HEALTH

NADDI cracks down on methamphetamine with new initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators on Friday announced a new initiative in the war on methamphetamine: the National Precursor Log Exchange, a multistate electronic tracking program that enforces purchase limitations of the decongestant pseudoephedrine in real time at the point of sale.

NADDI, along with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, introduced the program here during an early-morning press conference. Joining Kentucky in adopting NPLEx were Illinois and Louisiana.

“Rarely are states able to easily work together to tackle a problem that crosses state lines,” stated Charlie Cichon, director of NADDI. “We believe dozens of states will adopt NPLEx over the next several years, making it more difficult for these common medicines to be used illegally.”

The NPLEx system is being offered as an alternative to introducing legislation requiring a prescription for the sale of PSE. “If states are wanting to make this a prescription drug, we are coming in and saying, ‘Here is a tool [being offered to] law enforcement at no cost.’”

The program is being entirely funded by cough-cold manufacturers and accordingly will be offered to states with critical meth lab problems nationwide at no cost.

“CHPA recognizes that home meth labs are dangerous and toxic for communities, as well as a burden for law enforcement, and is pleased to lend its support to aggressive measures to stop domestic meth production,” the association stated Friday morning. “We believe that electronic tracking is the only solution that allows for real-time, stop sale of these medicines illegally diverted to manufacture meth while maintaining consumer access to safe and effective cold and allergy medicines.”

The technology for NPLEx is based on a system that was developed and tested in Kentucky in 2005, and the program was expanded statewide in Kentucky in late 2007.

NPLEx provides law enforcement agencies across the country with free access to the multi-state electronic log of cold and allergy medicine purchases. The system helps retailers stay in compliance with state and federal laws that place restrictions on these medicines.

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P&G announces voluntary recall of nasal spray

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble on Thursday voluntarily recalled three lots of its Vicks Sinex nasal spray in three countries: England, Germany and the United States.

The company said it is taking this precautionary step after finding the bacteria B. cepacia in a small amount of product made at its plant in Gross Gerau, Germany. There have been no reports of illness. However, the bacteria could cause serious infections for individuals with a compromised immune system, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. B. cepacia poses little medical risk to healthy individuals.

P&G detected this problem during routine quality control at the plant and promptly took action, the company stated. The company’s analysis to date shows this problem is limited to a single batch of raw material mixture involving three lots of product.

In the United States, the lot number of the products is 9239028831 representing Vicks Sinex Vapospray 12-Hour Decongestant Ultra Fine Mist, 15-ml., nasal spray. The lot number is listed on both the outer carton and the bottle. P&G said it found the bacteria B. cepacia in a small amount of product from U.S. lot 9239028831 and is conducting testing on the U.K. and German lots that have been produced from the same batch of raw material mixture.

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Report: Reckitt Benckiser to make acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

SLOUGH, England The U.K. Telegraph on Thursday morning reported that a major Reckitt Benckiser acquisition was imminent.

Speculating on possible targets, the Telegraph identified Colgate-Palmolive, which fields the Colgate branded dental health products. But also in the rumor mix was the U.K. consumer healthcare group SSL International, parent company of Durex.

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