HERNDON, Va., Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy brand VSL#3® (www.vsl3.com), distributed in the U.S. by Sigma-Tau Healthscience USA, Inc. under agreement with VSL Pharmaceuticals, has moved the manufacture of its brand, the most studied and recommended high-potency probiotic medical food, back to Italy, where it was originally developed and produced. The move includes the elimination of any traces of dairy in the manufacturing process, making it the only probiotic medical food available that is dairy-free. People who suffer from IBS, ulcerative colitis or an ileal pouch, and who are also among the 30 to 50 million people in the U.S. who have allergies to milk or are lactose intolerant, can now take VSL#3 to manage their IBS, UC or ileal pouch.
"As demand for the VSL#3 brand continues, we have more consumers and recommenders talking about VSL#3 and giving us great feedback over the years, including some questions around the dairy component," explains Mary Ocnean, Vice President, Commercial Operations at Sigma-Tau Healthscience USA, Inc.
"Moving VSL#3 back to the original manufacturing facility in Italy allowed the brand to revert back to an established process that removes all dairy while maintaining the original proprietary mix of eight strains of live bacteria," Ocnean adds.
The move to Italy also allowed for several upgrades to VSL#3 brand packaging without the need to raise prices to the thousands of patients with the serious digestive conditions IBS, UC and ileal pouch who rely on VSL#3 for the dietary management of their conditions. These packaging advances have preserved and improved upon the old packaging to further maintain potency in a brand that is supported by more than 170 published studies over the past 15 years.
"We now have the ability to improve our processes and stabilize pricing for patients, and we've made two incredible updates to the VSL#3 packaging," expresses Ocnean.
"These updates include an innovative new cap for VSL#3 capsule bottles and an additional layer of thickness to the powder packets or sachets, helping to reduce the amount moisture that can possibly product, all of which can compromise the potency of live bacteria," Ocnean adds. "The innovative new cap is similar to the type seen on bottled water and makes a second seal – the peel-off covering on the bottle that was previously used – unnecessary."
To further improve the brand, a trace amount of cornstarch* has been added to VSL#3, as an inactive ingredient that helps to reduce moisture and preserve bacterial potency and stability. "VSL#3 unflavored packets have always contained cornstarch and now this inactive ingredient has been added to improve the other forms of the product, as well," explains Ocnean.
These recent enhancements allow the VSL#3 brand to provide more product and patient benefits than ever. "Moving our manufacturing facility back to our roots in Italy is something we've been eagerly awaiting," says Ocnean. "Not only is the process more efficient, but we continue to be able to provide our healthcare professionals and consumers with a product they can trust while at the same time, stabilize prices."
Patients can visit www.vsl3.com for up-to-date product information, information on the brand's new patient savings program, IBS-friendly recipes and more. In addition, patients are invited to join a very active community of digestive condition sufferers on the VSL#3 Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/VSL3probiotic, to get the latest news on tips for managing IBS, ulcerative colitis or ileal pouch, and receive special offers and promotions.
*The new VSL#3 product manufactured in Italy contains cornstarch and is already being sold in the U.S. Customers who are taking VSL#3 capsules or VSL#3 DS and have a corn allergy need to speak with their Healthcare Professional to see if VSL#3 is still the right probiotic for them. For Consumers who have purchased VSL#3 that has been manufactured in Italy (as shown on the product label) and can no longer take it due to a corn allergy, please contact customer service at 1-866-438-8753.
About Sigma-Tau Healthscience USA, Inc.:
Sigma-Tau Healthscience USA, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg Maryland, is the leader in commercializing probiotic medical foods. Dedicated to educating both industry professionals and consumers on functional and metabolic healthcare products that provide specific health benefits, the company is well recognized and highly respected in the health science industry. The company is part of the AlfaSigma Group.
About VSL Pharma:
VSL Pharmaceuticals, Inc. provides medical food for the dietary management of patients in the United States and internationally. It offers VSL#3, a probiotic medical food for the dietary management of patients with ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and ileal pouch. It offers its products through pharmacies and wholesalers, as well as online. VSL Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - with a legal office in Herndon, VA- was incorporated in 2000 as a subsidiary of a Group headquartered in Rome Italy.
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