Future of Dietary Supplements Discussed at CHPA’s RSQ

Washington, D.C.—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) held its 2021 Regulatory, Scientific, and Quality (RSQ) Conference virtually last week., with a dietary supplement track featuring panels on emerging trends and issues for the category.

CHPA shared in a press release that the event featured record participation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., and Acting Director for the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP) in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Cara Welch, Ph.D.

Some highlights, according to the release:

  • Modernizing DSHEA. Dr. Woodcock highlighted the need to update the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). “The industry is not in the same place as it was 27 years ago when DSHEA was passed,” she said. “We all know that. We have people all across the United States who take multiple dietary supplements, and our job is to make sure they’re not harmed by those. That those unsafe or unlawful products do not get into the market and holding companies accountable should they not comply with the requirements of the law. However, our tools to do that are fairly limited.”
  • FDA-Industry Collaboration. Stressing the importance of industry collaboration to strengthen the framework of DSHEA, Dr. Woodcock said: “I think we need to evaluate mutually and collaboratively with the industry, the current regulatory framework to make sure that FDA has the tools to keep bad actors out of the marketplace, to keep reputational issues for the industry good and strong, and also protect patients and consumers.”
  • Mandatory Product Listing. Dr. Cara Welch discussed DSHEA and the role mandatory product listing can play in allowing FDA to better manage its resources and inform retailers and consumers about marketed products. “The patient-healthcare provider conversation can really be informed by having a product listing,” Dr. Welch said. “If someone can literally pull up a listing and tell their physician ‘this is the product I’m taking,’ they’ll be able to see it. What are the levels of these ingredients? How might this product affect what else my patient is taking?”
    During a panel discussion, Liz Richardson, Director of Health Care Products Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, noted overwhelming bipartisan support for product listing, with 97% of Democrats and 93% of Republicans supporting the policy.
  • CBD Regulation. Dr. Woodcock discussed FDA’s cross-agency work on regulatory policy for cannabidiol (CBD), stating: “We continue to underscore the need for scientific evidence to support the safety profile of CBD, especially in consideration of both the known and unknowns about the science, safety and quality of products that contain CBD. To this end, we remain steadfast in our effort to obtain research, data and other safety and public health input to inform our approach and to address consumer access in a way that protects public health and maintains incentives for cannabis drug development through established regulatory pathways.”

Other dietary supplement highlights, according to the release:

  • Discussion on standards underlying New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) and the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) pathways;
  • Insights into the regulatory, scientific, and legislative landscape of CBD;
  • Discussion on retailer support for harmonizing quality programs to protect consumers when purchasing products;
  • Overview on the growing use and future of probiotics.

Registration to watch all on-demand content will remain open until October 10.