New Jersey makes it easier for MDs to distribute supplements in move abetted by CRN

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New jersey Law

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The New Jersey state legislature recently passed a law making it easier for health practitioners to integrate the use of dietary supplements into their practices. It’s a move that was supported by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Industry observers have recently decried the threat of additional laws governing the dietary supplement business at the state level. But sometimes another law on the books is a good thing, said Mike Greene, vice president of government relations for CRN.

The new law, designated as AB1433​, was signed into law on Jan. 19 by Gov. Chris Christie.  The law basically extends the same regulations that govern how chiropractors may dispense dietary supplements to other health practitioners, specifically medical doctors and podiatrists, who as a practical matter had been constrained from dispensing these products.

“New Jersey was one of a very few states that had laws that prohibited doctors and other health care professionals from distributing supplements,”​ Greene told NutraIngredients-USA.

7-day window

This constraint was not an outright prohibition, but rather was a consequence of how the law put boundaries around drug distribution. Physicians in New Jersey are prevented from distributing more than a 7-day supply of any drug, and, if charging for these drugs (many physicians offer a few days’ supply of drug samples free) had to offer these at or below wholesale cost with a maximum 10% markup as an administrative cost. Dietary supplements were included in this regulation, something the new amendment corrects.  Chiropractors were already exempt from this provision.

A 7-day supply window is obviously a non starter for dietary supplements. Physicians in the state are now free to use these substances in their practices in a way that is more in keeping with how these products work. It’s a legislative tweak that CRN has been working on for five or six years, Greene said.

“I believe this situation had something to do with language that was instituted when the American Medical Association ethics language was put into place in state law. We certainly don’t want a patchwork of state laws concerning other issues like labeling.  This is more to make the law in New Jersey similar to other states,”​ Greene said.

“CRN applauds the signage of A.B. 4133 into law because it guarantees that consumers in the state of New Jersey will have greater access to nutritional supplements to help promote overall health and wellness that they didn’t have before. We’re very excited to see the fruition of CRN’s early-on engagement and support of this bill, and pleased that consumers in New Jersey will surely benefit from the bill’s enactment into law,”​ said Ingrid Lebert, director of government relations for CRN.

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