HEALTH

Survey finds adults most concerned about adding antioxidants to their diet

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES According to a consumer survey released Monday by Bossa Nova, half of adults ranked antioxidants as the top nutrient they are most concerned about adding to their diets — ahead of calcium, fiber and iron.

However, the online survey found that the majority of adults didn’t know which fruits provide the most antioxidants. For example, 32% of consumers mistakenly selected blueberries over acai berries for highest antioxidant content when selecting from a list of fruits that included blueberries, pomegranates, cranberries, red grapes and oranges. In addition, the company reported as many as 15% of consumers simply didn’t know which fruits were highest in the nutrient.

“These results tell us we have a long way to go in terms of educating the public about food and its health benefits,” stated Jeremy Adams, head of marketing for Bossa Nova.

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FDA declines to approve Qnexa

BY Alaric DeArment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Vivus found itself foiled in its efforts to market a drug for obesity as the Food and Drug Administration turned down its regulatory approval application.

 

The company said Thursday that it received a complete response letter from the FDA for Qnexa (phentermine and topiramate) controlled-release capsules. The agency said the application can’t be approved in its current form and asked for additional study data. The FDA issues a complete response letter to indicate that it has completed review of an application, but questions remain that preclude final approval.

 

 

The prospects for the drug’s approval didn’t look good even before Vivus submitted its application, despite the drug showing some promise in clinical trials. In July, an FDA advisory committee voted 10-6 against recommending approval for Qnexa, citing such possible side effects as psychiatric problems and birth defects. Though an advisory committee’s vote does not determine whether the agency will approve a drug, its vote is taken into consideration.

 

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In letter, NACDS thanks senator for supporting Tricare

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA A group representing the drug retailing industry commended a senator’s support of the military healthcare program Tricare.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who serves as chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he did not support proposed Tricare premium increases, which would offset the healthcare costs that the Department of Defense have been struggling with. In reponse to this, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to the senator, which said that he exhibited "tremendous leadership in protecting access to healthcare providers and services for Tricare beneficiaries."

NACDS said its position on the matter was in line with the subcommittee, which believes "that savings are more likely to be found through improving business practices and encouraging preventive care, rather than increasing premiums, co-payments, and other beneficiary cost sharing," NACDS wrote to Webb.

The group added that the emphasizing the role of pharmacists in health care is just one of the ways healthcare costs can be curbed, as medication nonadherence costs the nation up $290 billion a year in expenditures, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.

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