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How do you view pharmaceutical/nutraceutical health claims?

Regulatory agencies have been cracking down on product health claims as companies vie for consumer spending.
FILED IN:  Applications  > Healthcare  > Pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement/functional foods communities seem to be at odds regarding health-related claims. In an exclusive September survey, Healthcare Packaging asked readers how they view the situation. What follows are some of their responses.

A pharmaceutical respondent said, “Pharmaceutical and nutritional supplements are manufactured for human beings. In all aspects, the utmost care and compliance of strict procedures must be followed.”

“Setting standards to be adhered to is good as it puts all vendors on an equal playing field,” noted a components provider.

Some respondents feel the playing field has not been equal, as this pharmacy pro said: “I believe that nutritional supplements should be held to the same standards as pharmaceuticals. The risks are still there whether you are dealing with either market.”

“Better controls are needed in the nutraceutical arena,” suggested a pharmaceutical respondent. “Of concern are the health risks associated with tainted raw materials sourced from outside the U.S. Drug/nonpharmaceutical interactions are also of concern.”

A medical device respondent added, “Too many nutritional supplements had no basis in the claims made. Consumers had difficulties understanding the differences in the two areas.”

Two packaging vendors made similar statements. “The nonpharmaceutical side should be required to follow all cGMP [current Good Manufacturing Practices] requirements.” Another vendor respondent pointed out, “The nontraditional business needs to become compliant as they make greater health claims. Nontraditional medicine is growing and will compete with traditional medicine.”

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