ROCKVILLE, Md. --The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP)will launch a voluntary pilot program this month that will serve as a framework for a national certification program for dietary supplement ingredients. Various dietary supplement manufacturers in the United States will work with USP in reviewing and enhancing the criteria, standards and procedures required for a national quality assurance program. The program includes reviewing tests conducted by manufacturers on ingredients; enforcing good manufacturing practices (GMPs); and tracking products after market introduction. As part of the pilot program, USP will form a dietary supplement Industry Advisory Group (IAG), as well as continue to conduct stakeholder meetings, to gather input on how to develop the program.
"This certification program is a logical next step for USP," said Roger Williams, M.D., executive vice president and chief executive officer of USP. "[USP has] 180 years of experience in drug standards-setting and . more than 100 years experience in dietary supplement standards-setting."
After a manufacturer successfully completes the pilot phase and passes the manufacturing audit, it will be granted approval to use USP's certification mark. In addition, USP is presently conducting focus group tests to establish the value of this certification mark in the consumer's mind and will provide consumer and healthcare marketing tools accordingly. USP states that after the pilot program ends, the launch of a national program is planned for later this year that will enforce product quality and GMPs. For additional information, visit www.usp.org.