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26 Feb 2004

What regulates the natural medicines market
When buying natural/ complementary health products what do I need to look out for in terms of how the product was manufactured - how do I know the company producing the product is reputable? are there any laws or standards which govern this industry like there are for prescribed medicines etc ?
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Expert
Natural health
natural expert

01 Jan 0001

Hello Mick

Good question. In order for a company to manufacture supplements or natural medicines, they have to be registered with the Medicines Control Council (MCC) of SA to receive GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) and with the Pharmacy Council to manufacture Pharmaceuticals. To import and trade in medicines you need to be registered with the MCC as well.

There is no way that you will as the layman be able to see if this natural product is reputable or not except if you ask questions. Ask the pharmacist, phone the company, read the package inserts and pamphlets and see if it states registration or not. Just looking at batch numbers and expiry dates, means nothing. Be careful of companies making BIG promises on the pamphlets without being able to prove it medically.

I knowa company that has taken competitive products off the shelves of pharmacies and health stores and had them analised independantly only to find that what it claims to have in it is a miniscule 2-5% of the product and the rest is bulk.

So what to do? Stick to the companies that have been around for decades and investigate the product via the net or telephoning the company. Your intuition will quickly tell you whether it is kosher or not.

Kind regards.

Estie



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