HEALTH

N.Y. politician looks to make medicine cups, dosage devices safer for children

BY Michael Johnsen

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. — Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., plans to introduce new legislation soon to make medicine cups and other dosage devices commonly used to give medicine to children safer, the Congress leader recently announced. However, the need for such a bill may be moot as the over-the-counter industry already is actively initiating guidelines to standardize dosing directions and units of measuring that dose.

“When we give our kids medicine, we hope we’re making them better,” Israel stated in a pre-Christmas announcement. “But when nearly all the medicine cups and dosing devices used with our kids’ medicine are flawed, there is a chance we could be making them worse. Why would a medicine’s label say tablespoons when the dosing cup is in teaspoons? We’ve been too lax about these flaws for too long.”

Israel cited a study published in the December 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that 99% of medicine cups and dosage devices were flawed, as the impetus behind the bill.

However, the industry actively has been addressing this issue, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced in late November when the AMA journal hit the newsstands. “The [over-the-counter] medicine industry takes very seriously its responsibility to help parents and caregivers safely and correctly administer OTC pediatric oral medicines to children,” the association stated. “Accordingly, the nation’s OTC medicine makers are working in partnership with other stakeholders and more than a year ago approved voluntary guidelines regarding dosing devices and volumetric measurements.”

The industry has approved voluntary guidelines, including the uniform use of tables to communicate dosing guidelines, as opposed to only text, and the use of milliliters as the preferred unit for dosing with an abbreviation to read “mL.” “It is our goal that all OTC medicines will fully follow the guidelines by the end of 2011,” CHPA stated.

“When we give our kids medicine, we hope we’re making them better,” Israel stated in a pre-Christmas announcement. “But when nearly all the medicine cups and dosing devices used with our kids’ medicine are flawed, there is a chance we could be making them worse. Why would a medicine’s label say tablespoons when the dosing cup is in teaspoons? We’ve been too lax about these flaws for too long.”

Israel cited a study published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that 99% of medicine cups and dosage devices were flawed, as the impetus behind the bill.

However, the industry actively has been addressing this issue, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced in late November, when the AMA journal hit the newsstands. “The [OTC] medicine industry takes very seriously its responsibility to help parents and caregivers safely and correctly administer OTC pediatric oral medicines to children,” the association stated. “Accordingly, the nation’s OTC medicine makers are working in partnership with other stakeholders and, more than a year ago, approved voluntary guidelines regarding dosing devices and volumetric measurements.”

The industry has approved voluntary guidelines, including the uniform use of tables to communicate dosing guidelines as opposed to only text, and the use of milliliters as the preferred unit for dosing with an abbreviation to read mL. “It is our goal that all OTC medicines will fully follow the guidelines by the end of 2011,” the CHPA stated.

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Perform donated to benefit 2011 National MS Society events in south Florida

BY Michael Johnsen

AKRON, Ohio — Hygenic/Performance Health, makers of Perform and Biofreeze pain relievers, donated Perform pain reliever product samples and coupons in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society 2011 Run to Stop MS, MS Walks and MS Bike events.

“We truly appreciate the donation Hygenic/Performance Health has provided,” stated Karen Dresbach, president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, south Florida chapter. “Perform pain reliever was well-received by our riders last year, and I am sure it will be popular with our runners and walkers as well. Their commitment to our cause makes a difference to both the event participants [and] those benefiting from the funds raised.”

The donation has a retail value totaling more than $14,000.

The Run to Stop MS team will participate in the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon being held Jan. 30 in Miami. The MS Walks are being held in eight different southern Florida locations — including Aventura, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Lee County, Naples, Palm Beach and Weston. The first walk is scheduled Feb. 26 and the last April 3.

The 25th Anniversary Zimmerman MS Bike Ride Presented by Mack Cycle and Fitness will take place May 14 to 15, with a 150-mi. ride from Homestead-Miami Speedway to Key Largo, Fla. The Perform pain reliever product samples and coupons will be distributed to participants via their welcome packages.

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CRN announces monthly blog

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Friday announced a partnership with New Hope Natural Media’s NPIcenter, in which CRN will provide a monthly blog commentary posted on the supplement industry website, NPIcenter.com, as well as on the newly launched NewHope360.com.

Beginning Jan. 10, the CRN blog will run on Mondays once a month, and will be promoted in both the daily NPIcenter newsletter, as well as through an e-mail blast to CRN member companies. The blog will be written by CRN experts, with president and CEO Steve Mister writing once every other month and alternating with CRN’s Judy Blatman, Mike Greene, John Hathcock, Duffy MacKay and Andrew Shao.

CRN’s blog, “Around the Table” — previously posted for CRN member companies on the association’s members-only website — provides readers with food for thought on current issues impacting the dietary supplement industry. The blog’s thought-provoking commentary has spanned legislative, regulatory, scientific, international and media-related affairs since it launched in May 2009, and offers perspectives for addressing the issues affecting the supplement industry.

“NPIcenter is such a widely recognized, highly popular and trusted information source for dietary supplement industry news,” Mister said. “CRN is delighted to have the opportunity to broaden our reach across the industry by having our blog publicly available through NPIcenter.”

In addition to CRN’s new regular spot in the NPIcenter lineup, the NPIcenter website regularly features guest blogs from a variety of industry leaders and commentators. NPIcenter is a CRN associate member company and, as part of New Hope Natural Media, contributes to the CRN Foundation’s “Life…supplemented” consumer wellness program.

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