While USP is most well-known for its quality standards for medicines and their ingredients, USP also has initiatives focused on food ingredients, dietary supplements and other areas associated with the global supply of medicines. In celebration of World Quality Month, read more about USP's efforts related to product quality and standards.
Herbal products are often seen by consumers as safe because they derive from plants. However, lack of understanding of the plants and their interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medicines may contribute to some herbal products' inefficacy and some might even cause serious reactions, as Gabriel Goancaspro, Ph.D. explains.
Recent news stories have pointed to concerns about the quality of dietary supplements. Yet most Americans take vitamins, minerals or other dietary supplements as a part of their daily health regimen. To choose a quality supplement, look for the USP Verified Mark, which indicates the supplement not only meets regulatory requirements, but was made to even higher quality standards and subject to third party testing.
With the debate about the safety of food additives recently revived in the media, proper identification of the additives themselves is an aspect of food safety often forgotten. It is assumed food ingredients are well known before safety assessments are performed, but that might not be always true.
To help illustrate the true threat of counterfeit and substandard medicines, and demonstrate why USP and so many other organizations are working to improve drug quality, we offer this first-hand story about two near-fatal encounters with bad drugs.
Before the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) defined dietary supplements as a sub-set of foods, questions about how they would be regulated created heated discussion in the US market.