On Wednesday, CVS Pharmacy stated that it is planning to require independent checks on all the supplements and vitamins distributed in nearly all 10,000 stores to ensure that customers could get high-quality products.
The testing will examine the precision of the labels and safety. This is the latest effort of this firm to control the unregulated supplements and vitamins industry.
The company announces that they have already examined nearly 1,500 products from 10 categories and 150 brands, including digestive supplements, pain, nutrition, and diet. Of those tested products, 7% didn’t meet standards and were eliminated from CVS stores.
The campaign is a part of the “Tested to Be Trusted” program, which aims at informing clients that all of the vitamins and dietary supplements on CVS’s stores will be carefully tested and verified. The main purpose is to show them that the firm is a trusted brand in the market.
These tests will be performed by independent third parties rather than the company itself. These include US Pharmacopeia and NFS International.
“Our requirement of testing of all supplements and vitamins proves that we are a trusted health partner and retailer where you can be assured and shop with confidence,” said Kevin Hourican, director of CVS Pharmacy.”
Most dietary supplements and vitamins aren’t being regulated by the FDA, meaning that they don’t have thorough safety testing.
“Without regulation, supplements such as herbal products and multivitamins would be contaminated with hazardous components such as pharmaceutical drugs or lead. In many products, the amount of the nutrient specified on the label isn’t the actual amount inside the bottle,” claimed Beth Kitchin, a nutritional expert.
“This campaign from CVS can be good news for every consumer because it can guarantee that sold supplements won’t be contaminated with potentially hazardous components,” said Beth Kitchin.
However, she also cautions that this doesn’t mean that these products are effective or provide us with any health benefits. “Supplement manufacturers aren’t required to prove that these products are effective. Thus, this campaign won’t change that.”
In 2016, the largest supplement retailer in the US – GNC – had to pay up to $2.25 million to settle with the Department of Justice due to the constant crackdown of the federal authorities on products which are loaded with hidden drug components, and dangerous ingredients.
But Beth Kitchin still thinks that this is a positive campaign to make the market more accountable and keep it in check.