HEALTH

NAD reviews Exergen’s ad claims for temporal thermometers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday recommended that Exergen modify superior performance claims for its temporal thermometers as compared with tympanic (in-the-ear) readings.

The NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed print and Internet advertising claims made by Exergen following a challenge by Kaz USA, the maker of Braun ear thermometers. Exergen explained to the NAD that temporal thermometry is the newest form of noninvasive temperature measurement, measuring temperature on the skin’s surface of the temporal artery when it is swept across the forehead. The advertiser asserted that the technology has been widely recognized as accurate.

The NAD noted in its decision that many of the studies, which relied upon by the advertiser to support its claims, failed to test the most recent generation of ear thermometry and compared temporal artery thermometers to oral, rectal or other thermometers. While such studies might support other performance claims for the advertiser’s temporal thermometer, they are insufficient to provide direct support for the advertiser’s superior accuracy claims regarding ear thermometers, the NAD said.

The NAD recommended that Exergen modify its claims to clearly and conspicuously disclose that the comparison being made is with cold-tip ear thermometry, since Kaz markets a tympanic thermometer featuring a patented pre-warmed tip.

Exergen, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it disagrees “with [the] NAD that there is any need to modify our superiority claims. However, in the spirit of cooperation with the self-regulatory process, we will take [the] NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising.”

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NAD recommends modification of Peak Life’s ad claims

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday recommended that Peak Life modify its advertising to clearly convey the message that claimed sleep benefits associated with its Somnapure dietary supplement are achieved from a regular, consistent program of supplementation with these ingredients, and not with one-time use.

The NAD also found that Peak Life failed to make clear that visitors to its website are viewing advertising and not third-party, independently generated health news, and failed to adequately disclose that the site is owned and operated by the advertiser itself.

The NAD recommended that the advertiser take further steps to clearly and conspicuously disclose these material connections. The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would “make appropriate adjustments to the format and presentation of certain claims consistent with the NAD’s recommendations.”

The NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed advertising for the product as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with its initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand its review of dietary supplement claims.

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Arkansas PSE bill could spark fresh debate

BY Michael Johnsen

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — SB 437, a bill passed Wednesday by the Arkansas House by a vote of 60-31, introduces a number of new issues to the debate on whether or not pseudoephedrine and similar ingredients should be sold behind the counter or by prescription only.

For starters, the bill — supported by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy — would restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine products in Arkansas to residents and military personnel only — out-of-state patients, even those who live in another state but work in Arkansas, would be unable to purchase PSE products.

Second, the bill includes a provision that would allow the state board of pharmacy to add additional nonprescription medicines to be included as part of this legislation without having to pass additional legislation. The provision was included with dextromethorphan in mind, associating DXM with the same abuse potential as PSE. After public hearings, “this would allow the board of pharmacy … to do the same thing with a product like that that’s being abused — to put it back where a pharmacist has to sell it — and we don’t have to ban it from the marketplace,” testified bill sponsor Sen. Percy Malone, D-Ark., who also is a pharmacist and pharmacy owner.

Finally, the bill not only restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine to behind a pharmacy counter, but to be sold/dispensed by pharmacists only — not pharmacy technicians — and at their discretion.

On these grounds, Tim Koch, Walmart health-and-wellness division director of pharmacy regulatory affairs, communicated the Bentonville-based retailer’s opposition to the bill before a House committee on Tuesday. “It places pharmacists unfairly into the role of law enforcement — to make a decision, ‘Yes, I am going to dispense this.’ or ‘No, I’m not.’ ‘Yes, you are sick.’ [or] ‘No, you’re not [sick], you’re a drug abuser,’” he said.

Walmart steadfastly supported a separate bill put forth by Rep. Marshall Wright, D-Ark., 51st District, that would classify PSE products as prescription only. Wright’s bill did not make it out of the Arkansas Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday.

The PSE bill will go before Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

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