HEALTH

Quincy Bioscience’s Prevagen sponsors Josh Bilicki for NASCAR XFINITY Series

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, Wis. — Prevagen will be sponsoring Josh Bilicki, a Richfield, Wis. native, in all three road courses in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Quincy Bioscience announced Friday.  Bilicki will drive the No. 8 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America.

At just 22 years old, Josh Bilicki is turning heads in the NASCAR world, having just competed in the Overton 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, one of the preeminent races in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series.

“We are proud to support an up and coming driver from Wisconsin.  It wasn’t too many years ago that Quincy Bioscience also started with our first offices in Richfield, WI,” noted Todd Olson, market development manager. “Josh is a talent on the race track and his determination is inspiring.  We are proud to join as newer sponsors with the greater NASCAR family.”

“I’m excited and very thankful for this sponsorship opportunity.  I’m looking forward to performing well at these upcoming road races,” Bilicki said.  “I certainly have much more road course experience than I do oval experience, so I feel like this will be more of an equal playing field between myself and my competitors.”

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Rep. Mia Love joins Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus as co-chair

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, as of last week has taken on a new leadership role as a co-chair of the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus. Love replaces Rep. Jason Chaffetz, formerly a DSC co-chair, who retired from the House of Representatives this summer.

“Congresswoman Love deeply understands the value of dietary supplements and the important role they play for the millions of Americans who use them to support their overall health and wellness,” stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “We look forward working with her and the rest of the DSC to educate Congress about the policy issues that impact the supplement industry.”

“As more than 170 million Americans take dietary supplements each year, the Dietary Supplement Caucus serves as an important resource to ensure legislators and their staff learn more about the wellness benefits of dietary supplements and the regulatory complexities of our booming industry,” added Steve Mister, president and CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition. “CRN welcomes Rep. Love to her new position and is eager to see how her voice and fresh perspective will further the Caucus’ crucial work.”

“I’m excited to begin work on behalf of the more 68% of Americans, who take dietary supplements every year, ” Love stated. “The industry is also a crucial part of Utah’s economy. Not only do dietary supplement companies provide jobs and opportunities in my state, they give consumers the opportunity to make educated choices to fill critical nutrient gaps and achieve better health.”

The DSC is a bipartisan congressional group of legislators, who promote discussions among lawmakers about the benefits of dietary supplements, provide tips and insights for better health and wellness and promote research about the health care cost savings these products provide. In her new role, Rep. Love joins Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., as DSC co-chairs.

Love, who represents Utah’s 4th congressional district, is the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and is known as an advocate of the need for personal accountability. She currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee and on the Monetary Policy and Trade, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and the Terrorism and Illicit Financing Subcommittees.

Established in 2006 and with 32 members of Congress as members, the DSC sponsors regularly scheduled luncheon briefings on Capitol Hill for members of Congress, their staffers, the media and the public.

 

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Congress passes OTC hearing aid legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — A new class of OTC hearing aids is one presidential signature away from becoming reality. The U.S Senate on Thursday passed the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act as part of the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act on a vote of 94-1.

"Thanks to bipartisan support on this issue, millions of Americans will improve their quality of life with little impact on their pocketbook," stated Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. "Until now, nearly half of online U.S. adults – 98 million Americans – with hearing loss have been unable to access adequate hearing assistance due to prohibitively high hearing aid costs as well as the inconvenience and financial burden of doctors appointments. This legislation will create a new class of over-the-counter hearing aids costing roughly one-tenth the price of traditional hearing aids, making it easier for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss to afford the hearing assistance that they need."

The legislation will make certain types of hearing aids available over-the-counter to Americans with mild to moderate hearing impairment. It also requires the FDA to write regulations ensuring that this new category of OTC hearing aids meets the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling and manufacturing protections as all medical devices, providing consumers the option of an FDA-regulated device at lower cost.

The bipartisan legislation was supported by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Reps. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

"This law will make a life changing difference for millions of Americans who experience hearing loss but can't access the hearing aid technology they need because of high costs and excessive regulations," Warren said. "By passing this legislation and making some hearing aids available over the counter, we will increase competition, spur innovation and bring down prices. I'm grateful to my colleagues – Democrats and Republicans – for joining me in this effort."

"I recently chaired an Aging Committee hearing on social isolation among seniors, which revealed that hearing loss, if left untreated, may contribute to loneliness, increasing the risk of serious mental and physical health outcomes." added Collins. "By making some types of hearing aids available over the counter, this commonsense legislation will help increase access to and lower the cost of these products for the consumers who need them."

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 received endorsements from leading organizations representing seniors, consumers and hearing health professionals, including the AARP, the Gerontological Society of America, the Hearing Loss Association of America, Consumers Union, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the American Federation of Teachers, the Consumer Technology Association, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the Niskanen Institute, R St. Institute, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

Approximately 48 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss, including two-thirds of adults between the ages of 70 to 79. Yet only a small share of Americans with hearing loss – around 14% – use hearing aids, primarily due to their high cost. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans, and out-of-pocket costs for a single hearing aid average $2,400.
 

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