HEALTH

Pharmavite expands Voots into Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Pharmavite on Tuesday announced that its Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts brand, a fruit- and vegetable-based supplement for kids ages 4 years and older, are now available for purchase at Walgreens locations nationwide.

“These delicious, chewable tarts come in single-serve packets so that on-the-go, busy parents can easily and conveniently include Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts in their kids’ lunchboxes, backpacks or while out and about to help give their kids a boost of antioxidants," noted Erin O’Malia Gehan, VP marketing for Pharmavite. 

Walgreens is the latest major retailer to carry the new and fast-growing Voots brand, Pharmavite stated. Voots launched in the fall of last year through Target and Amazon.com. The suggested retail price is $9.99 for a 14-count carton.

Made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, Voots supplements feature a blend of 11 real fruits and vegetables — apples, cranberries, oranges, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchinis and green beans — which have been dried and crushed. After blending with vitamin C and other ingredients, the blend is pressed into tablets.

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FDA, FTC crack down on distributors making unapproved cold, flu relief claims

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission last week issued a number of warning letters to distributors of "unapproved medicines," noting that because each of the products identified claimed to prevent or treat the cold or flu, they need to be registered and approved by the FDA. And because none of the ingredients listed are in fact monographed OTC cough, cold or flu symptom relievers, those products would additionally need to be filed as "new drugs."

A total of eight warning letters were issued Feb. 11. Another, addressing Flu and Cold Defense LLC, was issued last month. 

A few of the distributors that received the warning letters were hawking generic Tamiflu without a prescription, or circumventing the need for a prescription by having an "on-staff" doctor write a prescription upon a completed transaction. Others were claiming their products were dietary supplements or were making claims outside of those approved under an OTC monograph. 

None of these scenarios relieves the distributors of applying for that over-the-counter drug approval, the agencies noted. 

The firms issued warning letters included Discount Online Pharmacy, Kosher Vitamin Express, Medsnoscript, Oasis Consumer Healthcare, Secure Medical, Sun Drug Store, Supplementality LLC and Vitalmax Vitamins. Each of the distributors have 15 days to reply to the agencies outlining corrective action. 


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CDC: Flu activity drops to 3.2%, still above national baseline of 2.2%

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — For the week ended Feb. 9, influenza activity decreased to 3.2% — still above the baseline of 2.2%, but an indicator this year’s flu season is on its way out. 

Eleven states and New York City were still experiencing high influenza-like illness activity, while 10 states reported moderate activity.

On a regional basis, more than one in three patients who presented with influenza-like illnesses tested positive for the flu in region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) and region 9 (Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii and Nevada). Region 2, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, reported that 20% of their ILI patients tested positive for the flu. 


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