This week, pharmaceutical company Forces of Nature announced it became the first medicine manufacturer to incorporate certified organic ingredients into a line of topical medications. The Sonoma, Calif.-based company introduced Control line, which is made up of 14 topical medicines that are USDA Certified Organic and FDA Registered.
The products target seven conditions such as acne, herpes cold sores and scars. The medicines combine botanicals to topically sooth skin irritation with homeopathic drugs that address the underlying condition.
Forces of Nature launched in Whole Foods Market and soon will roll out to independent natural retailers nationwide.
With the launch of the Control line, the over-the-counter prescription drug company is adding a new competitor to other natural products targeted to skin ailments.
Interestingly, Forces of Nature promises a one-year, money-back guarantee on its products. Homeopathy treatments rarely come with this guarantee, which perhaps speaks to the Control line's shelf-life or the company's absolute confidence in its formula. At a $20-$50 price point, the products appeal to consumers who don't have the money, or health insurance coverage, to visit a dermatologist.
Forces of Nature sounds less like a pharmaceutical company and more like an herbal supplement company when one digs into its supply chain. The company reports that it sources its organic ingredients directly from more than 20 privately owned certified organic farms around the world. Companies such as Gaia Herbs and Traditional Medicinals also source from organic farms, focus on sustainability and harvest their herbs at the peak of efficacy, which Forces of Nature says is key to the performance of the Control line.
The crops Forces of Nature use for its products "are harvested when their soothing properties are at their utmost peak," the company writes in a press release. "Once harvested, these properties begin to fade, so Forces of Nature distills the plants right on or near the farms—never shipping them to commercial distilleries. The crops are distilled in small batches quickly, just enough to extract the botanical oils and maximize their potential."
A new market for organic?
Without argument, Forces of Nature is opening up a whole new market for certified organic botanical ingredients, benefiting organic growers around the globe.
The company's line of certified organic botanical drugs could also build a bridge between consumers interested in natural remedies, but who still trust the "drug" moniker to indicate if a product will "work" or not. Consumers are becoming savvier about organic and coming to understand that topicals loaded with pesticides and chemicals are not helpful for healing serious skin conditions.
First parabens stripped from cosmetics, now organic botanicals in topical drugs. Will we see other drug companies moving toward incorporating organic ingredients into their products? The answer is very much likely, "yes." However, companies should not enter this space lightly. Forces of Nature states that it took 11 years to earn its USDA Organic certifications.