HEALTH

Vitamin Packs releases drug-nutrients interactions survey

BY Michael Johnsen

According to a recent Vitamin Packs drug-nutrients interactions survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, nearly 40% of Americans who are taking a prescription medication and dietary supplement do not know that vitamins and supplements can impact the effectiveness of prescription medications. And 61% of millennial age respondents assume they don’t need to notify their doctor if they start taking a vitamin supplement, Vitamin Packs, a Seattle-based personalized vitamin subscription service, reported.

“Nutrient deficiencies and diagnosed health conditions often require the use of vitamins and prescription medications, but they can interact. It is critical that users understand potential interactions,” Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer, Cleveland Clinic and Vitamin Packs medical advisory board chair, said. “We know the interaction can occur by direct effect or by changing the metabolism of a drug. Large databases – like electronic medical records and Vitamin Packs’ proprietary database – are key to helping users and health professionals scan for potential interactions. I always recommend that anyone who is looking to add a supplement to their diet should talk with their doctor or a local pharmacist first.”

Vitamin Packs offers subscribers the ability to cross-reference 650 prescription medications before curating a unique combination of nutritional supplements.

According to the survey, nearly 2 in 5 (38%) of survey participants (those already taking vitamins alongside prescription meds) did not know vitamins and supplements can impact the effectiveness of medications. Almost half (45%) of respondents assumed they didn’t need to tell their doctor if they started taking a new vitamin or supplement.

Aside from general wellness, respondents reported taking dietary supplements for energy (51%), heart health (40%), immunity (38%), digestive health (37%), hair or skin health (35%) and sleep (28%).

And half of all participants reported taking five or more different types of pills with them when they travel.

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Latest Fitbit Ace activity tracker scores big with kids

BY Michael Johnsen

Fitbit earlier this week launched an activity tracker called Fitbit Ace that makes fitness fun for kids at a suggested retail price of $99.95. The Fitbit Ace begins shipping to major North American retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Target in the second quarter.

“The challenge of inactivity with our children is not going away and is only estimated to get worse as they get older, dropping almost 40 minutes per year from ages 9 to 15,” Chris Watts, executive director National Fitness Foundation, said. “It is essential to provide parents with tools to help their kids be more active. Fitbit’s solution offers more than just a way to track activity – it helps instill healthy habits from an early age, making it fun and rewarding to move more and empowers parents to make health and fitness a family affair.”

“As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” James Park, CEO Fitbit, said. “It can be hard to start and stick to good habits, and we know from our community that network effects are key to getting and keeping people motivated. By bringing that experience to families, it can make healthier habits feel more achievable by making it fun and engaging. We are excited by the opportunity to enable parents to help set their kids on a path to building lifelong, healthy habits all while having fun together.”

According to a Fitbit survey of parents, the majority of parents want their children to be healthier (84%) and want their families to be more active (87%). Screen time is cited as the biggest challenge in getting their kids to be active, and parents are looking for ways to encourage a more healthy, active lifestyle. In fact, 75% of parents said they are interested in the use of an activity tracker to help them keep their kids active and Fitbit was selected over competitors more than twice as often due to ease of use and brand trust, the San Francisco-based health manufacturer claimed.

Designed for kids ages 8 and older, Ace automatically tracks steps, active minutes and sleep and has up to five days of battery life. Ace also features an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors. By offering 10 unique clock faces and two fun interchangeable bands in electric blue and power purple, kids can find the style that fits their unique personality and be motivated to wear Ace day and night, no matter what they are doing.

Earlier this week, Fitbit also launched a new tracker specifically for mom.

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J&J explores sale of LifeScan

BY Michael Johnsen

Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced the potential sale of its LifeScan division, a leader in blood glucose monitoring products, to Platinum Equity. The private investment firm made a binding offer of approximately $2.1 billion for the diabetes company.

LifeScan posted 2017 net revenue of approximately $1.5 billion.

“LifeScan’s OneTouch blood glucose monitoring products play an important role in the lives of millions of patients living with diabetes, and following a thorough review of all strategic options, we feel confident that the business would have a promising future with Platinum Equity,” Ashley McEvoy, Company Group Chairman, Consumer Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson, said. “This initiative is part of our ongoing, disciplined approach to portfolio management to focus on our most promising opportunities to help patients and drive growth.”

The acceptance period for the offer will end on June 15, 2018, unless extended, and during that time consultations with relevant works councils are planned. If the offer is accepted, the transaction would be expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. This transaction was contemplated in Johnson & Johnson’s guidance provided on January 23, 2018.

The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies will continue to serve those impacted by diabetes through products, services and solutions from its Medical Device, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer businesses, the pharmceutical conglomerate, which operates out of New Brunswick, N.J., noted. These include important leadership and innovation in areas such as bariatric surgery and through medicines such as Invokana (canagliflozin) and Invokamet (canagliflozin/metformin HCl).

 

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