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Third-Party Evaluation: A Review of Dietary Supplements Dispensed by Military Treatment Facilities From 2007 to 2011.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Release Date/Publication: July 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Military Health System (MHS) Data Repository

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:
Third-party certification/verification of dietary supplements (DS), although not mainstream, is one way to help ensure high-quality products. In the medical setting, physicians may prescribe DS to correct a deficiency or improve a health care outcome, and they want products of a certain standard of quality, free of adulteration/contamination.

OBJECTIVE:
We reviewed DS dispensed from all Department of Defense military treatment facilities over a 5-year period to determine which products had been third-party reviewed and certified/verified.

METHODS:
By using product name, manufacturer, and/or National Drug Codes, we examined product listings on the websites of three independent-evaluating organizations.

RESULTS:
Over 1.5 million dietary supplement prescriptions consisting of 753 different products were dispensed from 2007 through 2011. Less than 3.6% of the products examined were third-party certified/verified by any of the three most well-known evaluation organizations: 19 were verified by United States Pharmacopeial Convention; 9 products were reviewed and 8 certified by ConsumerLab; and none of the products were certified by NSF International.

CONCLUSION:
Most DS dispensed by military treatment facilities are not reviewed by a third party. This is not unexpected, as third party certification is not yet mainstream. However, one way to reduce potential hazards and exposure to unsafe products is to encourage use of supplements that have third-party certification/verification.

Citation:

Jones DR, Kasper KB, Deuster PA. Third-Party Evaluation: A Review of Dietary Supplements Dispensed by Military Treatment Facilities From 2007 to 2011. Mil Med. 2015 Jul;180(7):737-41.

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