People who take supplements should be concerned with what’s in them. They should expect their supplements to be safe and contain quality ingredients. They should expect that what’s on the label is in the product.
Dietary supplement manufacturers must ensure that these legitimate expectations are consistently met, batch after batch. To achieve this goal, manufacturers need to adopt strict, risk-based practices and procedures for their manufacturing facility with a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility registration. If issues arise, the GMP will be in place so the manufacturer can recognise, investigate and take appropriate planned action to protect the consumer and the marketplace from exposure to any potentially harmful ingredients or practices.
For decades, pharmaceutical companies have been required by law to have GMPs in place. They help ensure consistent, acceptable product quality and safety. An effective GMP reduces risk, helps companies save money, upholds a company’s reputation and helps to create a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The benefits of GMP are just as relevant to the dietary supplement industry as they are to the pharmaceutical industry.
One of the most critical components of GMP is quality control (QC)—the process of sampling, testing and comparing results with pre-agreed specifications as part of the overall quality assurance (QA) process. For supplement manufacturers, a well-designed QC system does not focus simply on finished product testing, but utilises the most appropriate analytical techniques to assure the quality of materials throughout the process.
To simplify this, GMP helps to ensure the consistent quality and safety of products by focusing attention on five key elements, which are often referred to as the 5 P’s of GMP—people, premises, processes, products and procedures (or paperwork). And if all five are done well, there is a sixth P … profit!
NSF International's Bob Pietrowski will dive deeper into the 5 Ps in an exclusive session at this year’s Vitafoods Europe Conference (11 May 2016, 2.40 pm). He’ll explain how the 5 Ps can form the backbone of a robust and effective quality management system for dietary supplement manufacturers. Click the conference link above for more details and to register.