HEALTH

Iatrical to roll out Sippy Sure

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Iatrical Innovations soon will launch a product designed to make giving medicine to toddlers easier.

Iatrical announced Monday the upcoming launch of Sippy Sure, a medication-dispensing sippy cup, originally invented by a doctor and father of two small children.

The cup keeps the medicine and drink separate, but mixes them as the child drinks, thus concealing the medicine.

Sippy Sure cups retail for $8.99.

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HEALTH

Hard to make cents out of pending FSA overhaul

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — No matter how you slice it, the flexible spending account changes that are part of the overall Affordable Care Act aren’t doing a whole lot by way of saving healthcare dollars, at least not for patients. Indeed, about the only benefactors are those folks who have to make dollars and cents out of what might become the first casualty of the Obamacare healthcare package — those who have to explain how the administration plans to pay for this package, you know, by not raising taxes.

(THE NEWS: Coalition urges Congress to repeal pending FSA change, calls policy ‘unwarranted’. For the full story, click here)

Except these FSA changes do constitute a tax of sorts — indeed, it’s been characterized as the cough-cold tax of 2010 by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association — because Americans now will have to spend much more out-of-pocket in order to realize the same savings as they did last year.

According to the Nielsen Group’s Homescan Consumer Facts 2009 report (covering the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2009), Americans spent $8.06 per trip when purchasing cough-cold remedies (which includes treatments for allergies). If they used pre-tax dollars to pay for those medicines, they saved $1.12. Over the course of a year, the average household spends $39.42 on cough-cold and/or allergy medicines. Those who used FSAs for those purchases saved $5.50.

According to the Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2010, the average co-pay for a doctor’s office visit is $22 for primary care and $31 for specialty physicians. Requiring a prescription for these over-the-counter medicines now will mean those suffering from a cold, for example, would have to spend $22 to save $1.12. Those suffering from such chronic conditions as allergies would have to spend $9 more to save that same $1.12.

And that just doesn’t make cents.

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FDA issues warning over use of dietary supplements containing sildenafil

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday reported that Vigor-25, a product inappropriately marketed as a natural dietary supplement to enhance male sexual performance, should not be purchased or used because it contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the prescription drug Viagra.

 

“This product is dangerous to consumers because it claims to contain only natural ingredients when it actually contains a prescription drug ingredient,” stated Deborah Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Tainted products place consumers at risk of injury and death, especially those consumers with underlying health conditions.”

 

 

Vigor-25, distributed by Piston, is sold on Internet sites and possibly in some retail outlets, the FDA reported.

 

 

Sildenafil may interact with prescription drugs known as nitrates, including nitroglycerin, and can dangerously lower blood pressure. The FDA is investigating the reported death of a 26-year-old man, possibly associated with the use of Vigor-25.

 

 

The FDA has found many products marketed as dietary supplements for sexual enhancement during the past several years that can be harmful because they contain active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs or variations of these ingredients. Sexual-enhancement products promising rapid effects (e.g., claim to work in minutes to hours) or long-lasting effects (e.g., claim to last 24 to 72 hours) likely contain a contaminant, the FDA stated.

 

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