Monday, July 27, 2015

Waiting for new pharmaceutical approvals the right approach

Why Canada's 'slow and low' approach is the prudent one to take

By Alan Cassels
Expert Advisor
Contact Alan
VICTORIA, BC/ Troy Media/ - The newest report from Canada's brand name drug makers on access to new drugs has one key message: compared to other countries, Canada goes slow and low. New drugs are slower to be covered by our provincial drug plans and the numbers of people who get access to new drugs are lower than in other countries. The report is undeniably negative: Canadians are suffering because our governments don't provide timely access to new medicines.
Produced by Rx&D (the association of Canada's brand name drug manufacturers), the report ranks Canada 17thout of 18 industrialized nations in terms of new drug reimbursement - with only 23 per cent of new medicines covered across the country (it is closer to 90 per cent in the U.S.). As far as the time it takes between when a drug gets approved by Health Canada and when the provinces start paying for it, Canada ranks 16thof 18 countries.
Canada's drug makers believe that drug plans in Canada should be more generous and access should be simplified so when new and innovative medications come along - those to conquer cancer, heart disease or other life-threatening conditions - government health plans should quickly pay for them. After all, if they extend the length and quality of our lives, we citizens deserve them, right?
But here's the rub: what prescribers know about the potential benefits and harms of a new drug when they arrive on the market is often uncertain or problematic. As new drugs are often studied for a shorter period of time and with a very specific population, the studies often end up with biases, with unpublished data and without a full sense of the overall safety of the drug in the real population.
Canada approach of taking the time to decide how, or if, a new drug needs to be covered is the smart way to go. For example, the widely prescribed arthritis drug Vioxx caused as many as 60,000 excess heart attack deaths in North America according to some estimates. But those Canadian provinces which were more restrictive in covering it (such as B.C.) likely had proportionally fewer deaths caused by the drug.
According to a new report, the number of new cases of cancer in Canada will rise dramatically over the next 15 years, mostly due to baby boomers acquiring more diseases of aging - and this will drive the demand for more and more effective cancer drugs.
But there is plenty of evidence to suggest caution in approaching this new reality. A recent article in the British Medical Journal by two noteworthy pharmaceutical industry analysts, Donald Light and fellow Expert Advisor Joel Lexchin, made the case that cancer drugs are often rushed to market and have faster approvals even when they provide very little gain for patients.
Their study, Why do cancer drugs get such an easy ride?, examined nearly 9,000 oncology clinical trials conducted between 2007 and 2010 and compared those studies to drugs for other diseases. They found that cancer drugs were almost three times less likely to be evaluated in randomized studies or tested against comparator drugs, and were more likely to be 'fast-tracked' in approvals than other drugs, casting doubt on the long-term benefit and safety of the drugs.
There's also a little bit of sleight of hand around what's being measured. Does it matter if a clinical trial of a new cancer drug gets approved because it shrinks a tumour as opposed to making the patient live longer or healthier? The reality is that many cancer drugs can shrink tumours quite effectively (and expensively) but may not change the length of a person's life, while possibly turning the last few months of a person's life into medically-intensive misery.
We all want access to newer and better drugs but could we better spend our cancer budgets towards an array of non-drug options that improve the lives of people with cancer? Do we want to continue to allow expensive drug intensive therapy to eclipse all the other things we could do for cancer patients and their families?
Wildly expensive new cancer drugs are eating a growing share of our healthcare dollars and provinces are clearly voting with their budgets, going slow and low on approvals and coverage of new therapies. Canada's drug manufacturers are condemning us for this approach, but they're wrong - regardless of how strenuously they try to paint Canadians as poor suffering underdogs with stingy and heartless healthcare systems.
Alan Cassels is a pharmaceutical policy researcher in Victoria and an expert advisor with  

 Troy Media Marketplace © 2015 - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

During Kids Eat Right Month™, Teach Kids The Importance Of Food Safety

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods' Home Food Safety 
program offers  information to keep families safe from food poisoning

CHICAGO, July, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Food safety is a serious concern with one
 in six Americans getting sick from food poisoning per year. Young children are
 even more susceptible to food poisoning because their immune systems aren't
 developed enough to fight foodborne infections.
This August, during Kids Eat Right Month™, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
 through its Home Food Safety program, encourages all parents to teach kids
how to reduce their risk of food poisoning at home with four simple steps:
 1) wash, 2) separate, 3) cook and 4) refrigerate.
"Children start forming lifelong habits at a young age, so it is important to
 establish good eating and proper food safety practices early in life,"
says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Wesley Delbridge.
 "Teaching good habits at this impressionable age when kids are ready
and eager to learn will start positive lifelong patterns."
The Home Food Safety program is dedicated to raising awareness
 about food poisoning and helping everyone know the basics when
 it comes to safely preparing food at home. Delbridge offers the
 following advice to teach kids how to safely handle food.
1)  Wash: Wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
"Washing hands before and while handling food can prevent nearly
 half of all cases of food poisoning, so it is important to show
children how to correctly wash their hands," says Delbridge.
 "Always use warm, soapy water to wash the front and back
 of hands, between fingers and under fingernails, all the way up
 to the wrist. The "Happy Birthday" song is about 10 seconds
 long, so have kids sing it twice while they lather up to ensure
 they wash for an adequate amount of time."
2)  Separate: Separate raw chicken, meats, fish and eggs from
 ready-to-eat foods like bread and vegetables.
"Cross-contamination occurs when juices from raw meats and
poultry touch ready-to-eat foods, so always use separate
cuttings boards for these different food items," says Delbridge.
 "Buy and use different colored cutting boards to show kids the
importance of separating raw meats and poultry from ready to-eat
 foods. For example, use a green cutting board for vegetables and
 a red one for raw meats."
3)  Cook: Always use a food thermometer to determine if food is
 thoroughly cooked and don't eat raw or undercooked foods.
"One of the most common food safety mistakes is not using a food
 thermometer. Many people think they can tell when food is done
simply by checking its color and texture, but there's no way to be
sure food is safely cooked without using a food thermometer,"
says Delbridge. "Show kids how to use and read a food thermometer.
And make sure kids know not to taste food until it's done.
One of the most tempting foods for kids to eat is raw cookie dough,
which is dangerous to eat when raw. So have kids take the Cookie Rookie pledge."
4)  Refrigerate: Cool foods promptly - always within two hours.
"Cooling foods slows the growth of harmful bacteria, so in order to
keep food safe, all perishable foods must be refrigerated within two
hours of preparation," says Delbridge. "Lead by example by quickly
 refrigerating perishable foods and explaining to kids the importance
 of the refrigerator in stopping the growth of illness-causing bacteria."
Children and families can learn more about these four easy steps with
games, activity sheets, articles and more on the Kids section of For additional information on safely
handling food at home and reducing the risk of food poisoning,

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods' Home
 Food Safety program is dedicated to raising consumer awareness
 about the seriousness of food poisoning and providing solutions
 for easily and safely handling food in their own kitchens.
 More information can be found at
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest
organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is
committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the
profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.
Visit the Academy at
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's
largest food makers with branded and private branded foods found
99 percent of America's households, as well as a strong commercial
 foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations
 globally. Consumers can find recognized brands such as
Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®
Orville Redenbacher's®, and many other ConAgra Foods brands,
along with food sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels,
in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club stores and drugstores.
ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence,
supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as
other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of
 well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.
For more information, please visit us at

Monday, July 20, 2015

InnoviCares Launches My Medicine Cabinet, New Functionality For Patients

July , 2015 HALIFAX, NS –

Registered innoviCares members can now manage their health- care through the
 updated patient portal on 
This new addition supports innoviCares’ mission to 
empower patients by offering greater choice and broader
 access to brand-name drugs and medical devices.

“With the new My Medicine Cabinet, patients can keep track 

of current and previous medications,
 vitamins and personal care items easily and all in one place,”
 says Debbie Fougere,
 innoviCares Product Manager. “Refill reminders can be
set to ensure patients never miss a pick-up again.
They can also see how early or late refills for 
 innoviCares products are being picked up,
in the new Report Card section. 
Each feature was designed to help patients better manage their health-care.”

InnoviCares is a free, supplemental patient benefit plan available to all

Canadians with a valid email address. Regardless of existing public
or private plan coverage, innoviCares allows patients to receive the
brand-name medications and health-care products prescribed 
by a physician at an equal or
similar price to the generic alternative(s).

As always, innoviCares features are free to 

registered innoviCares cardholders.
 For more information, or to become an
 innoviCares member, visit

Friday, July 17, 2015

Move Pain Out – The Faster and Natural Way

With Genuine Health Pain Relief Products

Toronto, July 16, 2015: One in 10 Canadians are reported to live with pain, highlighting an increasing need for a fast, effective, safe – and natural – solution. Genuine Health’s line of pain relief products, featuring *BiovaFlex®, offers a new, Canadian-formulated, superior solution.

According to Dr. Julie Chen, ND: “People shouldn’t have to trade pain for more serious side effects, and they shouldn’t have to trade effectiveness for natural. The time has come for a revolutionary approach to pain relief. An approach that offers people relief, while nourishing the body with the best that nature has to offer.”

The makers of greens+ have introduced a natural alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – typically used to reduce pain and swelling. Genuine Health’s key ingredient is research-proven BiovaFlex®, natural eggshell membrane. BiovaFlex® is a 100% water-soluble whole food source of many key bioactives that are shown to reduce inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein. This in turn reduces pain and inflammation, while providing the body with structural components that nourish and repair joints.

Pain relief supplements from Genuine Health are unique in that they contain BiovaFlex® the fastest and most effective natural pain relieving ingredient on the market. I advocate Genuine Health pain relief supplements as part of my anti-inflammatory diet plan.”
– Eva Selhub, M.D. Instructor, Harvard School of Medicine

fast joint care+: Relief from joint pain including general pain and discomfort or pain resulting from athletics. Fast and effective, just one capsule a day is shown to provide superior anti-inflammatory support (five times more effective than glucosamine!), and has been clinically proven to work in just five days.

fast arthritis pain relief+:Anti-inflammatory support for sufferers of arthritis or those requiring a more potent formula. Fast and effective, just two capsules per day provide all the benefits of fast joint care+, with the addition of two potent anti-inflammatories shown to provide superior support and nourishment to those suffering from osteoarthritis.

 “I’ve been using this product for nearly four years now. Within a week of trying it for the first time, I knew I couldn’t live without it. When anyone mentions joint pain, I send them to fast arthritis pain relief+.” – Dr. John Berardi, Precision Nutrition

fast pain relief+: Relief from acute and chronic pain, including headache, back pain, muscle aches and cramps from PMS. Fast and effective, just three capsules provide you with all the anti-inflammatory benefits found in fast joint care+, but with the added benefit of Devil’s Claw and White Willow Bark (nature’s Aspirin), shown to provide pain relief in as little as two hours without causing drowsiness.

 “I finally said ‘no more!’ to my 30 years of back pain and started taking fast pain relief+. I immediately started noticing less pain and more mobility so that I was able to kickstart a fitness program and stick to it. I have now been pain free for six months!” – Eva Selhub, MD, Instructor, Harvard School of Medicine

About Genuine Health: At Genuine Health we are inspired by our customers, our people, our products and our passion for health. Our vision is to change the way people are nourished. Over the past 20+ years, the company that started with one product, greens+, is now one of the largest natural product companies in Canada.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BiPro® Launches New MuscleRaiser™ Fundraising Program

BiPro® Launches New MuscleRaiser™ Fundraising Program

A New Whey to Raise Money and Bring Nutrition to Schools

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., July, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BiPro USA, Consumer Division of Davisco, Business Unit of Agropur Inc., announces the launch of the MuscleRaiser fundraising program. There are two programs: the BiPro's "Trainer's Table" and "Team MuscleRaiser" program. These fundraising programs are designed to make fundraising less of a pain, and to boost nutrition by supplying an increase in, the ever important nutrient, protein.
High school athletes are at a critical stage of development and require high quality protein to build and repair muscle from lifting weights, performing resistance exercises and intense physical competition. Coaches mentor and prepare the athletes for competition and performance by introducing young athletic competitors to BiPro and the role protein plays in improving athletic performance earlier in their lives. Teaming up with BiPro will help introduce young athletes to BiPro and the role protein plays in building muscle and improving performance.
Our nation's youth programs are under increasing financial pressure, which means an increase in the number of teams who are spending less time on the field and more time fundraising. BiPro USA offers the MuscleRaiser as a simple solution.   BiPro USA will take care of everything, there is no door-to-door selling required.  The MuscleRaiser campaign is handled electronically from signing up to placing orders.
Each order purchased by you, a member of your team or even friends and family members will give your school/organization 20% back.
Trainer's Table
The Trainer's Table program allows teams to resell BiPro in the school gym, store or at the concession stands by taking advantage of purchasing 12 or more jars of BiPro at a 30% discount.
BiPro is an all lean, clean and all natural protein. Athletes who compare labels will quickly discover that BiPro is made from milk, has no filler ingredients and the highest level of protein commercially available rich in natural amino acids to boost muscle synthesis and natural muscle growth.

CONTACT: Aimee Krengel 877-692-4776 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Davisco to Highlight New Innovative Whey Protein Ingredients at IFT15

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

 Davisco, Business Unit of Agropur Inc. will be exhibiting at the Institute
of Food Technologists Food Expo in
Chicago July 12-14 (Booth 961) highlighting
new whey protein ingredients. These latest ingredients
are ideal for protein fortification of snack foods and other
 nutritional products with the high quality and high purity
whey proteins for which Davisco is known.
High Protein Bar
A protein-packed 6 oz. nighttime beverage containing 20 grams high
quality alpha-lactalbumin with approximately 2 grams leucine and
 1 gram tryptophan highlights what can be done with Davisco's
 industry-leading high purity whey protein fraction. This product
concept highlights not only the unique nutritional profile of this
 alpha-lactalbumin isolate, but the heat stability, clarity and
clean-flavor suitable for aseptically-processed low acid
beverages and supplements. This ingredient is most broadly
used for infant nutrition products and is also suitable for
 targeted nutritional products seeking high levels of natural
tryptophan with whey protein quality and functionality.
The beverage prototype is naturally flavored with ginger
and sweetened with sugar to highlight the exceptionally
clean flavor of Davisco's Alpha. This combination of
 protein per serving, amino acid profile and nutritional
quality, clean-flavor, high clarity and superior heat
stability in a low acid beverage is only possible
 with 90% pure Alpha-lactalbumin.

A trail mix bar with premium visible particulates and held
together with a viscosity-controlled binder highlights two
 new ingredients from Davisco suitable for snack foods
. BioZate® 7 is a high purity hydrolyzed whey protein
isolate that can be used at high levels while maintaining
product and process-friendly texture and viscosity.
 Unique to BioZate® 7 is an absence of bitterness
 and a protein purity typically at 95% dry basis.
 Both BioZate 7 and Davisco's WPC-80 Heat Stable
 ingredient are also used in a whey protein crisp,
extruded on a twin-screw extruder to highlight
the light texture and air-cell stabilization that is
possible in 50% and 60% protein crisps.
The complete trail mix bar prototype is formulated
to have 10 grams protein in a 40 gram serving,
with ginger, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and a
 Thai spice seasoning blend in a unique
 premium savory whey protein concept.
About Davisco (Business Unit of Agropur Inc.):

Davisco ( is a worldwide
dairy global business headquartered in Le Sueur,
Minnesota.  Operating five dairy processing plants
(cheese, whey and other dairy-based food ingredients)
 in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Idaho. Davisco makes
65 percent of the whey protein isolates sold worldwide.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Orbis Canada’s sight saving heroes raise over $110,000 at annual Plane Pull

Orbis Canada surpasses goal at the Plane Pull for Sight fundraising event
 3,000 sight saving heroes gathered on the tarmac to support Orbis Canada’s Plane Pull for Sight (Plane Pull for Sight). The two events, May 23 in Toronto and June 28 in Vancouver, were a success by surpassing this year’s goal of over $110,000 to help provide quality, worldwide eye health care. Twenty-five teams in Toronto and 16 in Vancouver came to the tarmac raise money and use all their strength to compete for the fastest time to pull a FedEx 757 Cargo Plane.
Orbis Canada’s Plane Pull for Sight is an annual event that strives to build awareness about eye health and enable medical attention to those who would not otherwise be able to receive quality eye care. Donations support Orbis Canada and the Flying Eye Hospital’s sight saving efforts around the world. The Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only accredited ophthalmic training hospital aboard a DC-10 aircraft, since 1982 it has visited 92 countries and brought vision to millions.  
“We are thrilled to announce that the Orbis Plane Pull for Sight events has raised over $110,000,” says Orbis Canada’s Director of Development, Caroline Huang. “We can not express enough thanks to our donors and volunteers that are helping to give countless communities improved lives through access to eye care.”
In addition to fundraising, teams have the opportunity to compete to be recognized in multiple categories including the fastest pull time over 15 gruelling feet.
Winners of the Orbis Canada Plane Pull for Sight include:
Fastest Pull Time
Toronto: YYZ Am In-Con, 8.6 seconds
Vancouver: CHC Rotorblades, 7.94 seconds
Top Fundraiser
Toronto: L’Occitane, $8,690
Vancouver: CHC Rotorheads, $4,732
Orbis Canada is the affiliate of Orbis International, a global non-profit organization dedicated to saving vision worldwide. Orbis prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, and partnerships with local health care organizations in an effort to eliminate avoidable blindness. By building their long-term capabilities, Orbis helps its partner institutions take action to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable. To learn more about Orbis Canada, please visit


Monday, July 6, 2015

Secrets from the Nile

Sacred Blue lily
The blue lotus or blue water lily was used in ancient Egypt as a key to good health, sex and rebirth. It puts the good in "feel good."
When archaeologists opened the tomb of King Tut in 1922, they found him covered in remnants of a precious flower- the sacred blue lily.
Some believe it was to promote spiritual ecstasy.
Of that, we can't be sure.
But what we do know is this special lily was coveted in ancient Egypt as a cure all and a way to create well-being, euphoria, and ecstasy.
The benefits this flower can offer you are astonishing. It contains something called quercetin, a known performance enhancer, and beta-sitosterol, which stimulates our natural desire for sex.
It also increases blood flow - a crucial piece to feeling sensual and alive... which I'll tell you more about in a moment.
But what's even more remarkable is, combined with the right ingredients, the sacred blue lily does more than stimulate a desire for sex... it enhances the most powerful force in your body.

The same force that makes women feel powerful, energized, and full of life.