NPA: Despite study, ER visits due to supplements few and far between
WASHINGTON – The supplement industry on Wednesday attacked the methodology and findings of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that claimed dietary supplements are responsible for approximately 23,000 hospital visits each year.
But that doesn't mean supplements are dangerous. Nor does it mean that the use of supplements will put you in the hospital, according to the Natural Products Association.
Because what the NEJM study authors do not share is that number, if accurate, represents 0.0001687% of the 136.3 million hospital visits each year, noted the Natural Products Association in a release issued Wednesday evening.
"That percentage becomes even smaller when you eliminate the products that are not dietary supplements and exclude the ER visits that resulted from eye drops, ear drops, and other OTC and non-dietary supplement products inaccurately included by the researchers to make their projections for dietary supplements," noted Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
The Study, “Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Events Related to Dietary Supplements,” based its findings on data from 63 emergency departments from 2004 through 2013 instead of relying on the official Food and Drug Administration’s Serious Adverse Event Reporting database for dietary supplements, NPA added.
“The laws that regulate supplements require official reporting of adverse events so that the regulators, the health care community and others can review the data and make informed public policy decisions," stated Dan Fabricant, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association. "This so-called study excludes that very data, which is more than puzzling because it was written in part by FDA officials who know this,” Fabricant added. “The facts are that adverse events from supplements are extremely low given their widespread usage, and most of these are the result of three factors: accidents, people not consulting with their doctor or misuse of a product combined with other health factors."
“The results of this study reinforce that dietary supplements are safe products, particularly when put into context with the number of people — over 150 million Americans — who take dietary supplements every year," MacKay said.
Citing government data, NPA reported there were 3,249 adverse event reports for 2012.
NoorVitamins hitting mass retail with halal-certified supplements
BELLEROSE, N.Y. – NoorVitamins is looking to make some headway in the dietary suppolement space as a U.S.-based manufacturer of halal vitamins.
Halal supplements have been prepared according to Islamic law, and is free from pork products, alcohol and certain other ingredients. A variety of Islamic groups are involved in Halal certification, with companies who wish their products to carry a Halal label paying fees for inspection and certification.
Halal vitamins are highly recommended during Ramadan when Muslims are fasting.
NoorVitamins recently introduced three new products, including a multivitamin with a proprietary blend to support energy and immunity, a hair/skin/nails product and an enhanced prenatal vitamin.
N.J. becomes 9th state to restrict sale of DXM
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey governor Chris Christie took action Tuesday by signing a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of medications containing dextromethorphan, a substance found in more than 120 over-the-counter cold medications, to any person under the age of 18 unless they have a prescription. New Jersey is the ninth state to implement a law restricting the sale of DXM-containing products to adults.
“The enactment of similar legislation in states across the country has indicated that limiting teen access to DXM is a proven way to prevent abuse,” stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “We are confident that this law will further allow parents to prevent abuse among their children, while continuing to ensure access for the millions of adults and families who responsibly use products containing DXM to treat common cough symptoms.”
The New Jersey legislation addresses the growing problem of teenagers overusing or abusing dextromethorphan to get high and requires the Department of Health to post a link on its website containing a list of products in which dextromethorphan is an active ingredient.
The new law will take effect on Feb. 1, 2016.
According to the 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, one in 30 teens abuses OTC cough medicine containing DXM to get high. To learn more about the side effects of DXM abuse and obtain access to toolkits, brochures, and other educational materials for parents and community leaders visit StopMedicineAbuse.org.
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