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CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry to host panel on guarding against class-action suits

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Nine top legal minds in the dietary supplement/functional food industry will participate in an innovative, cut-to-the-chase, panel-style presentation addressing nine topics to help companies protect themselves against the rising tide of class-action lawsuits during The Conference, the Council for Responsible Nutrition announced Tuesday.  

“Frivolous lawsuits are one of the greatest challenges facing our industry today, threatening innovation and costing companies a fortune in attorney fees and lost staff time," stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. “Until our country takes a serious look at tort reform, the situation will continue to get worse; however, there are things that companies can do to help minimize the red bulls-eye on their back.”

The session format will feature nine attorneys focusing on nine topics in 90 minutes. Each speaker will have up to seven minutes to present his or her topic using no more than five slides (not counting the title slide), and answering just three questions. After all the speakers have completed the 7-5-3 portion of the presentation, each attorney will spend the next 30-minute coffee break at his or her dedicated table, informally taking additional questions and engaging in dialogue on his or her particular topic with conference participants. 

The session speakers and topics include:

  • Five Aspects of Your Dietary Supplement Label That May Lead to Product Liability Litigation And How to Correct Them — Justin Prochnow, Greenberg Traurig;
  • Why “Natural” Claims Can Get You Into Trouble — Ashish Talati, Amin Talati;
  • Prop 65: What Can You Do Before You Are Sued — Trent Norris, Arnold & Porter;
  • How Non-Compliance with FDA Regulations Can Create a Private Cause of Action for Consumers — Claudia Lewis, Venable;
  • Marketing and Advertising Claims: The Top Five Claim-Related Issues That Can Cause Your Consumers to Sue You — Ivan Wasserman, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips;
  • Litigation Avoidance Starts with Product Development, Some Tips from Your Lawyer for Your R&D Team — Mark Mansour, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld;
  • The Best Defense is a Strong Offense, Tipping the Scales of Justice in Your Favor During Litigation — Livia Kiser, Loeb & Loeb; and
  • Lanham Act Violations: Another Opportunity for Consumer Lawsuits — Paul Rubin, Ropes & Gray.

An additional topic and speaker will be announced, the association noted. 

The Conference: CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry takes place Sept. 18 to 21 at The Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.


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LifeScan awarded $3.3 million in counterfeit test strip case

BY Michael Johnsen

MILPITAS, Calif. — LifeScan on Tuesday announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a permanent injunction against Pakistani distributors of counterfeit OneTouch Test Strips and awarded the company damages of $3.3 million.

The judgment against Azam International Trading, Hamid Butt and five related defendants is significant because it is the first time that a federal court awarded the maximum statutory damages under the Lanham Act because of the “real danger to consumers” posed by willful counterfeiting of healthcare products, the company stated. 

“This decision emphasizes the importance of pursuing civil enforcement actions as a way of deterring and punishing those who distribute counterfeit healthcare products, particularly those that can cause serious injury or death," stated Roy Albiani, LifeScan director of global brand protection. "We hope that this judgment and permanent injunctions will act as a deterrent to those that would compromise patient health, the security of our supply chain, and the reputation of our brands." 

In addition to ongoing legal actions, LifeScan has implemented a global brand protection program to help prevent counterfeit products. The program includes market monitoring to detect counterfeit products; the institution of overt and covert features to readily distinguish genuine from counterfeit products; and distributing genuine products to its customers only through a secure supply chain to ensure the delivery of only authentic LifeScan blood glucose test strips to patients.


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Diplomat executive promoted

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has appointed Cheryl Allen to VP business development and industry relations, the company said Tuesday.

Diplomat said that in the new role, Allen would oversee new business development, including industry partnerships and relations. Allen has worked in independent, compounding and specialty pharmacy, managed care consulting and healthcare information technology for more than 20 years.

Allen has worked at Diplomat since 2011, having previously served as senior director of clinical services at Sanovia Corp. She also worked for Priority HealthCare as pharmacist-in-charge for oncology and lead pharmacist for pain management and compounding.


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