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Rogue Internet pharmacies should be primary focus in efforts to secure supply chain

BY Alaric DeArment

A House Subcommittee on Health hearing Thursday focused on efforts to strengthen the country’s pharmaceutical supply chain, and particularly on draft legislation meant to accomplish that.

While often touted as the safest in the world, the U.S. drug supply chain remains vulnerable to counterfeit, adulterated and stolen medications. Given the potentially dangerous risks of using such medicines, it is imperative that they be kept out.

But as testimony by National Community Pharmacists Association spokesman and pharmacy owner Tim Davis, as well as statements by Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith of West Virginia made clear, requiring community pharmacies to implement complicated and expensive track-and-trace technology would place a tremendous burden on them — specially independents.

In Davis’ words: "At the present time, the technologies that would be required to implement such a system are not fully developed and have not been designed or scaled to be feasible or affordable for use in individual community pharmacies."

But a major source of counterfeit, stolen and adulterated drugs isn’t the corner drug store, but online pharmacies. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration launched BeSafeRx, an interactive map on its website that allows users to find legitimate online pharmacies licensed by state boards of pharmacy. Such a tool could be useful because, according to a report released in October 2012 by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy that examined more than 10,000 online drug sellers, 97% were found to be doing business illegally.

The dangers of such rogue pharmacies can’t be overstated: In May 2012, the FDA alerted consumers about fake versions of Teva’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall (dextroamphetamine saccharine; amphetamine aspartate; dextroamphetaine sulfate; amphetamine sulfate) that were being purchased online amid a shortage at the time. The fake version contained the wrong active ingredients, specifically tramadol and acetaminophen, which are used to treat acute pain. It’s worth noting that while approved by the FDA for treating ADHD, Adderall is also a common target for prescription drug abuse.

As Davis said, most pharmacists are well-aware of the possibility of counterfeit and diverted drugs and thus purchase only from trusted sources. For that reason, the federal government might have more success keeping such contraband out of the country by thwarting the efforts of rogue Internet pharmacies and encouraging consumers to avoid them as well. Efforts like BeSafeRx and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s campaign to register .pharmacy as a top-level domain reserved for licensed online pharmacies are both steps in that direction — not forcing community pharmacies to devote disproportionate resources to solving a problem that isn’t really about them.

 

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New solution battles female hair loss

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN MATEO, Calif. — Looking to cater to women battling hair loss is the new MD by Dr. Susan Lin, which was created with the specific needs of female hair loss in mind.


 
The MD Hair collection is comprised of five products that address several main causes of female hair loss: aging, stress, and hormonal issues.

All of the products are designed to help women have fuller, thicker, and younger-looking hair. Many users start to see results in as little as two weeks, the company stated.

The cornerstone product of the collection is MD Nutri Hair, a daily supplement with lilac extract. In scientific studies, lilac has been shown to be effective at helping to control the hormonal activity that can cause hair loss.

MD Scalp Essentials solution is infused with almond-derived mandelic acid to get to the root of scalp issues and hair loss. This lightweight serum helps to rapidly address itchiness, oiliness, flakes, and thinning hair.  For accelerated female hair loss, MD Follicle Energizer is a leave-on serum that encourages healthy hair growth, according to the company.

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Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health team up with Luke Joeckel to ‘Go Pro’

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health have partnered with Luke Joeckel, offensive tackle from Texas A&M, to "Go Pro" with his oral care and to help others "Go Pro" in their careers, with a donation to the international non-profit organization Dress for Success.

As part of the partnership, Joeckel, who was the second overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Crest and Oral-B are providing a donation to the Dress for Success organization to help women "Go Pro" in their work and life. Dress for Success is a non-profit organization that provides professional attire and career development to disadvantaged women. Along with the monetary donation, Crest and Joeckel are also donating Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health products to help promote good oral health and help the participating women feel confident as they enter the workforce.

“Crest and Oral-B are on a mission to help take America’s oral health from good to pro with our Pro-Health products,” stated Rishi Dhingra, P&G North America marketing director. “That is why we are thrilled to partner with the NFL, Luke Joeckel and Dress for Success on the Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health ‘Go Pro’ program. Each of these partners illustrates a key component of the ‘Go Pro’ movement. Luke and Dress for Success exemplify how the right support system can help you ‘Go Pro’ in life and your career. The NFL Draft provides the largest stage in sports where the conversation is focused solely on athletes going pro. Overall, we couldn’t ask for better partners for our program.”

 

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