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Proposed Bill May Destroy Freedom of Access to Nutritional SupplementsSalem-News.com
McCain-Dorgan Bill could make nutritional supplements available only by doctor’s prescription; stifling natural product innovation.
(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.
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