The Cost of Convenience: Amazon Warns About Fake Supplements
When we ask practitioners why they dispense dietary supplements to patients through Emerson Ecologics and/or Wellevate, the response we hear most often is they want patients to have access to high quality products. Patients, however, may be swayed by convenient delivery and lower prices, and purchase supplements elsewhere. The idea of quality may not even enter their minds when they consider where to buy.
That might all be about to change.
On July 19, 2019, Wired magazine reported that Amazon customers who purchased probiotics under the brand name “Align” from some Amazon merchants were notified to dispose of the products due to suspicion the products were counterfeit.
According to the Wired article, Amazon was issuing refunds to affected customers but did not respond to the author’s question as to whether Amazon would test these specific counterfeit products to identify whether they contained harmful ingredients. Even if harmful ingredients were found, legal precedent establishes that a retailer like Amazon would not be responsible for the goods sold by its third-party sellers.
How can consumers–you and your patients–be sure the products you buy are authentic, stored properly and not expired? Look for a supply chain with no risk of counterfeit goods. Easier said than done, right? But that’s exactly what Emerson Ecologics offers through the Emerson Quality Program (EQP)®.
We look for companies that go above and beyond the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements and get third-party certifications related to their manufacturing practices. Voluntary certifications for good manufacturing practices include NSF International and NPA (Natural Products Association). And those are just a starting point. The EQP® ensures that participating companies distributed through Emerson Ecologics and Wellevate exceed the standards of cGMPs.
We encourage you to share this blog post with your patients and start a dialogue about the importance of a quality. They want to know that the products they purchase are safe, effective, and worth the cost. With the EQP® behind your in-office and online dispensaries, you can assure them that what they think they’re ordering is what they’ll get.