NPA: Cardiology Journal’s Risk Assessment on Herb, Pharmaceutical Interactions “Does Not Add Up”

The association concluded the data reported are not scientifically significant.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 2, 2010) -- A research review released on Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that taking widely used herbal supplements may be risky for people on heart disease medication, especially the elderly. The research team concluded that some herbal remedies may increase the potency of prescription drugs for heart disease or make them less effective. The report said that use of herbal supplements among elderly patients is especially concerning because these patients typically have more than one disease, take multiple medications and already are at greater risk of bleeding.

The Natural Products Association analyzed the review and issued the following comment:
“The authors fail to understand that the risk needs to be attributed to the riskier product, which all would agree is the pharmaceutical. The risk they speak of, while nice in theory, in reality does not add up,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the Natural Products Association.

“When considering the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse event reporting (AER) system being in place for dietary supplements, and the amount of counseling both physicians and pharmacists are required to undertake on all things that interact with cardiovascular medications, if there was a verifiable increased risk, data would exist that that clearly points to such. Without such data, any article of this nature is as scientifically significant as Chicken Little’s assessment of the sky.”

The Natural Products Association (NPA), founded in 1936, is the largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The Natural Products Association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. As the leading voice of the natural products industry, the Natural Products Association's mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health, and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products.


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