HEALTH

CHPA to fight reverse-switch of PSE products in Mississippi with legislative line

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSON, Miss. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Saturday announced a legislative line for consumers to call in an effort to fight a move to reverse-switch cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine from behind-the-counter to prescription-only.

“CHPA has provided a phone number for Mississippians to contact their legislators which within the first day fielded scores of calls from around the state,” stated CHPA spokeswoman Elizabeth Funderburk. “We have heard their outrage on talk radio, and online posting to news web pages. And recent polling shows almost two-thirds of Mississippi voters oppose the legislation,” she said. “Everyone wants to fight meth, but Mississippians believe an electronic tracking procedure is better than the added cost and burden of a prescription mandate.”

The toll-free number is 1-866-346-8118, or consumers can visit www.StopMethNotMeds.org.

According to the poll, 74% of Mississippi consumers agree that an Rx-only requirement would create an “unnecessary burden” for law-abiding citizens, and approximately 61% oppose the law.

Last week, the Mississippi House passed H.B. 512, legislation that would impose an Rx-only mandate on commonly available cold and allergy medications containing PSE. Identical legislation is currently being shepherded through the Senate (S.B. 2339).

“Because Mississippi does not tax prescription drugs, this legislation would also divert $590,000 from the general fund annually, as well as increase the costs to Mississippi’s Medicaid program through increased doctor’s visits and prescriptions as a result,” Funderburk added. “This would be an expensive new mandate from the state on the budgets of Mississippi families and Mississippi taxpayers. There is a better way to fight meth, and that’s through establishing an electronic tracking program to stop the illegal sale to criminals.”

The survey, conducted from Jan. 14 to Jan. 23, involved 350 Mississippi state residents ages 18 years and over, all of whom voted in the last election. The survey was sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

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Brynwood acquires Balance Bar biz from Kraft

BY Michael Johnsen

GREENWICH, Conn. Brynwood Partners recently announced its acquisition of the Balance Bar Co. from Kraft Foods. This transaction, completed late last year, marks Brynwood’s first investment.

Brynwood will base the company in the Northeast and has recruited its own management team to operate the business, the investment firm stated. According to the statement, the firm has a successful investment track record in the food industry having managed prior investments in Lincoln Snacks, Signature Snacks, DeMet’s Candy Company and Richelieu Foods.

“Brynwood is pleased to announce this exciting transaction,” stated Hendrik Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood. “Balance Bar is a great brand with a very loyal consumer following. We plan to increase the focus on the brand and expand the business through increased marketing and new product innovation.”

Hartong will serve as chairman of the Balance Bar Company.

Brynwood Partners, founded in 1984 and currently investing capital for its sixth fund, is a private equity fund which makes control investments in lower middle market companies targeting the consumer products, light industrial manufacturing, specialty retailing and business services sectors.

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Study finds vitamin D may cut risk of colorectal cancer

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Vitamin D may improve bone health, but it also may lower one’s risk of colorectal cancer, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Jan. 21 online edition of BMJ, surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 Western European countries, all of whom provided blood samples and filled out diet and lifestyle questionnaires between 1992 and 1998. During the follow-up, 1,248 were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, who were compared with the same sample size of those not diagnosed with the disease.

The scientists also noted that participants with the highest levels of vitamin D in their blood had as much as a 40% lower risk for developing colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels, though they pointed out it is unclear whether or not consuming large amounts of vitamin D poses a risk on one’s overall health.

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