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July 27, 2006
Pretty Pearlescent Pills - Colorful Drugs Approved by FDA
The FDA has OK'd the use of "pearlescent pigments" in any drugs that are swallowed. The pigments, which are commonly used in cosmetics, are intended to give drugs a special, colorful look that some believe could help make these products more attractive to patients. Consumer advocates, though, claim that they will add iron salt contaminants in drugs that could affect they way they work. EMD Chemicals, which makes the pigments, has been lobbying the FDA for eight years to allow their use in pharmaceuticals. EMD Chemicals hopes the pharmaceutical companies it supplies will seize on the technology to give their drugs a look that is unique and hard to copy, said Dan Giambattisto, sales and marketing director for Candurin Pigments at EMD Chemicals. The pigments are made by coating the mineral mica with either titanium dioxide or iron oxide or both. The FDA approved using the two separate combinations to color contact lenses in 2002. The FDA says that the pigments can account for no more than three percent of a therapy's weight and will have no "toxic potential" at that amount.
I wonder how advertisers will use these new colors. Instead of the little purple pill, get ready for,"Honey, can you please pass my ivory tablet? I've got a headache.
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