HEALTH

U by Kotex nixes bland look

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Kotex’s U by Kotex line is getting stylish.

The feminine care line has ditched the bland look of typical pads and liners by now boasting color and design, adding style to its products for the first time. Three unique designs will be available in each box.

To celebrate U by Kotex’s bold new look, the brand has teamed up with fashion designer Patricia Field, known for her work on "Sex and the City," "Ugly Betty" and "The Devil Wears Prada," to launch an online design contest. Fans can enter a pad, accessory or inspiration board design at BantheBland.com, for the chance to work with Field to design a new U by Kotex product and to attend a runway show at Fashion Week in New York.

"At this point in my career, I am thrilled to have the chance to speak with young women and bring design to the bland feminine care category through this partnership with U by Kotex," Field said. "I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity come to life in the design contest and final products."

U by Kotex products are available at retailers nationwide.

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NAD to DSE Healthcare Solutions: Modify ads for Cystex products

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Wednesday recommended that DSE Healthcare Solutions, which markets both Cystex urinary pain relief tablets and Cystex liquid cranberry complex with Proantinox, modify its advertising to better distinguish the two products.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed the advertising claims at issue as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with NAD’s initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand NAD’s review of dietary-supplement claims.

NAD requested substantiation for claims that included:

  • “Cystex helps manage UTIs … and now promotes urinary health”;

  • “Cystex is the trusted urinary health brand that has helped millions of women manage the pain and discomfort of urinary tract infections”;

  • “If you are experiencing signs of a UTI, you can manage it with Cystex urinary pain relief tablets, the only over-the-counter urinary pain reliever available with a dual-action formula that not only eases the pain and burning caused by a urinary tract infection, but also contains an antibacterial (methenamine) to help the infection from getting worse while you wait for your doctor’s appointment”; and

  • “Cystex both manages the pain associated with a UTI and reduced [sic] the progression of the bacteria.”

NAD noted that it also was concerned that claims for the Cystex over-the-counter drug might be understood as applying to the Cystex liquid cranberry dietary supplement, since both products are featured in the same advertising.

The advertiser explained that it markets two separate Cystex products for urinary health: Cystex urinary pain relief tablets, an over-the-counter product, and Cystex liquid cranberry complex with Proantinox, a dietary supplement.

Key to NAD’s review was whether visitors to the Cystex website would interpret the claims made as applicable to both products. Further, NAD questioned whether the performance claims for the dietary supplement were supported by competent and reliable evidence.

NAD noted that the advertising at issue essentially includes three performance claims; that Cystex helps to “manage the symptoms” of urinary tract infections, prevent such infections and prevent existing infections from worsening.

In response to NAD’s concerns, the advertiser explained that the OTC product and the dietary supplement product are, in fact, different products, both designed to facilitate urinary tract health. DSE Healthcare contended that each product possessed its own scientific evidence in support of its claims, and that neither was dependent on the other to function as advertised. Further, DSE maintained that there is no specific link between the Cystex OTC drug and the dietary supplement product, other than the fact that they are both sold by the same company, under the Cystex name, and each has an impact on urinary tract health.

DSE Healthcare, however, acknowledged NAD’s concerns about this mixed message and represented that it would modify its website and take additional steps to make clear that it is selling two separate products. Further, DSE represented that it would modify any claims that suggest that the dietary supplement can manage or treat the symptoms associated with UTIs, NAD stated. NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence could support the claims at issue as those claims are made for the OTC product. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim that the Cystex dietary supplement “helps manage UTIs.”

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Ruling: Illinois pharmacists can refuse to dispense Plan B

BY Michael Johnsen

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Circuit Judge John Belz on Tuesday ruled that Illinois pharmacists could refuse to dispense the emergency contraceptive Plan B, despite a 2005 edict that required pharmacists to dispense Plan B, regardless of their religious beliefs, according to published reports.

The 2005 order issued by former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich came at a time when a Food and Drug Administration decision to not allow Plan B to be sold over the counter became a hotly contested political debate. Plan B (levonorgestrel) and several generic equivalents are presently available for sale behind the pharmacy counter.

The state ruling affirms the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which was passed in 1998 and protects healthcare providers from being sued for practicing according to their moral beliefs.

According to a USA Today report, Circuit Judge John Belz wrote that the 1998 law "was designed to forbid the government from doing what it aims to do here: coercing individuals or entities to provide healthcare services that violate their belief."

The state attorney general’s office will appeal the decision, reports stated.

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