Congressional hearing scheduled to release study findings and feature benefits of supplements
Washington, DC – September 1, 2004 – Preliminary results of a study conducted by The Lewin Group, a national health care and human services consulting firm owned by Quintiles Transnational, indicate that certain dietary supplements have the ability to positively affect health status and could have a significant impact on health care costs.
The study includes an extensive review of the research literature concerning the health benefits of selected dietary supplements and an evaluation of related cost savings. Many industry experts have long believed that access to supplements provides consumers with long-term health benefits by reducing the incidence of debilitating health problems. This study provides evidence to support both the health promotion and disease prevention benefits of particular supplements, as well as potential cost savings.
Noting the implications of the study, the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness has called a Congressional hearing on September 22 to review results. Lewin Group researcher Allen Dobson, Ph.D. is expected to testify, along with Jeff Blumberg, Ph.D., Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Associate Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and Barbara Levine, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Nutrition in Medicine and Director of the Nutrition Information Center at Weill Medical College of Cornell University-New York Presbyterian Hospital. Elliott Balbert, CEO, Natrol and DSEA president is also expected to testify, along with several celebrities, including actress Marilu Henner and golf commentator Ken Venturi.
A press conference is planned immediately following the hearing, and individual media interviews are planned to continue throughout the afternoon. A satellite-media tour is scheduled for the morning of September 23.
The study was funded by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), an industry-wide coalition committed to improving public health by communicating the benefits of dietary supplements.
“We are very pleased to have a solid study prepared by well-respected researchers that documents the importance of supplements to health care cost management,” stated Elliott Balbert, CEO of Natrol and president of DSEA. “This clearly demonstrates to legislators and other decision-makers that supplements have the potential to save health care dollars.”
“This effort is another example of industry leaders coming together through DSEA and sponsoring a critical effort. DSEA Honor Roll members have provided the funds needed for the study as well as for the PR effort necessary to ensure that study results are widely distributed,” said Jon Benninger, business development director for Virgo Publishing and vice president of DSEA.
The DSEA is a coalition of industry leaders whose mission is to educate consumers, media and policymakers on the benefits of dietary supplements for optimizing health and prevention of disease, with a focus on their safety, efficacy and regulation. Its membership includes nutritional and dietary supplement suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and publishers.
Since its inception three years ago, DSEA has generated millions of media impressions increasing public awareness of the benefits of nutritional supplements through its education project, the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau (DSIB). The organization’s publicity efforts have resulted in positive coverage in more than 130 television news programs and over 1,500 articles in newspapers and magazines.
In addition to media outreach, DSEA has produced a Web site, www.supplementinfo.org, which has become a well-known resource for objective information about nutritional supplements accessed on an ongoing basis by media, consumers, health professionals and legislators.
DSEA board members include the American Herbal Products Association, Bastyr University, The Canadian Health Food Association, Capsugel, the National Nutritional Foods Association, Natrol, Inc., New Hope Natural Media/Penton Media, and Virgo Publishing.