CHPA’s Fireside Chat with Dr. Scott Gottlieb Covers CBD, COVID

Washington, D.C.—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) launched its Self-Care Leadership Series with a Fireside Chat with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, which covered a range of topics including COVID-19 and CBD.

On the latter, the former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner noted that dietary supplements are becoming more complex in terms of formulations and ingredients, and with the goal to create a marketplace where consumers can have confidence that what they see is what they get.

“They are making a decision around their health, that a certain dietary supplement is going to help them in a certain way based on their information they have based on advice from their providers,” Dr. Gottlieb told attendees. “They should be getting what they expect and they shouldn’t be getting things that they don’t expect, and I think that ingredient notification is an important vehicle for that. I think there’s an inevitability to it.”

His advice: “If I was the industry I would try to couple it with some other policy reforms that could expand opportunities and expand innovation in the field. That’s why I talk about it in the context of exclusivity and newer pathways to get new dietary ingredients into the space, like CBD.” Right now, he continued, this process is “far too difficult” and there needs to be a more comprehensive approach.

On the topic of CBD, Dr. Gottlieb said, “The field has gotten way far ahead of where the regulation is, and the regulation now needs to solve for the marketplace. Consumers want to use these products, consumers are using them, consumers are using them safely.”

Dr. Gottlieb’s opinion remains that a legislative fix is needed. “To be able to go through the rulemaking process to make CBD a new dietary ingredient that can be added to food products, I’m not sure it’s even possible. And if it was, you’re talking about a very long process. It’s not going to happen in the timeframe in which the industry wants to operate. There is precedent for Congress legislating one-off fixes for certain ingredients; having legislation that’s specific for that ingredient to create a pathway just for that ingredient. You don’t like to do it; you don’t like to carve ingredients of drug substances out of the regulatory scheme, but it happens from time-to-time, and I don’t think it’s the end of the world when it happens. We just have to recognize it’s rare and there has to be good rationale when it happens.”

For CBD, he is in favor of this one-off action from Congress. “That’s what I would be doing. I wouldn’t be waiting for the FDA to act here, because whatever the FDA does ultimately is imperfect and incomplete because it doesn’t have the authority and the statute that gives it the dexterity to address this.”

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On the topic of COVID-19, Dr. Gottlieb acknowledged that we just don’t know what the future holds, but he thinks it possible that come December-January we may be starting to hunker down again as we face a flu-COVID season. He added that one thing that does seem likely is that people will be less inclined to go to work or travel when they are feeling unwell, noting that you don’t want to be the person walking about your office with a box of tissues, sniffling or coughing. And because of that, products that help relieve symptoms will be desirable.

Next up for the summit:

April 7: IRI’s Kristin Hornberger and Robert J. Sanders, Jr. will present State of the Industry: A Look Back and Forward.

April 20: Korn Ferry’s Kevin Cashman will provide participants with real tools and practices for focused problem-solving during his Enterprise Leadership: Step Back to Lead Forward On-Purpose.

May 24: Being the Change We Seek: An Industry on the Move for Equity and Inclusion will address diversity, equity, and inclusion with a panel featuring Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us.

CHPA is also planning on hosting, if possible, an In-person Leadership Summit with CHPA’s Board of Directors on June 16 in New Hope, PA.

And for more education and networking, join WholeFoods Magazine and Trust Transparency Center for Nutri-Beauty: Mastering the Market. The nutricosmetics and beauty-from-within market is booming. From a perfect smile and smooth, radiant skin to thick, shiny hair and strong nails, consumers want to look and feel their best. This free virtual event will bridge the gaps between science and strategy, bringing together world-class research, business intelligence, and regulatory insights to allow suppliers, brands, retailers, practitioners, and other industry players to master the rapidly developing space.

Visit www.NaturallyInformed.net to reserve your spot for all of the 2021 events:
Nutri-Beauty: Mastering the Market on April 21-22
Active Nutrition: Mastering the Market on June 29-30
Healthy Aging: Mastering the Market on September 29-30