Drugs in Supplements? – New Site Keeps Industry Informed on Tainted Products Sold as Supplements

August 29, 2011 By

Drugs in Supplements? New Site Keeps Industry Informed on Tainted Products Sold as Supplements

Lydia Hunziker, BComm
Manager of Communications and Client Services, Dicentra

When consumers purchase a natural health product, not only do they expect the content to match the label, they expect no pharmaceutical drugs to be included. After a series of FDA investigations revealed substances such as sibutramine (Meridia) were found in some weight loss products and PDE inhibitors (Viagra) in sexual enhancement products, both the FDA and the natural product industry agreed new strategies had to be developed. In this effort, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has taken the lead by launching a website called KeepSupplementsClean.org. The website is designed to keep the dietary supplement industry informed on issues related to illegal tainted products being sold as supplements.

Since 2008 the FDA has identified almost 300 dietary supplement products that contained undeclared prescription drugs and other chemicals. Late last year the FDA issued a letter to industry which sparked a series of meetings with various trade associations, including the AHPA. These discussions revealed a shared interest to develop strategies and resources to stop the selling of illegal products masquerading as supplements.

The KeepSupplementsClean.org website highlights the categories that experienced the most adulteration i.e. weight loss, sexual enhancement, and body building, and provides links to communications from the FDA on each of them. Although the website is focused on being a resource for industry, the AHPA hopes that interested consumers may also find the information valuable. To truly ‘keep supplements clean’ a strong collaboration between the FDA, the industry and consumers will be necessary moving forward.

For any questions on regulatory issues in Canada or the US please contact our experts at Dicentra.

Dicentra provides regulatory and scientific solutions for business growth you can trust. Our international expertise is specialized in the areas of natural health products, dietary supplements, OTCs, foods and cosmetics.

We can be reached at 1-866-647-3279 or at dicentra.com

References :

1. www.keepsupplementsclean.org (Visited August 26, 2011)
2. www.naturalproductsinsider.com (Visited August 26, 2011)