NCHR Comments to FDA on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Product Uses and Labeling Changes

FDA, February 15, 2018. It remains unclear whether individual achievement of abstinence is sustainable over time and whether long-term NRT use is more or less beneficial on an individual or population health level. We commend the FDA for addressing their role in developing strategies to evaluate NRT products and labeling. We agree that urgent action is necessary and the FDA should consider science-based approaches to reduce further harm from combustible tobacco products.

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NCHR Testimony at the FDA about New Spine Device, Barricaid Anular Closure

December 12, 2017, Patients who suffer with back pain need better alternatives for long term relief. The Barricaid device might be the answer, but the limited data provided suggests it is unlikely to offer the kinds of benefits that patients need. The study indicates substantial device failures. Its use in limited discectomy remains unknown, because most subjects had more extensive surgeries. In addition, the short-term benefits appear to be modest and wane after 24 months. Long term studies with blinding conducted inside the US may provide more certainty, but at this time the data are insufficient to recommend approval.

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Too Much Caffeine in Your Drink?

Caffeine is naturally found in chocolate, coffee, and tea. In moderation, caffeine does not pose a health risk. In fact, a Johns Hopkins’ study found that one or two cups of coffee (about 200 mg of caffeine) is shown to increase focus and memory. However, caffeine can be harmful in large quantities.

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Should You Consider a Birth Control Patch?

When choosing a method of birth control, most women want what is the most effective and convenient. Women who want “hormonal” birth control can choose a pill, patch, injection, or vaginal ring, yet not all of these options have equal risks. In fact, the Patch, Ortho Evra, is now shown to put women at greater risks than birth control pills did by exposing women to high levels of estrogen. But, how does Ortho Evra work, and why is it more dangerous than other forms of birth control?

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