HEALTH

Survey reveals preference for fish oil supplements, multivitamins

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y Among people who use dietary supplements, fish oil supplements are nearly as popular as multivitamins, according to a recent survey released Tuesday by ConsumerLab.com, which also publishes test reports on supplements.

The survey is based on responses collected in November from 6,000 supplement users who receive the company’s e-newsletter. 

“We conduct the annual survey to help direct our lab testing toward products of greatest interest to our subscribers; but the survey also yields unparalleled insight into the preferences of people who use supplements and nutritional products,” stated Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com.   

Among the survey’s key findings: 

•  Multivitamins were used by 73.8% of all respondents, followed in popularity by fish oil (71.6%), calcium (55.3%) and CoQ10 (50.9%) supplements.  Among people using 10 or more supplements each day, use of fish oil (84.8%) exceeded that of multivitamins (75.5%), and use of CoQ10 (78.9%) exceeded that of calcium (67.6%). 

•  Use of most supplements increased with age, while use of multivitamins declined slightly. Dramatic increases with age were seen with vitamin D (use increased from 21% among those under age 35 to 47.4% among those 65 years and older) and CoQ10 (use increased from 28.8% to 60.1% for the two age groups, respectively). 

Ratings were given for 1,087 brands and 380 merchants. Of the brands and merchants that received at least 100 consumer ratings, the following received the highest overall satisfaction ratings within their market segments. 

Top-rated Supplement Brands:•        Catalogue/Internet Brand: Puritan’s Pride•        Direct Selling (MLM) Brand: Nutrilite•        Discount/Warehouse Brand: Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club)•        Grocery Store Brand: Equate (Albertson’s)•        Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations•        Health Food Store Brand: Barlean’s•        Mass Market Brand: Nature Made•        Pharmacy Brand: CVS•        Vitamin Store Brand: Vitamin World 

Top-rated Supplement Merchants: •        Catalogue/Internet: Puritan’s Pride •        Direct Sales (MLM): Nutrilite •        Grocery Store: Trader Joe’s •        Mass Market: Target •        Online Retailer: iherb.com •        Pharmacy: Walgreens •        Vitamin Store: Vitamin World •        Warehouse Store: Costco  

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Study shows cold and flu impair driver awareness

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWPORT, England More than 125,000 crashes were caused last year by motorists with colds and flu, according to research released by Lloyds TSB Insurance on Saturday.

“Our research proves that getting behind the wheel when ill causes thousands of accidents every year,” stated Paula Llewellyn, Lloyds spokeswoman.

Driving with a virus such as cold or flu impairs driver awareness by as much as 11%, the insurer noted, which is the equivalent of downing a double whisky before getting behind the wheel.

According to the motor insurance provider, one in 10 road accidents in 2008 can be attributed to flu – equating to a cost of $244.4 million in claims.

Despite the risks, public awareness of the problem is low, with 12 million (38%) admitting that they have driven while suffering from cold or flu – and half of these drivers (46%) believing that the illness has no affect at all on their driving ability.

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FTC: Solvay Pharmaceuticals violated antitrust laws

BY Drug Store News Team

WASHINGTON The maker of a hormone-replacement drug gained a monopoly and violated antitrust laws by paying three generic drug makers to delay release of their own versions, the Federal Trade Commission alleges in a suit.

The FTC said Solvay Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the topical medication Androgel (testosterone gel), told Watson Pharmaceuticals, Paddock Laboratories and Par Pharmaceuticals to delay release of generic versions of the gel until 2010, in exchange for a share of profits from the branded version.

Such deals are called exclusion payment settlements and involve branded drug makers paying generic drug makers to delay release of generic drugs. Several members of the Senate and House introduced legislation last year to challenge the practice.

Legislation has also been introduced in the House this year to prohibit the selling of authorized generics during the customary six-month exclusivity period, whereby a large drug maker will sell its drug through a generic drug maker at a reduced price to compete with the generic version.

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