Arizona proposal to register supplements as non-prescription drugs axed, thanks to efforts of trade organizations

January 2, 2019

A proposal under consideration by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy that would have severely limited dietary supplement access and commerce in the state has been reconsidered. 

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) reports that with the help of the Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC), they have been able to change a proposal under consideration by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy that would have severely limited dietary supplement access and commerce in the state. The proposal under consideration was to require companies selling dietary supplements in Arizona to register as either a resident or non-resident “wholesaler of nonprescription drugs” if their products provided DSHEA-authorized structure-function claims. This is inconsistent with federal law, which regulates dietary supplements as food.

“Natural products and supplements are safe and under strict regulation by the federal government, and because of that the U.S. enjoys the safest food supply in the world,” said Daniel Fabricant, president and CEO of NPA, in a press release. “Supplements are not drugs and should not be regulated like drugs, because it would raise costs and block access to the products consumers want. We commend the Arizona Board of Pharmacy and other officials for working with us to help Arizonans.”

“The state permit requirements as originally proposed would have been inconsistent with longstanding and extensive federal dietary supplement regulations and would have put companies selling supplements in Arizona in an unreasonable position," added AHPA president Michael McGuffin. The trade association had sent a letter to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on September 24, 2018, expressing its strong opposition to the proposal, explaining its potential impact on industry and consumers. During a meeting on December 5, 2018, reports AHPA, the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy began the process of eliminating the language in question from the Arizona Administrative Code as well as restricting the board’s jurisdiction over dietary supplements.