HEALTH

FDA: Dietary supplements distributed bear close resemblance to popular antibiotic

BY Michael Johnsen

TUCKER, Ga. — A recent Food and Drug Administration inspection prompted the recall of dietary supplements distributed by Multi-Mex Distributor, the company announced Monday. According to an FDA post, the supplements in question bore a close resemblance to antibiotics available in Mexico and may have been confusing to Hispanic consumers.

Warnings of these dietary supplements made news in Texas on April 28, when four children were taken to a medical center due to worsening illnesses after being given dietary supplements that their parents may have believed were antibiotics. Giving the dietary supplement delayed legitimate medical treatment, the FDA reported.

“Although the labels were printed in English and Spanish, the packaging appears to be an intentional marketing ploy to mimic antibiotics and directed at Hispanic buyers,” the agency stated. “It was determined the children had been given a dietary supplement, Amoxilina, which the parents may have believed was the antibiotic amoxicillin.”

The products were distributed in the following states: Georgia, Tennessee, California, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado and Indianapolis.

For a listing of the universal product codes, click here.

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Missouri’s Rx-only PSE legislation moves to state Senate

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s House of Representatives on Monday voted 100 in favor and 50 opposed to reclassifying pseudoephedrine as a prescription-only remedy and subsequently moved the matter to the state Senate — this despite the fact that electronic track-and-trace has been up and running for the past six months, blocking more than 30,000 potentially illegal PSE purchases, stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

"Moving forward, our hope is that the state senators apply common sense leadership and stop prescription-only legislation that would hurt Missourians, while standing up for electronic tracking technology, which we already know is working to stop those seeking to illegally purchase pseudoephedrine-containing medicines,” Melville said.

A recent national survey of more than 2,000 asthma, allergy, cold and flu patients conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America with the Harris Interactive research organization showed an overwhelming majority of patients (71%) oppose laws that would require a doctor’s prescription for PSE-containing medicines. As many as two-thirds of those patients supported an e-tracking system.

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New edition of CDC Yellow Book released

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday released the 2012 edition of the agency’s “Yellow Book,” a definitive health guide for international travel that could become the must-have resource for pharmacists looking to recommend travel vaccinations.

The CDC "Yellow Book," which is updated once every two years, provides travel health recommendations and other features that help international travelers prepare for trips and stay healthy while abroad, such as when to get those recommended vaccines and medicines before departure, and symptoms to watch for during travel and upon return.

The 2012 edition features new sections on traveling to mass gatherings, preparing for study abroad, military deployments and six new popular travel itineraries. Nicknamed for its yellow cover, the health guide is officially titled "CDC Health Information for International Travel."

The 2012 edition also includes these new features:

  • Updated maps on the distribution of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease usually found in the tropics, which has been increasing internationally and was seen in the southern Florida in 2009 for the first time in 75 years;

  • What to expect if you’re traveling during an international disease outbreak;

  • Larger and more detailed maps for yellow fever and malaria, which can sometimes affect only certain parts of countries;

  • Tips for travel to mass gatherings, such as the Hajj pilgrimage and sporting events like Olympics or World Cup; and

  • Prevention of traveler’s diarrhea — it’s not only what you eat and drink but also other factors, including how your food is prepared and where you eat.

Popular features from previous "Yellow Book" editions also are included in the new edition, including sections on jet lag, cruise ship travel, traveling with disabilities, traveling with infants and children, international adoptions and immigrants returning to their native countries to visit friends and relatives.

The "Yellow Book" is published in hard copy by Oxford University Press, and now is available at bookstores, through Internet book sellers or by contacting Oxford. It also will available as an e-book, a digitally downloadable book for e-readers and iPads, online. The content will also be available at CDC’s Traveler’s Health website, CDC.gov/travel. The website lets travelers search by destination and find information about basic travel health preparations and what to do if sick or injured while traveling. It is updated as travel health threats emerge and new information becomes available.

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