CVS to test unregulated vitamins and dietary supplements

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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

CVS Pharmacy announced Wednesday that it will require independent testing on all the vitamins and supplements sold in its almost 10,000 stores to assure customers that they are getting what they think they are.

The testing, which will look at safety and label accuracy, is the Rhode Island-based company’s latest effort to bring under control the unregulated vitamins and supplements industry.

CVS says they have already tested more than 1,400 products from 152 brands, across 11 categories including diet and nutrition, pain, and digestive supplements for safety and label accuracy.

Of those products tested, 7 percent did not meet safety or accuracy standard and were pulled off the shelves.

The initiative is part of CVS’ “Tested to Be Trusted” program, a campaign that seeks to inform customers that all of the dietary supplements sold on its store shelves will now be independently verified. The goal is to show costumers that the company is a trusted partner in the health and holistic wellness community.

The testing is being done by an independent third party and not done by CVS. Companies that do this include NFS International and U.S. Pharmacopeia, although CVS did not state if it will be working with either one.