HEALTH

Retailer taken to task for iterating supplement claim found on NIH information page

BY Michael Johnsen

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Walgreens was singled out in a lawsuit earlier this week here for suggesting a vitamin E supplement may help improve cardiovascular health. 

Specifically, according to a Reuters report Monday, the complainant stated that Walgreens’ Vitamin E 400 IU purported to "naturally contribute to cardiovascular health by helping to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation which may cause cellular damage." 

The plaintiff may have an uphill battle, however. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin E has been shown to do exactly that. 

"Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease comes from several sources," the government agency notes on its Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet on vitamin E for health professionals. "In vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, thought to be a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries]. Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism."


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Missouri attorney general introduces ‘anti-smurfing’ education campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri attorney general Chris Koster joined Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and leaders from the Missouri Pharmacy Association and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday to launch the state’s new voluntary retail Anti-Smurfing Campaign.

"Missouri law enforcement officials will tell you that smurfing is one of the biggest challenges they face in the battle against methamphetamine production and abuse," Koster stated. "With the Anti-Smurfing Campaign, Missouri leaders are coming together with the manufactures of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines to send an unmistakable message: if you’re buying this product for a meth cook, you are committing a serious criminal offense and could end up behind bars," he said. "The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is not a silver bullet, but I am confident it will make those who consider buying products to help a meth cook think twice before making an unlawful purchase."

“There is no question that smurfing is a major challenge for the law enforcement community," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "In addition to electronic blocking technology and other legislative tools, Missouri leaders recognize the importance of taking concrete steps to educate the public about this serious criminal activity.”

The initiative, which was developed by CHPA, aims to educate potential “smurfers” — those who buy pseudoephedrine and sell the product to another to manufacture methamphetamine — on the consequences of making an illegal purchase. The Missouri Pharmacy Association and the Missouri Retailers Association are co-sponsoring the campaign along with CHPA.

According to law enforcement officials, some hardened criminals—attempting to circumvent the law—approach third parties to purchase pseudoephedrine for them. While some meth cooks may understand they can go to jail for their illegal behavior, individuals who purchase these medicines for others for payment may be unaware that their behavior can lead to prison time. 

The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is a public-private partnership that provides Missouri pharmacies signage to display at the retail counter. CHPA tested a range of anti-smurfing messages, and the research affirmed that these materials successfully educate potential smurfers about the consequence of illegal purchases without deterring honest consumers.

 

 

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CRN to host annual meeting in Utah

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced it is taking its annual executive conference to Utah for the first time in its 40-year history. 

Both The Workshop: CRN’s Day of Science and The Conference: CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry, will be held in tandem Sept. 18-21 at the Montage Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah. Tyler Whitehead, general counsel at Utah-based Nu Skin Enterprises, and a long-serving director on CRN’s Board, will serve as 2013 conference chair.

“Utah is synonymous with the dietary supplement industry, and I’m honored to serve as the 2013 CRN Annual Conference Chair in my home state,” Whitehead said. “Both CRN events give member and potential member companies the opportunity to build business relationships, delve into issues facing the industry, and get a taste of what makes CRN the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade association.”


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