Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Dissatisfied With FDA Ban of All Ephedra Products

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 8 -- In response to the FDA's announced plans to prohibit sales of dietary supplements containing ephedra, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy expresses its disappointment in the decision. While pleased with the ruling's ability to stop the abuse of ephedra, Pharmaca believes it negates the health benefits from the proper use of ephedra.

When used within the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA) label claim (4-8 mg. per dose), ephedra is an effective medicine to open the bronchial passageway to relieve symptoms of cold, cough and allergies. While products containing natural ephedrine alkaloids have long been used safely and effectively to treat certain respiratory symptoms in traditional Chinese and Western botanical medicine, in recent years they have been extensively promoted and used with the goals of aiding weight loss, enhancing sports performance, and increasing energy. The FDA is prohibiting the sale of ephedra solely for reasons associated with inappropriate use, and not for product quality or effectiveness.

"A more appropriate action under DSHEA would have been for the FDA to identify the companies abusing DSHEA label claims and seek an injunction to stop these companies from selling ephedra based dietary supplements," said Pharmaca Vice President and Co-Founder, Don Summerfield. "Furthermore, the FDA could have set industry dosage standards for appropriate ephedra use in dietary supplements."

In response to the FDA recommendation, Pharmaca has discontinued the sale of all traditionally formulated cold, cough and allergy products that contain effective low dose ephedra and is offering many of these products in new reformulated formats with substituted safe and effective alternative botanical medicines. The Company already discontinued all weight loss, diet and sports enhancement dietary supplements that contained ephedra in June, 2003.

Pharmaca ensures the highest quality in product selection and information. The Company follows the FDA's DSHEA guidelines, which protect consumers against unsafe products and false or misleading label claims. Additionally, Pharmaca uses strict industry guidelines in choosing its dietary supplements, including guidelines from the FDA Registration for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Once at a Pharmaca store, consumers may consult with certified professionals including pharmacists, naturopathic physicians, herbalists, homeopaths, acupuncturists and nutritionists who are properly trained to address questions about product safety.

About Pharmaca

Pharmaca, founded in June 2000 and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, operates unique pharmacies that combine prescription drug and over-the-counter products with natural, complementary and personal body care products. The Company is seeking to acquire and re-position pharmacies to the Pharmaca approach, and to date, it has acquired eight pharmacies in Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington.

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