Yesterday the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) Commissioner announced a new plan for increased oversight over dietary supplements. In his statement, the Commissioner noted how much the dietary supplement market has grown and how many consumers now take a dietary supplement on a regular basis, stating that “consumers need to have access to safe, well-manufactured, and appropriately labeled products.”
As a reminder, the FDA does not pre-approve dietary supplements like it does new drugs; however, it does require that dietary supplements be safe for their intended use and be properly labeled/advertised. It is clear that the FDA is concerned with products being marketed as dietary supplements but being advertised as new drugs that can cure certain diseases or health conditions. Indeed, the Commissioner’s statement indicates that, as part of this new effort, the FDA just sent a multitude of letters to companies whose products claim to prevent, treat, or cure Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or cancer.
While the FDA has numerous priorities related to dietary supplements, the first and foremost being consumer safety, advertising and labeling appear very important. As always, manufacturers/sellers of dietary supplements should make sure that their products are safe, properly labeled, and advertised truthfully.
For a thorough discussion of the FDA’s increased dietary supplement oversight and resulting reactions, read the Washington Post’s recent article here. As a reminder of the industries the FDA regulates and how, including dietary supplements, see my prior blog posts here and here.