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Bayer Warned by FDA for Illegally Marketing 2 Unapproved Over-the-Counter Aspirin Products


Bayer has received warning letters from the FDA today, regarding 2 unlawful, over-the-counter (OTC) aspirin products — Bayer Women's Low Dose Aspirin + Calcium (Bayer Women's) and Bayer Aspirin with Heart Advantage (Bayer Heart Advantage).

In addition to being labeled for use as a pain reliever, both products are labeled for use in reducing the risks of heart disease. Bayer Women's is also labeled for use in "fighting" osteoporosis. Neither product has been approved by the FDA for such uses. These drug uses require a health care professional's diagnosis and supervision, and therefore these products cannot be labeled for use by consumers and sold OTC. Bayer Heart Advantage combines aspirin and phytosterols in a single tablet. Bayer Women's combines aspirin and calcium carbonate in a single tablet. The products are labeled as being a combination of a drug and a dietary supplement, but when a drug and a dietary supplement are combined in a single tablet, the product is regulated by FDA as a drug. According to the labeling, the phytosterols in Bayer Heart Advantage are intended to lower blood cholesterol and the calcium in Bayer Women's is intended to strengthen bones to fight osteoporosis. Although certain calcium-containing dietary supplements may bear claims to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, products that are labeled to "fight" or otherwise treat osteoporosis are drugs that require FDA approval.

Similarly, although certain phytosterol-containing dietary supplements may bear claims to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, and may note that the mechanism by which phytosterols achieve this effect is through lowering blood cholesterol, direct claims to lower cholesterol are claims to prevent or treat coronary heart disease and hypercholesterolemia, which is also a disease. Products bearing such claims require an approved new drug application from FDA in order to be legally marketed, and cannot be legally marketed for OTC use.

In addition, Bayer Heart Advantage and Bayer Women's are misbranded because their labeling lacks adequate directions for use by consumers.

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Published on Oct-28-08


READER COMMENTS

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Bayer heart healthy was no different than any aspirin. It did nothing special for me and I paid a lot more for the product. It gave me stomach problems-headaches, and did not health my heart for blood thinning.

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