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Feb-19-2010 13:58printcomments

Proposed Bill May Destroy Freedom of Access to Nutritional Supplements

McCain-Dorgan Bill could make nutritional supplements available only by doctor’s prescription; stifling natural product innovation.

John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) - Ironically, in the middle of American Heart Month 2010, the U.S. Senate is weighing a proposed amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321) that could deny freedom of access and mandate a doctor’s prescription for many dietary supplements, like purified fish oil, which could become seven times more expensive than it is today.

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) have dubbed their new bipartisan bill the “Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010.” A reading of the proposed amendment demonstrates very little in the way of consumer protection. In fact, the new bill jeopardizes consumers’ rights to purchase nutritional supplements at affordable prices, smothers innovation and places big pharmaceutical companies in a position where they could patent certain dietary supplements and make them available only with a physician’s prescription. They could also potentially reap enormous profits as a result of the bill.

“This bill is clear, undeniable evidence of the strong ties between our elected legislators and the pharmaceutical industry, and it is also an attack on innovation,” said Steven Joyal, M.D., Vice President of Science and Medical Affairs of Life Extension. “This bill aims to further pharmaceutical profits by creating wide-ranging, unprecedented FDA power to reclassify natural nutritional products as drugs.”

Dr. Joyal explained that the proposed amendment was introduced by Senator McCain in a senate speech that noted the source of the bill stemmed from two baseball players who, when tested for illegal drugs, were found to have steroids in their systems. They claimed they were only taking nutritional supplements and didn’t know those supplements contained steroids.

The solution? A proposed bill that will serve to dramatically deny freedom of access to natural products for everyone and create the opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to generate huge profits from natural products.

The FDA has already reclassified a natural nutritional supplement as an investigative new drug (IND), much to the detriment of America’s diabetes patients. On January 12, 2009, the FDA declared that a naturally occurring form of vitamin B6, called pyridoxamine, was an investigative new drug rather than a dietary nutritional supplement. The ingredient is found in brewer’s yeast, as well as in fish and poultry. However, because of the agenda of a pharmaceutical company, this dietary supplement is no longer freely available at a low cost.

“If the American public is denied freedom of access to natural products, we will no longer have the right to purchase natural products for optimal health. The McCain-Dorgan Bill poses that potential threat to health conscious Americans.”

Dr. Joyal pointed out that preventive medicine, or a focus on strategies that can keep us healthy, is extremely important especially in today’s economy. He said nutritional supplements offer a safe, cost-effective means to achieve optimal health.

For 30 years, Life Extension has been at the forefront of research and integrative therapies promoting and supporting optimal health. Every month, Life Extension Magazine® reports new discoveries involving cutting-edge longevity science, nutrition, and innovative medical therapies.

Readers interested in learning more about Dr. Joyal and Life Extension should visit lef.org.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Erwin Alber February 26, 2010 1:10 am (Pacific time)

It seems that America is run by Zionists and the medical-pharmaceutical mafia. So much for the "Land of the Free! Shame.   

Horseing February 25, 2010 12:04 pm (Pacific time)

They are pushing the UN Codex Alimentarius under the WTO-World Trade Orgainzation. Much like the USDA pushing Traceablity thru the OIE via the National animal identification system which is now called animal disease traceablity which doesnt do anything other then protect BIG AG.

Horsein February 25, 2010 12:09 pm (Pacific time)

they are pushing Codex alimentarius which is a UN organization to dictate standards which is much lower then standards alread set up here in the USA. Do not allow this to happen.

David Wooten February 25, 2010 8:54 am (Pacific time)

t is the height of hypocrisy for Senator McCain to be introducing this legislation. McCain left his first wife (who waited for him while he was a POW) to marry Cindy Hensley, a drug queen pin. Yep, Cindy McCain not only made millions selling alcoholic beverages that have caused the deaths of thousands of innocent children on the highways of Arizona but her millions helped launch Senator McCain’s career. Alcohol is just as bad as any illegal drug, including heroin. But people have the right to use it if they do so responsibly. If McCain gets his way, however, the right of people to take nutritional supplements to improve their health will be in jeopardy. No doubt Senator McCain will get big donations from pharmaceutical companies whose products have to compete with nutritional supplements.

Anonymous February 20, 2010 9:42 am (Pacific time)

England has a well developed vitamin industry for supplements. It was developed for health reasons because of the increasing lengthy period to see a doctor and get meds. I'm serious, and because of that we have actual excellent longitutinal studies on different supplements reflecting both efficacy and side-effects. Truth is no friend of the liberal, that's for sure. Think MSM for pain relief for many ailments. It's cheap and no major side-effects.

Eddie Zawaski February 20, 2010 9:34 am (Pacific time)

Score another big VICTORY for the pharmaceutical industry! The sole transparent reason for this legislation is to make more profits for major drug corporations at the expense of the poor saps in the USA who must pay big pharma or die. Those of you who have been slipping by by taking a bit of fish oil now and then are no longer exempt. After fighting endless wars to defeat the threats of European fascism and communism, Mr. and Mrs. American public now meekly lay down to be crushed by the heel of our own corporations. Where I live in Argentina, no such deal has been made between the government and big business to pick our pockets. First of all, most drugs that are available only by prescription in the US are freely purchased over the counter here, no questions asked. There are many Argentine labs that make and sell generic equivalents of patented drugs at prices ranging from 10 to 20 % of what the consumer pays in the USA. My statin drug that I take to keep down my cholesterol costs 75 pesos (about $19) for a thirty day supply. If I had to buy this drug in the US as I did a few years ago, the cost would be more like $119 per month. The Argentine government does not pass laws restricting my access to life-saving medication because it is not in their interest to do so. The big drug companies have not made the huge investment here that it takes to buy off politicians to make the laws they want. Our market here is small (only 40 million people) and Argentines are generally poor enough that overpriced drugs just won't get purchased. The US consumer, on the other hand, pays the highest prices because he has the money and he has the politicians willing to stick it to him to get their big fat Pfizer paychecks.

Oregon Reader February 19, 2010 6:34 pm (Pacific time)

Pyridoxamine From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia--- Pyridoxamine is used as a dietary supplement, often as the hydrochloride salt, pyridoxamine dihydrochloride. However, in the United States, the FDA ruled in January 2009 that pyridoxamine must be regulated as a pharmaceutical drug because it is the active ingredient in Pyridorin, a drug designed to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy.[1] As a consequence, pyridoxamine can no longer be marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement.

d February 20, 2010 1:00 am (Pacific time)

this is too much. Many people take supplements INSTEAD OF going to a doctor because they have no insurance, etc. So, they are talking about hugely upping the cost of healthcare, and pricing large numbers of americans out of any kind of health care (selfcare). No doctor, no prescription, no vitamins? no way. no wonder mccain lost. he and oboy are BOTH on the dark side!

Jeff Kaye~ February 19, 2010 7:34 pm (Pacific time)

This sounds like that reputed International Codex actually going into effect. What a crock. McCain should be unseated for this lunacy. And Byron Dork too. I take fish oil every day for optimal health. For pennies a day. This will kill me.

Oregon Reader February 19, 2010 3:09 pm (Pacific time)

There needs to be more INFORMATION about supplements and better quality control, testing and research. These are to protect the public. But not an elimination of naturally occurring products. Damn shame!

Natalie February 19, 2010 2:19 pm (Pacific time)

Soon, we'll need a prescription for drinking water... Do you have any serious research links as for the connection between vitamin B6 and diabetes? I'd appreciate it.

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