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CVS Will Only Sell Supplements Tested by Third Parties

2019-05-23 09:22 Thursday

In mid-May, CVS Pharmacy announced that it would only sell vitamins and supplements tested by third parties to ensure their safety and label accuracy. The move is aimed at cleaning up the safety of food supplements.


The Food and Drug Administration does not review the contents of vitamin and supplement, and the agency mainly intervenes when problems are reported. So when a product is put on the market, it goes directly to the pharmacy, and most pharmacies do not test the safety of the product.

CVS's move is designed to address these issues. "We think there's a big gap between what's on the label and what's actually in the bottle," said George Coleman, a senior vice president at CVS.

Starting in mid-to-late May, all vitamins and supplements sold online and in CVS stores, including multivitamins, protein powders, painkillers and digestive aids, will be tested by third-party testing. As the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements to say, while these tests do not guarantee a supplement's benefits, they do confirm that the product's label is accurate and that it is not exaggerated or misstated.

To comply with CVS's new rules, supplement manufacturers will have to pay to have their products approved by NSF International or Eurofins, a laboratory that specializes in food, drug and environmental testing.

Every product sold in CVS stores is tested to make sure its ingredients match those listed on the label and are free of contaminants and unnecessary additives, Mr. Coleman said. CVS also regularly tests in-store supplements.

If a product doesn't pass the test, it is either removed from CVS shelves or the manufacturer updates the label or formula.

Still, CVS's plan doesn't guarantee that all of the vitamins and supplements it sells are as effective as them claim. Coleman said the purpose of the test was to make sure "the ingredients on the label is what's in the bottle and it's safe. We are not to prove the efficacy of the product, but to ensure the safety of it.

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