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Reservatrol Pill Rocks OTC Drug Market; FDA Helpless to Take Action

Wed April 1 2009 2:44:00 ET

resevatrolFederal Drug Administration officials yesterday held a press conference to address concerns regarding a new over-the-counter pill—Reservatrol—which has been selling like wildfire coast to coast since its introduction last month.

Produced at Hippocrates Vineyards in Mendocino, California, and marketed by Pfizer, Reservatrol is based on de-alcoholized wine and comes in four “flavors”: Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Zinfandel. The technicolor capsules have generated heated criticism from health advocates who claim that the pill is essentially a tricked-out placebo, containing only trace amounts of the compound resveratrol, which is prevalent in the skins of grapes has been widely credited for wine’s apparent heart-healthy benefits.

Speaking on behalf of the FDA, spokesperson Vincent Jackson took no questions at the press conference, instead reading this statement:

The pills in question are not actually pharmaceuticals, so they do not fall under the jurisditcion of this agency. Moreover, promotional materials for the pills contain no actual health claims. We are not repsonsible for policing the marketplace to ensure that otherwise intelligent Americans are duped into thinking “Reservatrol” has anything to do with “resveratrol.”

Opponents of the drug still cried “Foul!” after the brief press conference. Hal Aboudit, director of the national watchdog group Protect Our Medicine Cabinets, asserted, “This is a terrible precedent. Americans are being sold snake-oil in rainbow colors. They’ll never figure out the difference between Reservatrol and resveratrol. Heck, 20 years later they are still pronouncing Meritage ‘Meri-tahj,’ as if it’s French.”

On the other hand, a spokesperson for Hippocrates Vineyards, rejected Aboudit’s logic: “We have no knowledge of our tasty little products being consumed in any fashion other than that in which we intended, which is, namely, to take two pills with a delicious meal and glass of wine. Thanks to Reservatrol, millions of Americans are now being reintroduced to the joys of fine dining. Santé!”

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©2009 Dregs Report

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