestcom is working with Boston-based Joslin Diabetes Center to provide expanded data-driven health and wellness information on its shelf labels for select programs.

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AirWare’s Brez nasal breathing aids now available at Rite Aid, independent pharmacies

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. AirWare on Wednesday announced the availability of its Brez nasal breathing aids, a device that fits inside the nose that reduces snoring and improves sleep quality, nationally through Rite Aid.

Brez, available in three sizes, inserts easily into the nose and gently lifts, expands and supports the interior walls of the nasal passages to reduce the resistance of airflow. Brez has been reviewed and categorized as a Class I exempted medical device, based on Food and Drug Administration definitions, for marketing as an over-the-counter treatment to help relieve symptoms for multiple conditions related to impaired breathing, such as snoring, congestion due to the common cold or allergies and deviated septum.

In addition to Rite Aid, the product is available at several independent pharmacies nationwide.

“We’re pleased to begin our product launch with Rite Aid and independent pharmacies as our partners.” stated Mindi Osborn, AirWare president and CEO. “Brez is different than anything else on the market today because it effectively conforms to the user’s anatomy to provide a proactive, non-pharmacological solution to snoring.”

Data from an independent clinical study involving 26 snorers (12 men and 14 women) with snoring (non-apneic) bed partners showed that those who used Brez experienced a 52% decrease in snoring events from an average of 1,247 to 654. Snorers who used the device had only a 22.4% likelihood of persistent snoring and disturbing their bed partner’s sleep compared with their pre-treatment scores of 100%.

“I am impressed by the independent clinical data showing Brez usage resulted in a significant reduction of more than 50% of snoring events. Equally interesting, 88% of bed partners reported improved sleep quality when the product was used by the snorer,” stated George Gwinn, clinical investigator for PsyPharma Global, and allergy and pulmonary specialist. “Each day, pharmacists nationwide serve as front-line healthcare providers to help consumers deal with issues such as snoring. Based on these data, it appears that Brez may be an innovative solution that pharmacists can recommend.”

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