HEALTH

Kentucky introduces PSE Rx legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The battle for the prescription status of methamphetamine precursor/popular cough-cold ingredient pseudoephedrine now is heating up in Kentucky, just a few days following a Nevada news report that suggested the state will be considering PSE prescription-only requirements just as soon as a bill is introduced by Nevada Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno.

Kentucky Reps. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, and Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, introduced legislation to establish a PSE prescription-only requirement on the first day of the General Assembly — Jan. 4. Kentucky Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission on Thursday entertained presentations from both sides of the argument, including Mandy Hagan, director of state government relations for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, who testified on behalf of the industry.

Proponents of the prescription-only solution pointed to the significant reduction in methamphetamine busts in Oregon and Mississippi, two states that currently require prescriptions for PSE purchases, according to a report in the Lexington Herald Leader that covered the meeting.

Proponents of an electronic logging system, such as MethCheck, that currently is up and running in Kentucky, contended that the increase in methamphetamine-related crimes was a direct result of law enforcement’s ability to track PSE sales in real time.

"We are seeing an increase in the number of meth labs [found] because of the information that MethCheck provides," testified Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain, as reported in the Herald Leader report. "It has proven to be very helpful in tracking individuals who are trying to [buy over-the-counter drugs to produce methamphetamine]."

If pseudoephedrine requires a prescription in the future, buyers would be tracked in Kentucky by the All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system, or KASPER, which tracks every prescription for controlled substances written in the state, Cain continued. There typically is a lag of several days for KASPER reports, compared with the real-time reporting capabilities associated with MethCheck.

However, Kentucky State Police Major Joe Williams testified that most of the meth labs found in Kentucky were not uncovered using MethCheck.

According to the Herald Leader report, Kentucky’s meth lab incidents totaled more than 1,000 in 2010. A report released by the legislature’s Program Review and Investigations Committee identified a 70% decline in the number of meth lab incidents in Mississippi.

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HEALTH

ProPhase sponsors ‘Cold-Eeze Skate for the Heart’

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — ProPhase Labs on Thursday announced its title sponsor of the "Cold-Eeze Skate for the Heart" show, airing on NBC stations Jan. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m., EST.

"We are so proud to support these world-class skaters and the critical heart health cause," stated Ted Karkus, CEO of ProPhase Labs. "We are also huge fans of the amazing singers in the show."

"Cold-Eeze Skate for the Heart" world class skaters include Joannie Rochette, Sasha Cohen, Rachael Flatt, Jeremy Abbott, Johnny Weir and Ryan Bradley, as well as dance and pair figure skaters Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, and Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett.

The show, which features a dozen world-class ice skaters, as well as vocal group Straight No Chaser and American Idol singers Ruben Studdard and David Archuleta, is dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and the American Heart Association.

The show will be hosted by Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and Olympic medalist Peggy Fleming, who is a strong advocate for heart health. Fleming’s father suffered a fatal heart attack one week before she won the Olympic Gold Medal. Her sister also recently passed away of a heart ailment.

As part of the title sponsorship of "Cold-Eeze Skate for the Heart," Karkus will be interviewed by skaters Sasha Cohen, Rachael Flatt and Brian Boitano in four spots to be aired during the broadcast. Some of these spots will also air on rebroadcasts on the Hallmark Channel on Feb. 8 and Feb. 15 during National Heart Awareness Month. "Ice-skating viewers fall into our Cold-Eeze core target demographic, so this is a great fit," Karkus said.

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HEALTH

J.R. Watkins Naturals receives NPA’s Natural Seal

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — J.R. Watkins Naturals on Thursday announced it has earned the Natural Seal from the Natural Products Association for its line of home care products. J.R. Watkins Naturals is among the first brands to earn the certification; shoppers can expect to see the seal on J.R. Watkins Naturals products as soon as next month.

"As a pioneer in natural products, J.R. Watkins Naturals strictly adheres to the quality standards set forth more than 140 years ago by company founder J.R. Watkins,” stated J.R. Rigley, J.R. Watkins Naturals VP sales and marketing. “We are proud to have our products bear the NPA’s Natural Seal and will continue to bring our products to the highest level of natural."

"The NPA Natural Seal sets a high bar for truly natural products," said Daniel Fabricant, VP government and scientific affairs at NPA. "J.R. Watkins Naturals has for years met our strict standards for natural personal care products and has demonstrated leadership in shaping and promoting the Natural Standard. We are excited to announce the brand’s certification under our new Natural Seal for home care products."

The "natural" designation indicates the NPA and an independent third-party auditor have reviewed the products and have determined that the prodcuts meet the NPA’s guidelines. The NPA began certifying home care products in February 2010 — the certification program is focused exclusively on verification of natural home care products and ingredients.

NPA certifications require ingredients to be from a renewable resource found in nature, and certified products must fully disclose ingredients on the package label so consumers can make informed decisions. In addition, the product must be made up of at least 95% natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources, excluding water, and must not contain any ingredients with suspected human health risks.

The full set of criteria and the new seal can be found on the NPA website at TheNaturalSeal.org.

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