Product development and management the right way, is crucial in healthcare

Magic Bullet

Ever since we are young, fairy tales are our staple diets. Happy endings fuel our imaginations. Princess will eventually marry the prince charming; and the evil will perish. As we grow older, mass advertisings of cosmetics products, create an impression that skin could be whiten quickly, imperfections could be covered up with minimal efforts. The youthful us tend to indulge in being the subjects perceived as socially attractive.

Here comes the time, when money plays a huge role. The stage when families are built and stabilities are seeked. Naturally, Get-Rich-Quick schemes are the most appealing now.

It seems to be human nature that we seek miracles, in the form of a magic bullet. Swift, effortless and straight-to-the-point magical results.

Inevitably, this is exactly why miracles sell? But, are miracles sustainable? Can they be in the game for good? After all the hassles of setting up businesses, logically the main aim should be to prevail and grow? By bringing miracles to your consumers, are you guaranteed that you will become a major player?

Weight Loss Supplement

Weight loss supplement is a classic example of magic bullet. Consumers want to look appealing but without cutting out the greasy fried chicken.

One of the common weight loss formulation is ephedra alkaloids combined with caffeine or botanical sources of caffeine (e.g., yerba maté, guarana).(1)

Between June 1997 and March 1999, 87 adverse events possibly associated with ephedra use were filed with the FDA MedWatch program. These events included stroke, seizures, episodes of hypertension, myocardial infarction and arrhythmias. 13 were permanently disabled and ten died. Out of these 23 incidents, nine were individuals without major preexisting cardiovascular risk factors and consuming at recommended dosages of ephedra. (2)  

2.2 to 3.6 fold increase in the odds of autonomic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal symptoms and psychiatric were estimated based on adverse event data from 50 trials of ephedra.(3)

In 2001, only 0.8% of all dietary supplement sales are ephedra products, but they were accountable for 64% of herb-related adverse events reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. FDA banned these products in April 2004.(4)

I personally know of 3 individuals whom have taken weight loss supplements and have passed away due to sudden heart arrests.

Putting the wrong step forward not only means your business will not survive, but at the same time can take lives away.

In the over-crowding marketplace, more and more types of health products are surfacing. Consumer decision-making-process is getting more complicated. The two stages, which are information search and evaluations of alternatives are lengthen due to the wide availability of information and ever increasing alternatives. To gain the hearts of consumers, a magic bullet can be a short-term win but may not be the long term win.

Real success is only achievable by having a solid Product Development & Management Framework

There are no shortcuts to real success. The focus is not to build miracles but to build scientifically sound health products which could help consumers to stay healthy. The only way to do this is by having a solid product development and management framework in place.

It is easy to be lost amidst the urge to bring miracles and generate quick money.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. A healthcare empire could be built through effective implementation of this framework.

I personally think that, to love and to be loved is a miracle. Therefore, my life passion has always been to build this miracle. In work, by contributing my skills in helping corporations to build their healthcare empire. In return, to see myself growing knowledge wise.

The focus of Monteloeder has always been building scientifically sound natural active ingredients, which healthcare corporations can use to build scientifically sound products.

Stay tune for my coming articles, as I dwell into how to build this framework.

Sandra Lum 

Asia Pacific Team


References :

Boozer CN, Daly PA, Homel P, Solomon JL, Blanchard D, Nasser JA, et al. Herbal ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and efficacy trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2002;26:593-604.

Haller CA, Benowitz NL. Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. N Engl J Med 2000;343:1833-8.

Shekelle PG, Hardy ML, Morton SC, Maglione M, Mojica WA, Suttorp MJ, et al. Efficacy and safety of ephedra and ephedrine for weight loss and athletic performance: a meta-analysis. JAMA 2003;289:1537-45.

S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA announces plans to prohibit sales of dietary supplements containing ephedra. Accessed online August 18, 2004, at:


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