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[Infant food labels: some aspects of marketing practices in Brazil] Rotulos de alimentos infantis: alguns aspectos das praticas de marketing no Brasil.
REVISTA DE NUTRICAO DA PUCCAMP. 1997 Jul-Dec; 10(2):127-35.A monitoring study of the Brazilian Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes was carried out during 1995-96 with the objective of verifying the compliance of companies with the Code with regard to labeling and packaging their products. In 32 cities of 13 states a total of 125 products were analyzed (feeding bottles, teats, pacifiers, infant food, formula, and liquid milk). The following rules were found to have been violated: 1) prohibition of pictures of babies idealizing bottle feeding and questioning the ability of the mother to breast-feed; 2) the requirement of stating the superiority of mother's milk over formula and the use of formula only if directed by the physician or nutritionist; 3) the requirement not to use skim milk, semi-skim milk, or whole milk as the sole source of nutrition for the infant; 4) the requirement that the labeling should state the continuation of breast-feeding after the introduction of formula; 5) the requirement that for feeding bottles, teats, and pacifiers the labeling should not contain expressions that suggest connection to the maternal breast and that the breast-fed infant had no need for feeding bottles and teats. In comparison to previous evaluations using the same methodology, a certain degree of compliance was ascertained. However, several products lacked adequate labels, particularly feeding bottles and pacifiers. The rules dealing with warning require a review on account of poor visibility. Furthermore, routine monitoring procedures are needed to assist the authorities in promoting breast-feeding over commercial breast-feeding substitutes.
LIFELINES. 1997 Oct; 1(5):28-31.The use of combined oral contraceptives (OCs) for emergency contraception represents an important strategy for preventing unwanted pregnancy. Despite the efficacy of this approach and its recent (1997) approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, many health care providers remain uninformed. In response, several national organizations--including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Program for Appropriate Technology in Health--are launching information initiatives about this use of OCs. In anticipation of increased requests from US women for postcoital contraception, clinical facilities are urged to create practice guidelines for counseling and method distribution. Women should be advised to take the initial dose of the appropriate number and color of combination of OCs within 72 hours of exposure, followed by a second dose 12 hours later. Increased awareness of OCs as emergency contraception could result in separate packaging of the two doses of four combination pills along with patient instructions. Were such a product to be packaged, family planning clients could be provided with emergency contraception at the same time they receive prescriptions for a regular contraceptive method.
BMJ (CLINICAL RESEARCH ED.). 1997 Dec 13; 315(7122):1557-8.This editorial points out the variety of problems with pharmaceutical drugs and hazardous drugs in developing countries: availability and promotion of unsafe drugs, counterfeit drugs, high costs, health impacts, inadequate control, and lack of administrative machinery to police the infractions. The medical community has a responsibility to influence industrial and government drug and medicine policies. Unrestricted market forces do not assure the promotion of public health interests. The priority in developing countries is for rational use of cost-effective pharmaceuticals and enforceable agreements to control promotion of nonessential and hazardous agents. Inappropriate pharmaceuticals can result in fatal poisoning, the spread of antibiotic resistant infections, and other problems related to the mismanagement of diarrhea in children. Unrestricted use of pharmaceuticals particularly affects women and children. Research indicates that a country's capacity to restrict dangerous drugs is mainly dependent on its wealth, or its administrative machinery to monitor dangerous drugs. There are unscrupulous business people who distribute fakes of acceptable drugs. Counterfeit drugs can be manufactured locally or imported from Western countries. In 1993, drug exports from the United States to developing countries were found to have "severe labeling deficiencies." Locally produced drugs may also have more severe labeling errors. Labeling may exaggerate indications, minimize adverse effects, or misspecify use. Drugs that were banned or restricted in the country of manufacture may be promoted in developing countries. Transnationals, despite international resolutions, continue to promote drugs in an irresponsible way, exploit limited national restrictions on imports, and behave unethically. The Health Action International and the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing monitor and publicize improper marketing and use of drugs.
Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs, Research and Evaluation Division, 1997 May. 30,  p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. DPE-3052-A-00-6001-00)The Center for Communication Programs of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health conducted pretesting of a proposed label for oral contraceptive (OC) packs in Ghana and the Philippines in 1997. Separate focus group discussions involving married women of reproductive age were organized for current OC users and non-users and in-depth interviews were conducted with health care providers and pharmacists. The proposed label addressed six points related to daily dosage, forgotten pills, side effects, sexually transmitted diseases, complications requiring medical attention, and OC contraindications. Whereas women and providers in the Philippines thought the label would benefit women, attract new users, and help with counseling, those in Ghana regarded the label as "scary" and likely to deter women from using OCs. A number of respondents in both countries thought information on when to start OCs in relation to menses and instructions to take OCs at the same time each day and to seek medical advice before initiating pill use should be added to the label. In general, participants and providers preferred to include instructions on the label, leaving medical information for discussion during family planning counseling. On the basis of information gathered in this study, two revised sample labels were drafted: one focused on instructions for OC use and the other on warnings and contraindications. Since both labels are overly complicated and lengthy, they will be used to guide further discussion on the content and purpose of the OC pack label.
Arlington, Virginia, JSI, 1997.  p.This document includes fact sheets on the logistics associated with supplying the major modern contraceptive methods: condoms, oral contraceptives, IUDs, injectables, implants, and spermicidal/vaginal barrier methods. Described, for each method, are visual indicators of potential quality problems, recommended storage conditions, special considerations, donors/manufacturers/brands, shelf life, primary/secondary packaging presentation, units per shipping carton, and dimensions and weight of cartons. Also cited are general and method-specific references for additional information.