CVS Pharmacy launches a new program called “Tested to Be Trusted” that will require all of its vitamins and supplements sold in-store and online to be tested by a third party. This crafty move by CVS is to make sure the label information is correct and guard against contamination.
One of the major U.S. retailers CVS Pharmacy made this move amid rising concerns about vitamins and supplements being poorly regulated.
The FDA does keep an eye on vitamins and supplements after they are introduced in the market. It does not screen their contents to make sure they are correct to use; however, it can take them off the market if they are found to be tainted with prescription drugs or proven to be unsafe and misbranded.
Senior vice president of merchandising at CVS George Coleman said, “That’s why CVS started the ‘Tested to Be Trusted’ program to give customers confidence that what’s on the label matches what’s inside the bottle.”
The pharmacy has already tested over 1,400 vitamins and supplements from more than 150 brands, and 7% of the products failed the testing. The failed products were pulled from the stores.
Coleman said that 22 products were removed from store shelves and that they could have failed the inspection for a variety of reasons. However, he declined to mention the name of the products that failed the inspection.
He said, “If it said it was gluten-free and it turned out there was some gluten in it that would cause a failure. If there was an allergen in it, like tree nuts that weren’t listed, that would cause a failure.”
The new CVS program also aims to make sure the products do not contain any contaminants that could harm people who use them, including certain pesticides and heavy metals.
According to the website of CVS pharmacy, “Tests will be done on a single lot of the vitamin or supplement, and third-party testing for later batches will not be required — but it will continue to test any new products before they hit shelves.”
Every product must have their labels verified by U.S. Pharmacopeia or NSF International, or take part in CVS’s third-party testing program, which is run by NSF International or Eurofins.