Friday, February 15, 2019

February Vitamin Consultancy Newsletter STS WEBINAR

[1] FDA Takes Action Against Products Claiming to Treat Disease

[2] NEW WEBINAR: When must you have batches of your product tested?


[1] The journalists at Vitamin Retailer have been investigating FDA's latest actions and report "On Feb. 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted 12 warning letters and 5 online advisory letters to foreign and domestic companies that are illegally selling more than 58 products, many that are sold as dietary supplements, which are unapproved new drugs and/or misbranded drugs that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions."

Looking more closely at the warning letters and actions, we find that they are mostly about the "claims" being made, not the ingredients (though some disreputable companies have adulterated their vitamin products with unapproved drugs).  The lesson:  be careful what you claim.  Be very careful about the words you use to describe those claims!  For example, one of the valid nutrient ingredients mentioned was Alpha GPC (L-Alpha glycerophosphocholine) --not because it is a "drug" -- but because the claims made were about treating cognitive impairment medical conditions.

The article reports that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD said, “Today’s actions are part of the FDA’s larger effort to address the booming growth of the dietary supplement industry through the implementation of modern regulatory initiatives that will enable the agency to preserve the balanced vision of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), enacted by Congress 25 years ago. That law sought to achieve the right balance between preserving consumers’ access to lawful
supplements, promoting innovation in these products, while upholding our obligation to protect the public from unsafe and unlawful products and holding accountable those actors who are unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements of the law. Our newest policy efforts will seize the game-changing opportunity to further strengthen the regulatory framework overseeing dietary supplements and will hone in on important steps to both promote industry innovation while upholding the safety of these products as part of our overall commitment to protecting public health.”

Bottom Line:  pay attention to the words you use to state your claims... and have the Vitamin Consultancy review them before you communicate to the public!



[2] Here is a Practice Question I often receive from my Vitamin Consultancy clients.

Does FDA require that the Label Owner of a DSHEA Dietary Supplement have finished product batch-tested [in addition to verifying the ingredients]?

Yes.  Here are the batch testing concerns from Subpart C of the GMP regulations:

1.  That the product meets the specifications for the product in 6 specific areas - 21 CFR 111.75(a) through (g)
2.  That an expiration date, if any, is scientifically valid [Such a date is not required by FDA, so I do not recommend expiration dates]
3.  Specific types of tests required - 21 CFR 111.75(h)(2)
4.  Must test for: identity, purity, strength, composition, and the limits on types of contamination that may adulterate - 21 CFR 111.75(c) & (d)
5.  Every finished batch must be tested - 21 CFR 111.75(c)
6.  There are certain exemptions - 21 CFR 111.75(d)

In addition to testing concerns, Part IX also addresses Specifications and Samples. You have to determine what your specifications are for 7 specific areas set forth in Subpart B and, under Subpart C, you have to determine whether your product meets the specifications in 6 specific areas listed there.

Comparison of Subpart B and C Specification Requirements:

B.  Required to Establish

1. control point specifications
2. components
3. in-process
4. labels and packaging
5. finished batch
6. received for packaging and labeling
7. finished product packaging and labeling

C.  Required to Determine Product Meets

1. components
2. in-process
3. finished batch
4. received for packaging and labeling
5. labels and packaging
6. finished product packaging and labeling

[Subpart A is about "General Requirements" and Subpart B is about Requirements to Establish Specifications; Subpart C is about testing. Subpart D* is about specifications and verification of dietary ingredients and Subpart E is about representative and reserve samples]

My new Specifications, Testing and Sampling (STS) Webinar and eBook cover these matters in greater detail with references to the specific regulations and standards required.  Email me with "STS Webinar" in the subject line and we can arrange your access to the webinar and its accompanying ebook.

As always, of course, my monthly retainer clients will automatically receive access to this new Webinar and eBook as soon as they are posted.