HEALTH

CHPA commends Calif. Senate’s PSE e-tracking legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday commended the California Senate Public Safety Committee for passing AB 1455. The legislation calls for the implementation of a statewide, industry-funded electronic tracking system to monitor and block illegal purchases of over-the-counter cold-and-allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient that can be diverted to “cook” methamphetamine.

“We applaud the Public Safety Committee for supporting a solution that will fight domestic methamphetamine production while maintaining consumer access to important cold-and-allergy medications,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president. “E-tracking is the only solution that will stop illegal sales of pseudoephedrine by providing a real-time, stop-sale function across all stores statewide.”

In California, there currently is no mechanism in place to curb the practice of “smurfing,” which is where criminals move from store to store to purchase illegal amounts of PSE to be used for the production of meth. AB 1455 would provide the state’s retailers and pharmacists with a consolidated, real-time electronic logbook — accessible only by law enforcement — that is more secure than current paper logs.

E-tracking, which has been adopted by 12 states nationwide, also will give local law enforcement officials a powerful investigative tool to track meth production across state lines. E-tracking allows law enforcement to find previously undiscovered meth labs and helps them identify meth cooks. Most importantly, AB 1455 preserves Californians’ over-the-counter access to the PSE medications they use and trust for cold-and-allergy relief while stopping illegal sales.

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Visine unveils new red eye formula

BY Allison Cerra

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. Visine has developed a new eye-drop formula that relieves eye redness and irritation.

New Visine maximum redness relief formula uses a special Hydroblend formula to soothe irritation and provide up to ten hours of comfort, Visine said. In line with the product launch, Visine has developed a free app for iPhone and iPod Touch — the Visine red eye remover application — that eliminates red eye from consumers’ photos in moments.

Visine maximum redness relief formula is available nationwide for $5.99 (in 0.5 fl. oz.) at food, drug and mass merchandisers.

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House committee delays second hearing of McNeil recall probe

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON One day following the announcement of a second hearing regarding McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalls, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Tuesday announced the postponement of that second hearing in order “to examine the circumstances surrounding recalls of medicines recently recalled by Johnson & Johnson.”

Anew date has not been set.

Last week, McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced that four lots of Benadryl allergy ultratab tablets (100 count) and one lot of Extra Strength Tylenol rapid-release gels (50 count) would be added to its initial Jan. 15 product recall. This recall, McNeil said, is a follow-up to the product recall because the products were inadvertently omitted from the initial recall action.

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