Steven Dentali, Ph.D., chief science officer for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), has recently attended three sets of meetings of interest to the AHPA membership and the herbal products community.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) held a dietary supplement drug interaction advisory committee meeting on April 1. Dentali attended the meeting that covered how NCCAM should prioritize bioassays, the supplements to study, and what criteria are used to move on to human studies of supplement-drug interactions.
"NCCAM is following a rational path to determine which supplements to study, how to study them, and when it makes sense to move on to conducting human clinical trials to better evaluate potential dietary supplement-drug interactions," said Dentali.
Dentali attended the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) Nomenclature, Safety, and Labeling Expert Committee meeting on April 3 to 4 as a committee member, and USP's Dietary Supplement Expert Committee meeting on April 8 to 9, where he presented an update on the work of the Dietary Supplement Nomenclature Subcommittee, which he chairs.
Dentali also attended the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Dietary Supplement Quality Assurance Program (DSQAP) meeting on April 5 with representatives from industry trade associations and government to discuss the current impact of the DSQAP, a free program where analytical laboratories are provided test materials with known amounts of specific analytes, and where they learn how to maximize the program for the various participants.
"One important aspect of the program is to introduce laboratories to the use of reference materials," said Dentali. "Among other uses, standard reference materials are critically important for the setting of contaminant specifications as this is reasonable only when a manufacturer is able to measure them."
More than 100 laboratories have participated in the program and received feedback regarding how close their results were to the target values and where their results fell relative to other program participants.