HEALTH

CHPA names new director of federal affairs

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Friday named Vera Grill director of federal affairs, effective Feb. 8. In this capacity, Grill will coordinate and manage CHPA’s federal priorities, the association stated.

Grill comes to CHPA from the office of Rep. Charles Melancon, D-La., where she served as senior policy adviser. Prior to that, Grill worked as director of federal government relations at Pfizer.

“With nearly a decade of experience on the Hill, [Grill] brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to CHPA at a time when our association is focusing its efforts on maintaining consumer access to safe and effective over-the-counter medicines,” stated Bill Head, CHPA VP government affairs. “Her experience with policy-makers, both as a legislative aide and on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, will be a tremendous asset to our association’s priorities.”

Grill holds a master’s of public health from George Washington University and a bachelor of science from McNeese State University.

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Tennessee legislators have PSE choice between NPLEx and Rx-only

BY Michael Johnsen

NASHVILLE — Tennessee may be the next state to adopt an electronic tracking tool to enforce pseudoephedrine sales restrictions and combat methamphetamine production in real time.

Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, and Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville, on Thursday introduced legislation that calls for the adoption of a statewide, industry-funded electronic tracking system, called the National Precursor Log Exchange, to monitor and stop illicit purchases of PSE. The bill provides an alternative, less-intrusive solution to the prescription-only bill (HB 181) introduced last week.

“This kind of government intrusion in our lives is not the solution we need to attack the meth problem in Tennessee,” Beavers stated. "We should not punish the tens of thousands of innocent Tennesseans who need this over-the-counter medication to get at the criminals who are using the drug illegally to produce meth when there is another approach which is very effective.”

"In the four states that have fully implemented e-tracking technology, nearly 40,000 g of illegal PSE sales per month are blocked,” said Carlos Gutiérrez, a state government relations consultant at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “The system, which provides local law enforcement officials with precise data on who is attempting to buy illegal amounts of PSE, also helps law enforcement find meth labs.”

SB 325/HB 234 is supported by the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and CHPA. If passed into law, SB 325/HB 234 would make Tennessee the 13th state to pass legislation requiring a statewide e-tracking system to block illegal sales of medicines containing PSE. The NPLEx system would be fully integrated into Tennessee pharmacy systems by Jan. 1, 2012.

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New England Patriots’ offensive line receives Prilosec OTC-sponsored award

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — NFL commentator John Madden and the Prilosec OTC team on Thursday awarded the New England Patriots’ offensive line the 2010 Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award, presented by Prilosec OTC.

"The offensive line doesn’t always catch the fans’ attention, so Prilosec OTC and I created this award to recognize the guys who provide the critical run blocking and pass protection," Madden stated. "All season long, these guys proved they had the mental and physical toughness that enabled the Patriots offense to put up impressive numbers on the ground and in the air."

Madden and company presented the award during a press event in Texas. Accepting the trophy on behalf of the New England Patriots were offensive linemen Dan Koppen, Dan Connolly and Mark LeVoir.

The award is based on a combination of criteria including offensive line statistics — sacks allowed, rushing and passing yardage, time of possession, O-line penalties, third and fourth down conversion percentages and red zone scoring conversions, fan voting and coach Madden’s own personal observations throughout the season.

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