HEALTH

Walgreens kicks off nationwide safe medication-disposal program

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has teamed up with Sharps Compliance to launch the drug store chain’s first-ever safe medication-disposal program.

Walgreens said the program is designed to protect public safety, as well as ease the concern of parents that fear children and teens can access unused medications at home. The company has kicked off this program with the help of Sharps Compliance, a leading full-service provider of cost-effective management solutions for medical waste and unused dispensed medications, which estimated that more than 200 million lbs. of unused dispensed medications are disposed of improperly each year.

How it works: For $2.99, customers can purchase a specially designed envelope — postage cost included — available at any Walgreens pharmacy counter that allows them to place, seal and mail prescription or over-the-counter medications they no longer use for safe, eco-friendly disposal. Controlled substances are excluded from the program, Walgreens said.

“In thousands of communities, Walgreens serves as the most accessible source of everyday health information,” said Walgreens VP pharmacy operations Richard Ashworth. “That makes us a natural choice for guidance on anything involving medications, including proper disposal. Through this program, we can do our part to keep expired or unused medications out of waterways and out of the hands of those who could be accidentally harmed.”

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FTC looks to debunk health benefit claims made by POM Wonderful in suit

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The Federal Trade Commission has sued the maker of a pomegranate juice that touts health benefit claims.

 

The FTC announced that it was suing POM Wonderful for its "deceptive advertising" on Monday. Federal regulators alleged that ads that ran in such publications as the New York Times, as well as Parade, Fitness and Prevention magazines, violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims, including "clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of and treat [heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction]." The FTC complaint said that the claims are false because the company either:

  • Conducted scientific studies that did not show heart disease benefit from use of its products;
  • The study POM Wonderful relied on was neither “blinded” nor controlled (to merit prostate cancer claims); or
  • The study on which the company relied (for erectile dysfunction claims) did not show that POM Juice was any more effective than a placebo.

 

 

“Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made. Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”

 

The FTC issues an administrative complaint when it has reason to believe that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the commission that a proceeding is in the public interest, the government agency noted.

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GSK, Mia Hamm to adults: ‘Give your health a shot’

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline has tapped soccer star Mia Hamm for its public health campaign to emphasize the need for adults to make vaccinations part of their overall health-and-wellness goals.

GSK’s Give Your Health a Shot campaign underscores the need for adults to receive vaccinations as a preventative measure to protect their health. The campaign announcement followed the pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak that has affected California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults receive vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), pneumonia, meningitis and shingles.

"By working out and eating well, I thought I had checked the boxes for a healthy life. Now I know that vaccines are also important defensive tools to help protect adults from serious diseases," Mia Hamm said. "The recent outbreaks of whooping cough in my home state of California and around the country are a wake-up call for all of us to do our part to help protect ourselves, our families and our community. Check in with your healthcare provider to make sure you are up to date on all of the vaccinations recommended for you."

Click here for more information.

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