HEALTH

Center for Reproductive Rights files to reopen 2005 Plan B contraceptive suit

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Center for Reproductive Rights on Wednesday asked a federal court to reopen its 2005 lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration for imposing age restrictions on emergency contraceptive drugs. Presently, emergency contraceptives, like Plan B One Step, are available behind a pharmacy counter for women 17 years and older but require a prescription for women under the age of 17 years.

The center also requested the addition of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a defendant in the reopened case for her role in recently overruling the FDA’s decision to approve Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter status in December 2011.

“After 10 years of stalling and putting politics before science, it is time to bring emergency contraception out from behind the pharmacy counter,” stated Nancy Northup, president and CEO for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “HHS’s actions on emergency contraception have been arbitrary and legally unjustifiable.”

In related news, Republicans on the campaign trail have blasted the Obama administration for a new law that takes effect this year that requires most private insurers to pay for birth control, including emergency contraceptives. Religious groups have been given an extra year to comply.

And the Food and Drug Administration is investigating a vending machine stocked with the Plan B emergency contraceptive located at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, according to an Associated Press report. Shippensburg officials noted that access to the vending machine in the student health center is restricted, the AP reported.

 


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MusclePharm launches MMA Elite supplement line at Walmart

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — MusclePharm on Thursday announced its MMA Elite supplements powered by MusclePharm now are available in select Walmart stores. With the new partnership between MMA Elite — a mixed-martials arts brand licensed by Ultimate Brand Management — and MusclePharm, the new supplement line will be released in the Las Vegas area first and will then spread nationwide.

The first two products to be featured are Perform Elite, a pre-workout product, and Recover Elite, a post-workout supplement, at a suggested retail price of $19.97 each.

MMA Elite powered by MusclePharm is a supplement line that will feature formulations from MusclePharm, a sports nutrition company that also is the official nutritional supplement provider of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. MMA Elite is a clothing brand that is available exclusively at Walmart and also is a UFC partner.

"We want to make sure our brand is in the position to cover and be available to consumers on every retail level of the sports nutrition market. Walmart customers have enjoyed the MMA Elite clothing brand for a number of years and now we are thrilled to bring them a high-quality sports nutrition line," stated MusclePharm CEO Brad Pyatt.

 


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FDA issues warning on PPI, H2 blocker antacids: May increase risk of CDAD

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued a public warning that the use of proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers may be associated with an increased risk of Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea, or CDAD.

Patients should immediately contact their healthcare professional and seek care if they take PPIs and develop diarrhea that does not improve, the agency stated.

Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea that does not improve. Symptoms include watery stool, abdominal pain and fever, and patients may go on to develop more serious intestinal conditions. The disease also can be spread in the hospital. Factors that may predispose an individual to developing CDAD include advanced age, certain chronic medical conditions and taking broad spectrum antibiotics. Treatment for CDAD includes the replacement of fluids and electrolytes and the use of special antibiotics.

The FDA is working with manufacturers to include information about the increased risk of CDAD with use of PPIs in the drug labels, the agency said.

To review the safety announcement, and for a full list of both prescription and over-the-counter brands included in the warning, click here.

 


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