Senior Editor – Europe
Latest From David Ridley
With its lateral flow at-home tests for ferritin, thyroid function and ovarian reserves, Swiss medtech firm Bloom Diagnostics thinks it has seen the future of consumer healthcare. HBW Insight speaks to co-founder and board chair Angelica Kohlmann about the firm's Bloom Lab technology and forward-looking plans, including a possible US launch.
Thanks to double-digit growth in the cold and flu category and higher demand for analgesics, the UK’s OTC market grew by 4.5% to £2.87bn ($3.52bn), according to data from NielsenIQ. Looking ahead, Nielsen's consumer health expert Matt Carpenter suggests that consumers are now adopting "moving on" mindsets, which OTC firms need to take into account in their business strategies.
When it comes to assessing the safety of CBD in foods, the EU appears to be lagging behind the UK. Food Standards Agency CEO Emily Miles has noted that EFSA recently reached the same conclusions as the UK’s Committee on Toxicity did two years ago: there are still evidence gaps relating to CBD as a food. This may reassure UK operators that with the FSA further along in the assessment process it will not follow EFSA in suspending CBD novel food applications - but as expert Greer Deal notes, it's too soon to say.
Just because the use of a substance in a cosmetic product, in this case prostaglandin-derivative methylamide-dihydro-noralfaprostal, has a physiological effect does not mean it's a medicinal product by function, advises the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU in a recent opinion. While the opinion does not bind the CJEU to any decision, it may impact discussions elsewhere with regards to these substances, for example in the US.
A patient admitted to a US emergency department after experiencing dizziness and fainting without warning is found to have been using a cocktail of herbal dietary supplements, including CBD and CBG. The case could fuel international worries about CBD's safety, for example in the EU, where novel food applications were recently put on hold by EFSA because of safety data gaps.
All European Union CBD novel food applications have been paused by EFSA after its Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens raised concerns about the ingredient's safety, pointing in a wide-ranging scientific literature review to a number of data gaps related to bioavailability, liver damage, gastrointestinal issues and possible negative impacts on pregnancy and reproductive health.