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Registered over-the-counter herbal medicines increase

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The public will have a greater choice of safe herbal remedies as part of a new scheme to combat dangerous unlicensed products being sold worldwide.

The number of registered products on the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) traditional registration scheme passed the 100 mark recently.

It is hoped that the scheme, which takes full effect from April 30, will allow the public to easily identify whether a herbal treatment is safe to use.

The MHRA has discovered in the past that some herbal products can contain toxic herbs, while others have been found to contain potent pharmaceutical substances to enhance their effect.

There has also been a problem with labelling as many products failed to include information about potential side effects either when taken on its own or with other products.

Labelling also often failed to disclose whether the product is safe for children or expectant mothers.

Richard Woodfield, MHRA head of herbal medicine policy, said: “The growth of the THR scheme means that consumers will have access to a wide choice of over-the-counter herbal medicines made to assured standards.

“The current signs are that the market will be lively and competitive. The key difference for consumers is that in future they will be in the driving seat and able to make an informed choice when they wish to use these medicines.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Actually what this means is that the range of herbs available will diminish because the only companies able to apply and more importantly afford the registration fees will be the large companies and multinationals. Small companies however ethical and professional will be out of business.
    It is not about providing safer products.
    Had the MHRA wanted to actually promote choice and safety they would have insisted on accurate labelling of products and allowed the public to make their own informed choice.

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