DSC debunks industry misconceptions at briefing
WASHINGTON The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, in cooperation with two trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry — the Natural Products Association and the Council for Responsible Nutrition — held a briefing on Capitol Hill Thursday in an effort to debunk some of the untruths and misconceptions about the dietary supplement industry and its role in Americans’ wellness regimens.
“It’s all about prevention. Prevention is the new mantra among consumers,” suggested guest speaker Patrick Rea, publisher and editorial director of Nutrition Business Journal.
Speaking to an audience of staff members from the House of Representatives and Senate, Rea said that even during tough economic times, consumers turn to dietary supplements as an important part of their immunity and prevention plan.
“Consumers looked at supplements as one way through the recession to help take care of themselves. Health is recession resilient, and the sales over time support this fact,” Rea said.
Rea addressed several “industry myths” –– including the notions that dietary supplements are unnecessary because people get what they need from food, that people really do not want to take supplements, that the pharmaceutical industry will destroy the dietary supplement industry and that the industry is unregulated.
“Our numbers show that somewhere between 60% to 80% of Americans take supplements, and 48% of them consider themselves regular users,” Rea said.
Rea also mentioned the growing acceptance of dietary supplements among conventional health practitioners, and the growing trend among pharmaceutical companies to develop their own versions of products usually sold as supplements.
“In a study of healthcare professionals, 72% of physicians and 89% of nurses are dietary supplement consumers, and 79% of physicians and 82% of nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients,” Rea noted.
Regarding industry regulation, Rea countered that the supplement industry is one of the more highly regulated industries and that the industry welcomes those regulations. “[For example], a lot of the [dietary supplement] companies are rallying behind the [good manufacturing practices] regulations,” he said. “They want it to be known that they are a GMP-compliant company. And, the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act made claims rules clear and has really helped the industry focus and develop.”
Abbott acquires Piramal’s Healthcare Solutions business
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott has gained a foothold in the Indian drug market through its acquisition of the Healthcare Solutions business from Piramal, Abbott said.
Abbott announced Wednesday that it had completed its acquisition of the business, saying it would further accelerate its growth in emerging markets, which currently account for more than 20% of its sales. The company expects its pharmaceutical sales in India to be more than $2.5 billion by 2020.
“The acquisition of Piramal’s Healthcare Solutions business further strengthens Abbott’s growing presence in emerging markets,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles White said. “Piramal’s portfolio of well-known, trusted products has served patients in India for decades.”
N.C. law enforcement seeks access to pharmacy records to curb Rx abuse
RALEIGH, N.C. Residents in North Carolina prescribed controlled substances could receive some attention from more than their physicians and pharmacists, according to published reports.
The Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer reported Wednesday that the state sheriff’s association wants law enforcement to have access to computer records of patients prescribed such controlled substances as Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin (oxycodone) and Sanofi-Aventis’ Ambien (zolpidem tartrate). The association argued in favor of the idea Tuesday before a healthcare committee of the state legislature.
The sheriffs said gaining access to the records would enable them to combat abuse of prescription drugs. Groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have opposed such efforts in the past, citing concerns over patient privacy.