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Nutraceutical Marketing and Regulatory Risk

Nutraceuticals Claims Guide

When onboarding a nutraceutical merchant, how do you know which claims are compliant versus which claims cross the line? Obviously, a dietary supplement cannot be marketed with claims to miraculously cure COVID-19, but can it be marketed to relieve joint pain? Or reduce inflammation? What if the merchant’s website is claim-free, but its social media includes claims to help treat hypertension? Can a merchant post real customer reviews on its website, if those reviews tout the product as an Adderall alternative? Is it risky to name a supplement “Psoriasis-B-Gone”? Can a nutraceutical be marketed as a natural antidepressant?

Understanding FDA regulations can be overwhelming. Most risk and compliance teams know that the FDA prohibits dietary supplements from being marketed with claims to treat, prevent, cure, or mitigate “disease—but then things get confusing. 

To help payment providers separate compliant nutraceutical merchants from those that engage in misleading and high-risk marketing tactics, G2 has created a simple guide titled Nutraceuticals and the FDA: A Marketing Guide for Payment Providers. This guide provides an easily digestible overview of FDA regulationsand G2’s team of experts is always available to answer your follow-up questions!  

A few quick takeaways:

The FDA has issued warning letters to merchants who market dietary supplements with claims to treat joint pain and inflammation.  

  • When reviewing marketing, the FDA looks at claims found on the merchant’s social media. 
  • A merchant should not use terms like “analgesic,” “antibiotic,” “antidepressant,” “antimicrobial,” and “antiviral.” These are all classes of drugs and are considered implied disease claims. 
  • A product’s brand name should not imply that the product can treat a disease (so “Psoriasis-B-Gone” is likely problematic!). 
  • A merchant should not claim that its dietary supplement is a drug alternativeso claims like “better than Viagra” or “an all-natural alternative to Adderall” are problematic. 

To learn more, download Nutraceuticals and the FDA: A Marketing Guide for Payment Providers or visit our website.

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