Often assuming that dietary supplements and herbal medicines are regulated like drugs, many people purchase them to help improve their health. While the law requires many pharmaceuticals to meet specific quality standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the same requirements don’t apply to supplements. Moreover, the ingredients for supplements are sourced from several different companies whose quality systems can widely vary. The inconsistency of these quality systems is particularly troubling given their current popularity:
- 7/10 mothers give children immunity supplements
- 8/10 physicians recommend supplements to their patients
- 85% of seniors age 65+ use supplements
In order to make informed health decisions, consumers need to be confident that what is on the label is in the bottle; that the ingredients listed are present in the proper amounts; and that the product will break down properly in the body so it can be absorbed. To help ensure quality and build trust in these products, USP is looking for talented volunteers within the fields of dietary supplements and herbal medicines.
Trust needs Champions
As a part of the USP Council of Experts, volunteers have the opportunity to expand their perspectives by working with an elite group of global health and science leaders to solve emerging healthcare challenges facing society today. If you are considering a volunteer position, long-time USP volunteer Nancy Lewen offers this advice:
“Do it. It’s worthwhile. It’s interesting. It stretches your mind differently than what you would do in your day job. You learn as you share with the other scientists. It helps you to think beyond your own four walls.”
Volunteers can count on USP’s core values:
- Our obsession with scientific rigor;
- Our independence as an organization and the quality standards we create, which are critical to ensuring product quality;
- The independence of our volunteers - not influenced by politics or profit - who contribute their expertise to the public good and provide integrity in a complex healthcare environment.
Experience & Expertise
Given the popularity of dietary supplements in America today, it is critical that we develop quality standards so consumers and their families can trust what they’re taking. To achieve this goal, we’re looking for applicants with the following expertise:
- Experience in botanical and non-botanical dietary supplement ingredients and products, herbal medicine ingredients, and determining whether a dietary ingredient does or does not present a serious risk to health or other public health concerns.
- Experience in one or more of the following areas: toxicology, risk assessment, dietary supplement regulations (U.S. and global) including GMPs, safety, integrative medical sciences, weight of evidence toxicology, pharmacognosy, adulteration screening, chromatography, spectroscopy, microbiology, protein chemistry, chemometrics, phytochemistry, taxonomy, botanicals, traditional herbal medicines, non-botanicals (including amino acids, enzymes, minerals, oils and fatty acids, probiotics, proteins and vitamins) DNA-based detection, reference standards, and nomenclature of natural products.
Trust needs Champions. Trust needs You. Volunteer your expertise here.