HEALTH

Study examines energy drinks’ tooth-damaging potential

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO A recently-published study has determined that energy drinks as corrosive to teeth as soft drinks.

The Academy of General Dentistry on Wednesday issued a press release regarding the results of a recent study that was published in the November/December 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s clinical, peer reviewed journal, which found that popular high-energy and sports drinks had the highest mean buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel.

According to the Academy, a beverage’s “buffering capacity,” or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in the cause of dental erosion.

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NACDS submits statement on its members’ efforts to curb drug abuse

BY Adam Kraemer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In preparation of Wednesday’s by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control entitled “Generation Rx: The Abuse of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs,” the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement for the record.

Among the contents of the statement, the Association commended Senator Joe Biden, D-Del. “We thank Chairman Biden, and members of the Subcommittee and Caucus on International Narcotics Control, for the opportunity to provide this statement on the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. As healthcare providers of these critical and highly beneficial products, we are deeply concerned about the problem of consumers’ using these products in potentially harmful ways. We will continue to work with Congress and the administration to find solutions to curb drug abuse.”

In the statement, NACDS shared that its members have taken to restricting access to methamphetamine precursors, implementing age restrictions on dextromethorphan and dihydroepiandrosterone products, and working with states to implement prescription monitoring programs.

NACDS also stressed their commitment to working with Congress to craft legislation that will shut down rogue Internet operators while still allowing legitimate pharmacies to function. In addition, the association urged Congress to work with the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue regulations allowing the electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

E-prescribing, NACDS stated, offers numerous benefits that can help reduce the abuse of controlled substances. “A paperless prescribing system is preferable to today’s paper world because it adds new dimensions of safety and efficiency to current practice. Moreover, electronic prescribing offers enhanced controlled substance reporting and monitoring capabilities that allow the DEA, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies, the ability to identify potential abuse immediately.”

The full text of the statement can be found here.

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Iowa bill to track meds purchases passes House

BY Michael Johnsen

DES MOINES, Iowa House File 2265, which would create an electronic system to track the purchase of products containing pseudoephedrine, passed the Iowa House on Monday and has been forwarded to that state’s Senate.

If the bill passes, retailers would be obligated to use the electronic system to instantly check the photo identification of people buying PSE-containing cough and cold products. The system would prevent the practice of “smurfing,” by which drug abusers in search of PSE products acquire the maximum amount of product they can buy at one store, only to buy more at another store down the road.

According to a report in the Des Moines Register, House File 2265 would set up a pseudoephedrine advisory council to help the Iowa Board of Pharmacy implement an electronic monitoring system.

The local daily also noted that the proposal does not allocate money to help the state set up the system, a cost estimated at around $230,000. In addition, depending upon what type of system is ultimately adopted, retailers could be charged a fee of as much as 10 cents per transaction and also be obligated to purchase a $900 device per store to scan identification cards, the paper added.

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