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Sunday, March 23, 2014

zzzquil ripoff scam -- it's just benadryl

I was curious as to what zzzquil was.  Now I know, it's benadryl, only a lot more expensive.

Here's an Amazon review that makes the point:

317 of 356 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAVE YOUR MONEY; THIS IS ALL HYPEJune 23, 2012
This review is from: ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid Liquicaps 48 Count (Health and Beauty)
The only active ingredient in this "new" product is 25mg of Diphenhydramine hcl which Nyquil ZZZ labels a "Nighttime sleep-aid." This is the EXACT ingredient in benadryl and store brand equivalents, that cost much less, which those manufacturers label as an antihistamine. All Nyquil did was rename it and give it a hyped up name of ZzzQuil and repurpose it as a sleep aid. Antihistamines can make you drowsy but that's not why people take them. This one has been around since the 1940's. What a bunch of BS.

So what are we supposed to think?  Vick's is leveraging its good name (from Nyquil and Dayquil) to repackage benadryl and sell it for several times what it's worth.  It's not immediately apparent on the label, but Vicks is owned by Procter & Gamble.  Do whatever you want with that information.

I haven't taken zzzquil, but I have taken benadryl.  Yes, it puts me to sleep, but I still feel like I'm underwater for much of the next day.  I do not feel rested after a benadryl-induced sleep, so you wouldn't see me taking zzzquil even if it were priced rationally.  Of course, your results may vary -- I heard somewhere recently (I think it was in a Ben Goldacre Book -- either Bad Pharma or Bad Science) that the more we pay for medicine, the more likely it will work for us.  

Baucus Nomination Part III

I'm still working a month or two behind.  But I now see that Baucus -- nominee for Ambassadorship to China -- is, along with IP-industry-tool Orrin Hatch, a promoter of fast track approval for trade agreements.  I can't compete with all the bloggers and journalists talking about the problems with the TPP.  But I will say that one of the most insidious aspects of these "Trade Agreements" is that they are reached (usually after having been drafted by industry) without much public or Congressional input, and only after that is Congress asked to enact legislation to implement them.  Legislation by trade agreement.

Luckily, the rest of Congress seems to (finally) understand the problem.

Here's a link:  http://www.foreffectivegov.org/blog/updated-fast-track-authority-trade-agreements-faces-dead-end-congress

And here's a quick quote:

"On Jan. 9, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), joined by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), introduced controversial fast-track legislation, entitled the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.” Contrary to the bill’s title, the Camp-Baucus proposal is not widely supported by Republicans or Democrats in the House or Senate. The bill was introduced last week without a House Democratic co-sponsor, and Baucus – the president’s nominee for the ambassador to China – is the only Senate Democrat sponsoring the bill."