John Weeks July 2013 Integrator Round-up covering the topics of Integrative health care policy, research and publications, integrative practice, academic medicine, professions, natural products, conferences, people


Cancer Treatment Centers of America reports outcomes of quality examination of dietary supplement suppliers

The multi-center pioneer in integrative cancer treatment, Cancer Treatment Centers for America, will have the abstract of its examination of supplier quality published in association with the upcoming American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting. Entitled Assuring dietary supplement quality for cancer patients: An integrated formulary systems approach, the study reports an examination of products of 12 manufacturers “with a reasonable reputation among providers for quality.” The abstract states: “All 12 companies claimed to be operating in full compliance with FDA regulations. However, 3 had received Warning Letters from FDA for GMP violations; 2 performed a product recall within the last 5 years; 4 reported products that failed for potency or purity; 1 did not have product specifications; 1 was found by FDA to have inadequate testing; 1 was found to have a lack of sufficient controls throughout the supply chain to guard against microbiological contamination; and 2 had confirmed melamine contamination or lack of melamine testing on protein powders.” One firm, not mentioned, “met all quality standards.”

Comment: Remarkable here is that the firms chosen were those believed to have top quality. Perhaps I am jaded, but this outcome does not appear to be that negative. The FDA can be picky. A product recall can be a good thing. Was it just 4 products of the 12 firms that failed ConsumerLab’s analysis and was this over a 5 year period?