Monday, June 22, 2009

Was politics involved in recall of Zicam?


First, Barack Obama began verbally going after Rush Limbaugh shortly after entering the White House.

Second, the FDA is a government agency.

Bear with me here as I work through this.

We've all heard about the recall of Zicam Cold Rememdy, that homeopathic medication that helps prevent or ease cold symptoms.

Zicam is advertised and promoted by conservative radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh.

Is there a connection?

A box of Zicam gel swabs sits permanently on my desk. Why? Because the stuff works! Today on Glenn Beck a woman caller said she could no longer find the product in stores. It has been removed which, in turn, removes the decision from the consumer about using the product.

Nanny state government at work once again?

My first question when hearing the recall news was, "Did consumers follow the directions?"

Along with the required warnings, directions for use read: "Apply medication just inside first nostril. ... Do not insert swab more than 1/4" past nasal opening."

Just a thought ... wonder how many people swabbed the entire inside of their noses? They may have thought if a little was good, perhaps more would be better? Or just didn't read the directions at all and swabbed away? I used to work in the medical field and learned one sure thing: Many people do not read directions.

According to Reuters:

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the company to stop selling nasal versions of its Zicam cold remedy and urged consumers not to use them after more than 130 people reportedly lost their sense of smell.

Shares of the company have tumbled since the warning, falling as much as 70 percent. On Thursday its shares continued to fall, trading down .3 percent at $6.11 in early afternoon on the Nasdaq.

Matrixx must seek FDA-approval if it wants to continue selling Zicam zinc products administered via the nose. Hemelt said the company was not likely to do so, saying the process would take years and be "highly expensive."

While the company would try to convert users of Zicam's nasal products to oral versions, it would likely see an estimated $5 million in lost sales, Hemelt said. The other $5 million in losses was likely to come from new advertising efforts to reach out to consumers, he added.

FDA's warning applies to Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs Kids Size, but does not affect Zicam oral zinc tablets or lozenges.
Glad I'm stocked up on Zicam gel swabs because I will continue to use them. Meanwhile, a company is going to suffer a huge financial hit and the question remains in my mind ... did it have anything to do with the fact this company was highly promoted by Rush Limbaugh?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paranoid much? Are you serious? This product is responsible for a number of users losing their sense of smell; some permanently.

I can't take you seriously.

SWAC Girl said...

Apparently you did not take the time to read what I wrote before you jumped to a conclusion that I was paranoid and not worth taking seriously.

I questioned whether people had read the directions. Not following directions may have caused loss of sense of smell -- who knows? There were 130-something cases ... out of how many millions of users?

We take chances all the time with vaccinations -- some cause side effects or worse -- but most consumers benefit from them. They are not banned.

Would the FDA have done a better service if it had put out a warning about Zicam instead of recalling it?

I maintain it is a nanny state government that constantly feels it must make the choices for us. And, yes, I question whether politics was involved.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not instructions were read, the zinc in Zicam harms the olfactory mechanism; there apparently is too much zinc in the formula, and many hundreds have been harmed, including my daughter. The rules for homeopathic meds should be changed to prevent such harm in the future.

Anonymous said...

IT'S ALL OBAMA'S FAULT GUYZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

SWAC girl you are paranoid, and light all out of touch zealots, you are definately not worth taking seriously. You're just the brunt of a lot of bad jokes.

Anonymous said...

swacgirl,

you make good points on this website and i especially enjoy reading your take on local politics. however, posting stuff like this detracts from the good points you make.

its absurd to think that the fda would pull an item because they advertise on limbaugh. zicam also advertises on all obama channel (as well as the other major networks)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other anons...there isn't a conspiracy here. No doubt Obama is thin skinned and not above being petty (notice his continued whining over Fox News not worshipping him like the other networks), but I seriously doubt this was a decision made because Limbaugh promoted Zicam.

SWAC Girl said...

Before the Obama administration which has, in a few short months, pushed through bailouts, taken over car companies, banks, and is trying to jam socialized health care through, I would not have thought something like that possible.

However, in light of that, I still ask the question of whether it is possible for politics to have played a role in this.

A president who calls out a conservative talk show host? A president who whines about a conservative news network just because they are the only ones without stars in their eyes when covering him?

A president who is practicing Chicago-style politics where the opposition is silenced and the minions are rewarded makes me look at this administration with a skeptical eye. Is it so far-fetched to think Zicam could be a victim of those Chicago-style politics? The floor has been opened for discussion....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cynthia said...

I just found this interesting site about health problems and the loss of taste and smell from which some Zicam users have suffered. There is also important safety information here:
http://www.zicam-smell-loss-lawyer.com/

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emmy said...

People fail to follow dosing instructions all the time. This often leads to side effects that are very unpleasant but often clearly listed as a possibility. Vioxx is a perfect example of one such drug. If used according to instructions it did it's job, but used long term it killed people. Because people can't follow directions it was pulled. That happened during Bush's term so is he responsible for that?

This may be a case of people not following directions, or it may be that it's a bad medicine. I've used the table form of it and the taste of it is so foul that I could see how that form could cause some taste problems even though it hasn't been reported to be a problem.

While anything is possible, I do believe it's a stretch to suggest that this is political aside from the normal politics of drug manufacturing.

Anonymous said...

you're grasping at straws. and the argument that this post is about people using the product the wrong way is equally as ridiculous.

rush limbaugh is trying to remain in the spotlight. so he lays the foundation for this theory. that's his job. nobody would want to listen all day to a reasonable person discussing reasonable things.

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama's restructuring of GM led to thousnads of car dealerships being put out of business. Some were given the blessing to continue operating. Who was saved and who was axed? Any union connections? I don't put pulling Zicam to get at Limbaugh past him. Entirely possible.

Melanie said...

Shoulda stocked up on the nasal spray, as that is the product that has caused the most complaints.

Anonymous said...

Heaven forbid anyone would have a damn cold! Jeeeezus people, be human for once, get sick, develope and immunity and get on with life! Germophobes have shorter life spans anyway, go play in the mud and live a little!

Anonymous said...

Your article is the definition of paranoia. Zicam sponsors Limbaugh's show and he stuanchly defends them? Now that's a stretch.
Anosima is not a minor side effect and your theory is people do not follow the package instructions properly? Now that's a stretch. Anosima has been linked to Zinc Glutonate since the 1940's so this result is not something new. The makers of Zicam have been facing lawsuits since 2003. They settled a lawsuit in 2006 but it did not lead to the removal of the nasal gel or the nasal spray.
Need I mention the dubious credentials of one of the patent holders of Zicam. R. Steven Davidson has a PhD for the now defunct American University of Asturias which was shut down by the Spanish government in 2000 becuase it offered advance degrees to anyone who would pay. He also a has a BSc degree from a "virtual" university, Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y is 2004, about 6-7 years after he received his PhD!! Hmmm a PhD before a Bachelors degree???

Don't you find that suspicious? Or maybe you think the Obama admistration conspriacy against Ruch Limbaugh is more plausible?

Anonymous said...

SWAC Girl freats about the Nanny State. Baloney. The company had extensive records of this serious side effect but did not disclose it to consumers.

The Feds didn't take away the consumer's right to choose, the company did when it failed to disclose the most important data related to choosing.

This is about criminal corporate actions, not politics. Hooray for the FDA.

Anonymous said...

Limbaugh recently bragged that he was overbooked with sponsors, so why would he care if he lost one account? According to him, there is a long line of firms eager to buy airtime on his show.
Unless he way lying when he said he was overbooked and/or he is just looking for another chance to play the persecuted victim.

Anonymous said...

How valiant of Rush to defend the product that he's sponsored by.

Kry said...

No worries this opens up ad space for vicodin on the Limbaugh show then everyone's happy and Rush doesn't need to shop docs

fauxpopuli said...

Man I can't decide if this blog is run by an actual spin doctor or just someone who is just exceptionally talented at parroting talking points. Obama "practices Chicago-style politics" eh? I'm confident you don't actually know what that means but hey you heard Rush say it so it must be true right? Just like this Zicam thing. We've been (and are) torturing people for years, we went to war on false pretenses, we sat on our rears and watched New Orleans drown... but yeah, only now that Obama is president is it possible to believe the government could do horrible things? Yeah it's a whole bunch more likely that this is all a political vendetta rather than an example of a guy who knows he has millions of people like you who will believe *literally anything* that he says taking advantage of his platform to stir the pot on behalf of one of his sponsors.

Hell if you were half as informed as the anchor of a fake commentary show (Colbert Report) you'd at least know that the dude who formulated the stuff had fake degrees purchased from diploma mills.

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Poor SWAC girl if only you could go back in time to the 1920's before there was a 'nanny' state, then you could take any medicine you like. Since you like unaccredited doctor inventors you could cure your aliments with Radithor Radium Water, sure your jaw may fall off and you would have to buried in a lead-lined coffin, but thats a small price to pay not to live in a 'nanny' state right?

Keep taking that Zicam girl.

SWAC Girl said...

LOL. My parents were born in the 1920s and their jaws have not fallen off. In fact, they are very healthy for two 80-somethings. Fresh air and hard work....

I continue to be amazed at the "tolerant" debate from Democrats. When conservatives have a different viewpoint from liberals, the liberals cannot have a rational, balanced debate but have to resort to personal attacks. You are providing excellent examples of that "progressive" tolerance....

Kat Martin said...

SWAC girl it is now May of 2013. I have never found a product as good as Zicam for colds. You nailed this one. Idiots who can't follow instructions and a billion dollar industry that doesn't want to FIND a cure for colds managed to remove this great product from the market. My question: did you ever find anything else that works? Cold Sufferer

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Nope, Kat ... never found anything as good as Zicam. I stockpiled a bunch of it when they decided to ban it so am still fortunate enough to use it. I still don't understand that whole bruhaha....