NPA Petitions FDA to Acknowledge the Benefits of Manual, Non-chemical Approaches and the LiceMeister® Comb for the Care of Children with Head Lice

As Mumcuoglu, et al. reported, “Diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast.

The National Pediculosis Association (NPA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting children and their environment from the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter pesticide treatments for lice and scabies, announced today that it has petitioned the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to amend its website and other educational collateral so that combing, in general, and the FDA-accepted 510(k) LiceMeister® comb, in particular, are presented as valid options for the management and treatment of the communicable disease pediculosis capitis (head lice).

The NPA’s petition is consistent with the FDA’s goal to empower consumers and patients to make informed and effective health decisions, as stated by Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. in his blog post, “Looking ahead: Some of FDA’s major policy goals for 2018.” Currently, the agency offers extensive information about brand name chemical methods that can be used to treat children with head lice, but mentions combing only briefly and generically, without sufficiently explaining the value of combing or that all lice combs are not equivalent.

The benefits of combing and the LiceMeister comb are well documented.

Since its inception in 1983, the NPA has advocated for combing to remove lice and nits. In 1997, the NPA developed the LiceMeister comb, which features elongated stainless metal teeth precisely fixed in a hygienically-sealed handle. The comb can be sterilized for safe and repeated use, and in 1998, it was “accepted” by the FDA as a 510(k) medical device (FDA K981250).

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