Dietary Supplements – FDA May Have Opportunities to Expand Its Use of Reported Health Problems to Oversee Products, GAO-13-244, Mar 18, 2013
“From 2008 through 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received 6,307 reports of health problems–adverse event reports (AER)–for dietary supplements; 71 percent came from industry as serious adverse events as required by law, and most of these AERs were linked with supplements containing a combination of ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals or were otherwise not classified within FDA’s product categories. However, FDA may not be receiving information on all adverse events because consumers and others may not be voluntarily reporting these events to FDA, although they may be contacting poison centers about some of these events. From 2008 to 2010, these centers received over 1,000 more reports of adverse events linked to dietary supplements than did FDA for the same period. FDA officials said that they are interested in determining whether the poison center data could be useful for their analysis and have held discussions with American Association of Poison Control Centers representatives, but cost is a factor.”
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