NEWS ROUNDUP

Court Rules Cholestin Not a Drugt here has determined that Cholestin, a dietary supplement marketed to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, is not a drug as previously ruled by the Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md.The FDA contended and ruled that Cholestin, manufactured by Pharmanex, Simi Valley, Calif., contained a substance chemically identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering

Court Rules Cholestin Not a Drug

t here has determined that Cholestin, a dietary supplement marketed to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, is not a drug as previously ruled by the Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md.

The FDA contended and ruled that Cholestin, manufactured by Pharmanex, Simi Valley, Calif., contained a substance chemically identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering prescription drug Mevacor made by Merck & Co., White House Station, N.J.

The court's decision Feb. 16 is expected to permanently lift the FDA's ban, imposed last year, on imports of Chinese red yeast rice used to produce Cholestin. A temporary injunction on the ban has been in place pending the court's decision. The FDA is presently reviewing the decision.

Bill McGlashan, president of Pharmanex, said it was the first challenge to the 1994 DSHEA Act. "This decision also reflects that good science, while contributing to the health of Americans, does not transform a natural health supplement into a drug," he said.

Under its parent company, Nu Skin Enterprises, a direct marketer of personal care products based in Provo, Utah, Pharmanex has decided it will pull out of 35,000 mass-market retail stores and go direct to consumers with Cholestin.

On-Line Beauty Store Opens

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Synergy Brands, a distributor of grocery and health and beauty care products here, has launched BeautyBuys.com, an on-line health and beauty store.

The on-line store, which went up on the Internet last month, offers a popular selection of nationally branded health and beauty care products, including Procter & Gamble brands, professional salon hair care, designer fragrances and cosmetics. Web site merchandise is being sold at approximately 10% off suggested retail, according to an official for the company.

Synergy Brands is placing continuous focus on establishing relationships with on-line leaders as part of the company's plan to establish BeautyBuys.com as a premier destination for on-line shoppers, according to a press statement.