Washington, D.C.—The dietary supplement industry is commending FDA for taking action to protect consumers by calling out marketers who make illegal and unsubstantiated drug claims related to COVID-19, according to a press release.
FDA has sent 16 warning letters to companies claiming that their products can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the release notes, adding: “We applaud FDA for taking swift action and urge continued aggressive prosecution against products being promoted with illegal and unsubstantiated claims of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.” Illegal drug claims can prevent consumers from seeking medical care and endanger the public health; there has been no clinical research on the efficacy of using a dietary supplement on COVID-19.
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The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) in February endorsed the following unified advisory for marketers and retailers, as well as for consumers of dietary supplements:
- Marketers and retailers of dietary supplements should refuse to stock or sell any supplements that are presented as treating, curing or preventing COVID-19.
- Marketers and retailers should refrain from promoting any dietary supplement as a cure, treatment or prevention for COVID-19.
- Consumers should avoid any product that is claiming to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19 and report such products to the Food and Drug Administration.
- Anyone who believes they may have COVID-19 or may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus should contact a healthcare professional immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on the coronavirus disease and the proper actions to take if you suspect you are ill.
The release concludes: “Each trade association and its member companies prioritizes the safety and well-being of consumers above all else. The responsible industry is committed to providing the public with safe, high-quality dietary supplement products that provide many positive benefits to promote better health and wellness.”