The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) created its Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP) in November 2001 to help inform and safeguard the growing number of consumers who use dietary supplements. USP recently unveiled the mark that qualifying manufacturers will place on their product labels.
Nature Made¨ Vitamin E was the first product to earn the DSVP mark. Nature Made is a division of Pharmavite LLC, of Northridge, CA, one of the nation's largest dietary supplement manufacturers. Pharmavite was the first company to join DSVP. Leiner Health Products Inc. of Carson, CA; Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. of Waltham, MA; and Weider Nutrition International Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT, are also participating in DSVP.
Under DSVP, USP evaluates and verifies dietary supplements according to stringent standards for product purity, accuracy of ingredient labeling, and proper manufacturing practices. The DSVP mark helps assure consumers, health care professionals, and supplement retailers that a product:
¥ Contains the ingredients declared on the product label;
¥ Contains the amount or strength of ingredients declared on the product label;
¥ Meets requirements for limits on potential contaminants
¥ Has been manufactured properly by complying with USP and proposed FDA standards for good manufacturing practices (GMPs).
Once a dietary supplement is granted the USP DSVP certification mark, USP will periodically conduct random off-the-shelf tests on verified products to ensure they continue to meet DSVP's strict standards. USP also will continue to conduct audits of manufacturer sites for GMP compliance on a three-year basis. During the intervening years, manufacturers will be required to conduct annual self-audits and report the results to USP for review.
USP evaluates dietary supplements submitted to the program based on:
¥ Extensive laboratory testing;
¥ Comprehensive review of quality control and manufacturing documentation; and
¥ Evaluation of manufacturer compliance with USP and proposed FDA standards for GMPs.
USP is a not-for-profit organization that achieves its goals through the contributions of volunteers representing pharmacy, medicine, and other healthcare professions, as well as science, academia, government, the pharmaceutical industry, and consumer organizations.
Since 1820, USP has established standards for more than 3,800 prescription and over-the-counter medicines. USP also has developed monograph standards for more than 900 nutritional and dietary supplement products. These standards are compiled in the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary (USP-NF), which is recognized as the nation's official compendia for pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. For further information, visit the DSVP website, <www.usp-dsvp.org>
[USP. Nature Made Vitamin E Is First Dietary Supplement to Gain DSVP Certification (press release). 2002 June 17.]