December 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 335

Advertisement

December 01, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

November 30, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

November 29, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

FDA Issues Warning Letters to 7 Dietary Supplement Companies for Drug Claims

  • On November 17, 2022, FDA posted warning letters to 7 companies for selling different dietary supplements with claims that caused the products to be “drugs” in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).  Under the FD&C Act, products intended to diagnose, cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent disease are drugs and are subject to the requirements that apply to drugs, even if they are labeled as dietary supplements.

  • The claims were found on the 7 companies’ websites, social media pages, and/or Amazon or Walmart storefronts, and included a variety of statements regarding the products’ claimed abilities to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent cardiovascular disease (or related conditions, such as atherosclerosis, stroke, or heart failure).  Six of the companies at issue sell a product(s) containing one or more dietary ingredients identified as Vitamin B3, red yeast rice, pine bark extract, EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, bergamot, Hawthorn berry, Hawthorn extract, Coleus forskohlii, hops, taurine, garlic powder, amino sulfonic acid, Co-Q-10, and/or octacosanol.  The seventh company does not list a dietary ingredient but identifies its product as a “glycocalyx regenerating product” and notes various “pathologies associated with impaired endothelial glycocalyx.”  As noted in the warning letters, FDA has not evaluated whether the unapproved products are effective for their intended use, the proper dosage, potential interaction with FDA-approved drugs or other substances, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.  Further, in addition to characterizing the products as unapproved “new drugs,” FDA’s letters note misbranding charges based on the impossibility of writing adequate directions for a layperson to use the products safely for the intended purpose of treating one more diseases that are not amenable to self-diagnosis or treatment without the supervision of a licensed practitioner.

  • FDA requested that the companies respond to the warning letters within 15 working days and describe how they will address the issues, or provide reasoning and substantiation as to why they believe the products are not in violation of the law.  Failure to adequately address could result in legal action, such as product seizure and/or injunction.

Lauren Haas, Nicholas Prust, Frederick Stearns, and Emily Thomas also contributed to this article.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 325
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Lisa P. Alsobrook Attorney Keller Heckman DC Office
Associate

Lisa Alsobrook practices in the area of food and drug law. She advises domestic and foreign clients on regulatory requirements for foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and food and drug packaging in jurisdictions around the world. Her main focus is regulatory and compliance matters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture relating to human food, food packaging material, animal feed, food additives and ingredients, and dietary supplements.

Prior to attending law school, Lisa earned a master’s degree in Food Science. She worked as a...

202-434-4237
Melvin S. Drozen, FDA, regulatory lawyer, Keller Heckman, law firm
Partner

Melvin S. Drozen joined Keller and Heckman in 1987.

Mr. Drozen advises clients on a broad spectrum of FDA, FTC, USDA and EPA (pesticides) regulatory matters, ranging from premarket approval requirements for food additives, dietary supplement ingredients, drugs, and medical devices to advertising and labeling provisions applicable to all of these products. Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, he was an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then an attorney in the General Counsel's Office of the Food and Drug Administration for seven...

202-434-4222
Jill M Mahoney Associate Attorney Keller Heckman
Associate

Jill Mahoney advises clients on regulatory requirements for food, animal feed, food additives, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. She counsels clients on labeling and advertising compliance and claims substantiation issues, including nutrition labeling, ingredient declarations, nutrient content claims, structure function claims, and Country of Origin labeling. She assists food, animal feed, and dietary supplement manufacturers in preparing self-determined GRAS positions, GRAS Notifications for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submissions, New Dietary Ingredient Notification submissions...

202-434-4184
Richard Mann Partner Keller Heckman DC
Partner

Richard (Rick) Mann represents his clients in business and trade association disputes relating to food advertising, promotional and labeling claims, food safety and compliance issues, and general business and corporate law matters.

Rick works extensively with clients in the development of compliant advertising, promotional, and labeling claims and campaigns, and the development of appropriate support for such claims. His regulatory experience allows him to represent his clients in proceedings at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National...

202-434-4229
Paula S. Pastuskovas San Francisco Food and Drug Attorney Keller and Heckman
Associate

Paula Pastuskovas counsels domestic and international clients on regulatory and compliance matters in food and drug law. She assists clients in obtaining regulatory clearances for food additives and food-contact materials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, and other comparable international agencies. She advises clients on food labeling, ingredient, and substantiation issues. 

As a resident of the firm’s San Francisco office, Paula also advises companies on compliance with California’s state and local laws. This...

415-948-2830
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement