HEALTH

GSK Consumer Healthcare applauds FDA’s workshop on NRT products

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Thursday commended the Food and Drug Administration for holding a scientific workshop this week that focused on the risks and benefits associated with the long-term use of nicotine-replacement therapy products.

 

GSK, the manufacturer of smoking-cessation products NicoDerm and Nicorette, suggested the workshop is a first step in supporting language in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which called upon the FDA to "consider approving the extended use of nicotine-replacement products — such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenge — for the treatment of tobacco dependence."

 

 

As a result of the FDA’s review of long-term use, GSK has submitted a statement into the FDA public docket on its position regarding the long-term use of NRT. GSK believes that using NRT products to quit smoking is far safer than continuing to smoke. NRT products offer a step-down therapy that doubles a smoker’s chances of quitting versus attempting to quit smoking “cold turkey.” Additionally, several other countries already encourage the use of NRT products for longer durations to keep people tobacco-free.

 

 

Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. More than 46 million Americans smoke. Research indicated about 70% of smokers want to quit at any given time, but the success rates remain suboptimal. Tobacco use causes more than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year, and approximately 8.6 million Americans have chronic illnesses related to smoking.

 

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Walgreens continues vitamin D giveaway program with Aetna, United Way

BY Allison Cerra

COLUMBIA , S.C. (May 27) One of the nation’s largest drug store chains has teamed up with a healthcare benefits company and a community solutions provider to raise awareness of the need for adequate vitamin D intake.

Walgreens, Aetna and United Way of the Midlands are continuing their efforts through a vitamin D giveaway program extension, which initially was kicked off earlier this year. The vitamin D awareness efforts will donate more than 25,000 samples, the companies said.

“We are pleased to continue our participation in this program to drive awareness around a health concern that’s seldom discussed in many communities,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens market VP. “Our goal is for more people to be informed that supporting a proper diet and healthy lifestyle with a vitamin D supplement is a simple step that can have long-term health benefits.”

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GMA, FMI join forces to make America healthier

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The nation’s food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are taking an extra step to combat obesity.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are joining forces to develop a new front-of-package nutrition labeling system, which will present nutrition information in a fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format. The industry groups will finalize the details of the initiative, including the technical and design elements, in the coming months.

“The food and beverage industry is committed to empowering consumers by providing them with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet,” said GMA president and CEO Pamela Bailey. “This initiative comes on top of the 20,000 healthier product choices we have developed, the responsible marketing practices we have adopted and the tens of millions of dollars we spend annually on healthy lifestyle promotion.”

Consumers can expect to see the new labeling system by early next year.

“Thanks to this initiative and many other innovative industry programs, consumers will now have access to more information about their food than ever before,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “This unprecedented partnership with manufacturers will expand access to nutrition information for all Americans and give shoppers a powerful tool to assist them in selecting nutritious products.”

The industry groups also added that it will drive awareness to the new labeling system with a $50 million consumer education campaign, which also will launch in 2011.

“Through this initiative, we continue to deliver on our promise to our consumers and demonstrate that we are moving farther [and] faster in our ongoing effort to play a constructive and responsible role in the fight against obesity,” Bailey added.

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