HEALTH

CHPA leader urges House subcommittee to restore FSA OTC coverage

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday testified before a House subcommittee to urge legislators to restore over-the-counter medicines’ eligibility under flexible spending accounts.

Speaking on CHPA’s behalf was the organization’s president and CEO, Scott Melville, who told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, during its hearing on limitations on the purchase of OTCs with tax-advantaged accounts, that the new law leaves consumers with three options — including scheduling an appointment with a doctor to obtain a prescription that can be submitted for reimbursement under an FSA account; purchase OTCs out of pocket; and to forgo treatment entirely — all of which are not good healthcare policies.

"Access to OTC medicines empowers consumers and allows them to take greater control over their health care and their healthcare spending. So do flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, which were designed to help Americans afford the portions of healthcare costs not covered by insurance,” Melville said.

During the testimony, Melville cited a a recent study by Booz & Company, which estimated that OTCs provided $102 billion in savings to the nation’s healthcare system every year, thanks to reduced doctor visits and drug costs.

Click here to view CHPA’s complete written testimony.


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Abbott boosts EAS brand with new products for athletes

BY Allison Cerra

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott on Wednesday announced that its EAS sports nutrition brand has launched a new line of performance nutrition products.

The lineup includes EAS Recovery protein powder, EAS Lean 15 protein powder, EAS Myoplex original with Revigor and EAS Myoplex 30 bars. All of the products are designed to rapidly deliver needed nutrients to fatigued muscles and help athletes recover and build muscle, the company said.

"Nutrition to enhance athletic performance involves not only what to eat, but when to eat it," said Keith Wheeler, global director of performance nutrition, research and development at Abbott. "When athletes don’t consume important nutrients in the right ratios at the right time, they will deplete their bodies and compromise their ability to perform. The new EAS recovery products are scientifically formulated to rapidly replenish muscles after a workout with needed nutrients."

EAS products are available at grocery, mass and specialty retailers nationwide.


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Luna debuts fiber bar line

BY Allison Cerra

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Luna has introduced a high-fiber snack that provides women with the essential nutrients they need most.

The soft-baked and fruit-filled bar, available in peanut butter strawberry, blueberry vanilla and chocolate raspberry flavors, touts 7 g of fiber, as well as calcium, folic acid, iron and vitamin D. Each bar contains 110 to 120 calories each, the company said.

Luna Fiber will be available in stores nationwide in May for a suggested retail price of $1.39.

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