NPA Responds to Senator McCaskill’s Statement on Dietary Supplements and Cancer Patients

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The Natural Products Association (NPA) today responded to comments made by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) regarding the interaction of dietary supplements and natural products in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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“Does Senator McCaskill really want the FDA to do what doctors took an oath to do? It’s absurd to suggest that the FDA should get between a doctor and a patient.”

The Natural Products Association (NPA) today responded to comments made by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) regarding the interaction of dietary supplements and natural products in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The following statement can be attributed to Dan Fabricant, Ph.D., CEO and Executive Director of NPA:

“Does Senator McCaskill really want the FDA to do what doctors took an oath to do? It’s absurd to suggest that the FDA should get between a doctor and a patient.

There’s not a product or supplement on the planet that is designed to interact with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Plenty of foods such as grapefruit juice can cause potential interactions in patients taking prescription drugs and that’s why it’s important for anyone thinking about taking a supplement to speak first with a doctor.

Monitoring drug-drug and food-drug interactions is not always an easy task. Taking good histories by physicians in an outpatient setting unfortunately does not happen often enough. Good patient histories of past medication histories often only happen after a patient is in the hospital on an inpatient setting.

The truth of the matter is that many people take supplements each and every day, and many hospitals have supplements on their formulary. Supplements prescribed in the hospital are overseen by a P&T committee and selected for their proven efficacy, for example, to help absorb lipid soluble drugs in some patient populations or treat iron deficiency anemia. Consumers can also rest assured knowing that supplements are regulated by the government. Manufacturers of dietary supplements are required to follow the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).

The Natural Products Association has also gone above and beyond what is required by federal law to offer third-party certification for its member companies and other supplement manufacturers. We are committed to educating consumers and the public about the safe use of dietary supplements and natural products and strongly encourage the FDA to use all of the resources at its disposal to do the same.”    

Natural Products Association
The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the trade association representing the entire natural products industry. We advocate for our members who supply, manufacture and sell natural ingredients or products for consumers. The Natural Products Association promotes good manufacturing practices as part of the growth and success of the industry. Founded in 1936, NPA represents over 1,400 members accounting for more than 10,000 locations of retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. Visit http://www.NPAinfo.org.
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Justin Bartolomeo
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