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Dietary supplement industry gets its due with GMP requirements

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The dietary supplement industry is free at last from any major news organization making any kind of assertion that the industry is “unregulated.”

(THE NEWS: CRN: Dietary supplement manufacturers must be GMP-compliant. For the full story, click here)

To recap, all of the dietary supplement industry must conform to best manufacturing practice standards that were designed specifically for this industry, and consequently are more strict, per se, than the food good manufacturing practices that supplement manufacturers had to live up to prior. Now all that’s left is for the FDA actually to begin touring supplement manufacturing plants and begin enforcing the new GMPs across the industry.

And make no mistake about it, the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s Steve Mister was sincere when he said the supplement industry welcomes the opportunity to live up to these requirements. The CRN — as well as other supplement associations — have been calling for the implementation of supplement-specific GMPs for about the last 15 years, or ever since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 was passed. Under a similar vein, they have advocated the implementation of serious adverse event reporting requirements and have partnered with the National Advertising Division on a voluntary program to help either substantiate or disavow any questionable supplement claims.

And the reason is simple. This industry has worked long and hard to distance itself from those entities masquerading as supplement companies with their long line of adulterated drug products — steroids, for example, or the products advertised in online ads for “natural” erectile dysfunction, or weight-loss supplements that actually contain pharmaceutical medicines.

Including these “companies” under the umbrella of the supplement industry is kind of like suggesting corner drug dealers are more or less “pharmaceutical redistributors” that fall under the umbrella of healthcare practitioners. The end game, after all, is consumer confidence. And that confidence is best earned in the clear light of day.

Moreover, what it does NOT mean is that this industry will be free from criticism. And that’s absolutely okay, too. Because chances are that criticism now will circle around sound science (e.g., peer-reviewed clinical studies) rather than what does or does not constitute a regulated industry.

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Duracell launches myGrid mobile device chargers

BY Allison Cerra

BETHEL, Conn. Duracell has expanded its Smart Power line with a new product designed to charge the latest mobile devices.

New myGrid kits now are available for Apple products and smart phones with micro-USB ports. The kits allow devices to wirelessly charge, eliminating the frustration of having multiple charging cords that can clutter up the home or office space and take up electrical outlets.

“Consumers today want a simpler way of charging the devices that are vital to their day-to-day lives. With new devices being introduced at a rapid pace, we’re bringing consumers new innovations to help realize their personal power needs,” said Rick June, Duracell VP and general manager, North America.

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Martindale succeeds Standley as Rite Aid’s COO

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday promoted Ken Martindale to COO, succeeding John Standley who was promoted to president and CEO following the Rite Aid annual meeting conducted Wednesday.

“In a very short time, [Martindale] has had a significant impact on a number of the initiatives we’re implementing to improve our performance and grow profitable sales, including the launch of our new customer loyalty program Wellness+, the revamping and expansion of our private brand program and our segmentation strategies for low volume stores,” Standley said. “Add to that his first hand experience in store operations during his extensive retail career, and Rite Aid has a very talented and accomplished new COO.”

Martindale will have overall responsibility for all store operations as well as category management, marketing, merchandising and supply chain. Martindale was senior EVP merchandising prior to the promotion. 

Martindale, 50, joined Rite Aid in December 2008. Previously, he served as co-president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Pathmark prior to that company’s sale to A&P. Martindale started his retail career in 1975 with Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, where he climbed the ladder from a district manager in store operations to SVP marketing and SVP sales and merchandising. In January 1998, he joined Fred Meyer where he served as EVP sales and procurement.

During his retail career, Martindale also founded and operated Orchard Street Inc. a food retailer in Salt Lake City; consulted for national and regional food retailers on category management, marketing and strategic planning; and served as president, CEO and chairman of Intesource Inc., a software company designed to help food and drug retail, wholesale and manufacturing clients with procurement.

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