HEALTH

CRN announces continuing education grant

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced it would supply a grant to help support continuing education programs on dietary supplements for retail pharmacists.

“According to our annual CRN Consumer Confidence Survey, 40 percent of consumers say that they trust pharmacists as a reliable source of information on supplements, second only to doctors,” stated Judy Blatman, vice president, communications, CRN. “It’s so important that we help ensure pharmacists have appropriate education options when it comes to learning about our industry and its products. We selected Drug Store News Pharmacy Practice as the accredited education provider because of their long-term expertise in providing pharmacists with practical continuing education programs.”

The grant will allow retail pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to receive CE credits from one or two courses, by choosing either an on-line or in-print version. Drug Store News will market the program to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy schools through a series of promotional emails, postcards and advertisements placed in the publication.

The first home study lesson—”The Regulation of Dietary Supplements”—will be presented by industry consultant Annette Dickinson. Dickinson has served as president of CRN in the past. It will be delivered in the April issue of Drug Store News Pharmacy Practice to 88,000 retail pharmacists and through an Internet based live webinar that will be presented twice in late February to allow for maximum participation. The program will also be available on the Drug Store News CE web site for three years. Participants who successfully complete the print program will receive two CE contact hours of credit, while webinar participants will receive one CE contact hour of credit.

The CE program will specifically address questions such as how dietary supplements are regulated; what pharmacists should know about dietary supplement regulations; what the new good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements mean; what the new adverse event reporting law means and what procedures should be taken if a pharmacist receives a report; and other upcoming issues relating to regulation of dietary supplements.

The educator for the second home study lesson is still to be determined; however, the topic will focus on dietary supplement research and the paradigm of prevention, presenting information on how dietary supplements are being studied by the scientific community and comparing research models for drugs and dietary supplements.

“We appreciate CRN’s educational grant and decision to work with Drug Store News,” stated Kimberly Werner, program director of CE Programs for Drug Store News. “Pharmacists are on the front lines when it comes to talking to consumers about their health decisions, so it is important that they are well-informed and well-educated.”

Registration for the webinar is currently open. Visit www.cedrugstorenews.com to register for the webinar. 

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Report to House committee finds imbalance between FDA demands and resources

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The nation’s public health is at risk, as are the regulatory systems that oversee the nation’s drug and device supplies, read an FDA Science Board report presented at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday.

The committee attributed the deficiencies to soaring demands on the FDA; and resources that have not increased in proportion to those demands. They conclude that “this imbalance is imposing a significant risk to the integrity of the food, drug, cosmetic and device regulatory system, and hence the safety of the public.”

“Over the last decade, complex scientific advances, globalization and challenging new safety issues have combined to multiply the responsibilities of the FDA,” noted Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner and chairman of the Reagan-Udall Institute. “As the FDA Science Board report makes clear: our expectations cannot exceed the resources we give FDA to accomplish its mission.”

The result of a year-long review by a distinguished panel of experts, the 300-page report concludes that the state of FDA’s scientific and regulatory programs could not be separated from the lack of resources available to support the agency’s scientific base, hire and train a broadly-capable scientific workforce, and build a sophisticated and modern information technology infrastructure.

“FDA can’t improve its science, prepare for the future, or protect American consumers without significant additional resources,” stated Don Kennedy, another former FDA commissioner and editor-in-chief of Science. “The Administration and Congress are starting now on the FDA’s FY 2009 budget and must fix this critical problem.”

Peter Barton Hutt, who served as the FDA’s general counsel in the 1970s, suggested a doubling of the agency’s $2 billion annual budget and a 50 percent increase in its staff over two years.

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NuVim gets featured beverage spot, gears up for 2008 ad campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

PARAMUS, N.J. NuVim on Wednesday announced that its nutritional beverages have been chosen by “Eye on America” as the featured beverage for 2008. T

A five-minute television NuVim story will be aired on CNN Headline News and Regional News networks starting in the second quarter of 2008, featuring interviews with national nutrition experts Ruth Carey and Coni Francis. Additionally, in 2008 a total of 1,100 30-second commercial spots featuring NuVim will air regionally on ION, ESPN2, FSN and possibly nationally on WE, Oxygen and ABC Family Channel, on the following shows: “Today’s Family,” “Health Forum,” “Competitive Edge” and “Eye on America.”

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