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CRN, NPA bring Congress up to speed around value of dietary supplement industry

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Natural Products Association on Wednesday announced they have met with the entire freshman class of the 113th Congress, including 83 offices in the House of Representatives and 14 offices in the Senate, as part of their educational efforts to ensure that newly elected members of Congress have accurate information about dietary supplements and their role in good health. 

In meeting with the new members of Congress, the two associations focused on why the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act is the appropriate regulation for the supplement industry, providing the Food and Drug Administration with enforcement tools to protect consumers while still allowing for access to a wide variety of safe and beneficial products. Additionally, the CRN and NPA team talked about the value that supplements provide for overall health and wellness, as well as the industry’s contributions to healthcare cost savings and the economy. 

“Education is a key priority for our industry. There are very few legislators remaining in Congress who were here when DSHEA passed, and even fewer congressional staffers," observed Mike Green VP government relations, CRN. "In addition, freshman members of Congress are challenged to quickly learn about many industries and even more complex issues associated with those industries, and we want to make ourselves available as a resource for the dietary supplement industry and provide assistance with our issues in any way we can."

“We anticipate that the remainder of 2013 will bring several more regulatory and legislative challenges for the industry," added Liz Hurst, director government relations NPA. "Taking the time to sit down with each new member of Congress helps ensure that any legislation affecting the dietary supplement industry will be decided on by informed elected representatives.” 


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Fred’s posts solid April results but flat for Q1

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar on Tuesday posted a slight 0.2% sales gain for its first quarter ended May 4, to $501.4 million. Comparable store-sales for the quarter were down 1.3%. 

For the month of April (four weeks ended May 4), Fred’s total sales increased 3% to $152.2 million. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.2% comparatively.

"We are pleased that April sales came in at the high end of our expectations," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "A solid comparable store sales performance in our general merchandise departments, despite the poor weather conditions, more than offset the ongoing negative impact of the shift from branded to generic drugs," he said. "During the month, we also experienced an increase in customer traffic and made good progress with our plan to improve our sales mix, with a greater proportion coming from higher margin product departments."

During the first quarter, Fred’s opened one new store and three pharmacy locations and closed one store.

 

 

 

 

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New York pharmacist gives away free kids’ vitamins

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A pharmacist in Queens has received accolades for giving out vitamins to children whose families can’t afford them.

New York television station NY1 earlier this year named Nina Shamayeva, owner of Austin Pharmacy in the Forest Hills neighborhood, as its "Queens Person of the Week" for her free vitamin program, whereby children younger than 12 years old can receive a free bottle of chewable vitamins each month for a year. "A lot of people cannot afford to buy vitamins for their kinds," Shamayeva said.

The pharmacy also checks with pediatricians to make sure that children receive the right vitamins. The program is available to all children regardless of family income.


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