Requirements to sell Dietary Supplements in the United States

Requirements to sell Dietary Supplements in the United States

Discover the essential requirements for selling dietary supplements in the United States. From DSHEA compliance to GMPs and labeling, navigate the regulatory landscape confidently.

You’re about to step into a regulated industry designed to ensure the safety and quality of products. To successfully navigate this space, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and regulations governing the sale of dietary supplements. This article will explore the essential steps and criteria for selling dietary supplement products in the U.S.

1. Understanding Dietary Supplements

Before delving into the requirements, let’s clarify what dietary supplements are. According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet. They can include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and other substances.

2. Compliance with DSHEA

The DSHEA serves as the foundational regulatory framework for dietary supplements in the U.S. It sets forth essential requirements that manufacturers and distributors must adhere to:

  • Product Labeling: Dietary supplements must have accurate labeling, including a Supplement Facts panel that provides information about the product’s ingredients and serving size.
  • Ingredient Safety: Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of ingredients used in their products. They should not include ingredients that are unsafe or unapproved.
  • Claims and Statements: Claims made on dietary supplement labels must be truthful and not misleading. They cannot claim to treat or cure specific diseases.

3. Establishing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)

Manufacturers must follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These practices ensure that dietary supplements are produced consistently and meet quality standards. GMPs cover various aspects, including facility cleanliness, equipment maintenance, and employee training.

4. Notification to the FDA

While dietary supplements don’t require FDA approval before entering the market, manufacturers must notify the FDA about their products. This notification includes information about the product’s ingredients and labeling. It’s essential to make this notification within 30 days of product launch.

5. Adherence to Dietary Supplement Labeling Requirements

Proper labeling is a cornerstone of dietary supplement compliance. Labels should accurately represent the product’s ingredients, serving size, and claims. It’s crucial to avoid labeling that implies the product is a drug or can cure specific ailments.

6. Avoiding Disease Claims

One critical requirement is the prohibition of disease claims. Dietary supplements cannot claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases. Such claims would categorize the product as a drug, subject to different regulations.

7. Quality Control and Testing

Manufacturers must establish robust quality control systems to ensure their dietary supplements’ identity, purity, strength, and composition. Testing and quality assurance are vital to meeting these requirements.

8. Adverse Event Reporting

Manufacturers and distributors must report serious adverse events associated with their dietary supplements to the FDA. This helps monitor the safety of these products.

9. Compliance with State Regulations

Some states have additional regulations regarding dietary supplements. Ensure compliance with both federal and state requirements.

10. Ongoing Monitoring and Updates

The dietary supplement industry is subject to evolving regulations and ingredient safety evaluations. Stay informed about updates to maintain compliance. Selling dietary supplements in the United States can be a lucrative endeavor. Still, it comes with a responsibility to meet rigorous regulatory standards. By understanding and adhering to these requirements, you can confidently enter the market and offer safe, high-quality products to consumers.

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About the author

Andrew Parshad
Andrew Parshad
Andrew Parshad is President, CEO and founder of Quality Smart Solutions, a North American compliance solutions provider offering regulatory and quality assurance services to comply with FDA & Health Canada brands and ingredients regulations in the categories of dietary supplements, foods, cosmetics, OTC drugs and medical devices. Andrew started Quality Smart Solutions in 2007. Since that time he and his firm has served thousands of clients worldwide . Andrew's affiliate company, Quality IMPORT Solutions that offers import agent services into the Canadian market as a government licensed importer for foods, dietary supplements and medical devices.


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