Herbal Medicines, The Update…

May 30th, 2011

Scoopaway and the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Product Directive (THMPD)

The changes in the law regarding the sales of herbal medicines came  into effect on 1st May 2011.

The law was passed to ensure that herbal medicines being sold have a license, making them ‘safer’ for the consumer.  So since the 1stof May 2011 it is now illegal to place herbal medicines onto the market without a license granted from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

David Carter, the head of MHRA’s Medicine Borderline Section, said important improvements in safety, as well as quality, will be brought about by the new system.  Adding “Natural, I’m afraid, does not mean safe. We are looking at some very potent herbs in some cases, and we have evidence that some of these have caused harm.”

Opposition from industry produces and sellers has failed to halt the implementation of this law, with the opposition stating that the new legislation will effectively disable the herbal sector in Europe.  With licenses costing £80,000 – £150,000 per product for THMPD registration many smaller suppliers will not be able to meet the costs of such licensing.

So what does this new law mean on the shelves at Scoopaway?

From the 1st of May we will no longer be able to buy herbal products that require a license from our suppliers unless they have obtained a license via THMPD.  However we will be able to sell any stock that we currently have on our shelves for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately some of our smaller suppliers such as postlewaite will not be supplying herbs any longer, which means that they will disappear completely from our shelves once our stocks have gone.  Our larger supplier, A. Vogel has the majority of their products licensed so most of these will remain on our shelves.  However their ‘complexes’ range will be disappearing, and some of their herbs will not obtain licenses until later this year.  This means that there will be a temporary break in the supply of some of their products.  Higher Natures, Solgar and Natures Aid are in the same position as A. Vogel and have not obtained licences for some of their products but will be acquiring licenses in the very near future, and a few of their products will be disappearing altogether.

We  don’t envisage that any one single herb will disappear completely, it may be that you will have to change suppliers.  If you do require any further information on a specific product then please contact Tim or Kate or visit the store.