CVS finalizes program that mandates third party testing for all supplements

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images
CVS Pharmacy has finalized a requirement that all supplements sold in its stores must now be tested by one of four third party certifiers.

The program, which the pharmacy chain is calling “Tested to be Trusted,”​ is meant to ensure that all vitamins and supplements sold in-store and online to confirm the accuracy of the dietary ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel. The program is mean to verify that they are free from certain additives and ingredients. The company, which is a division of CVS Health, said 1,400 vitamins and supplements from 152 brands across 11 categories, including diet and nutrition, pain and digestive health categories, have completed testing.

"CVS Pharmacy's requirement of third party testing of all vitamins and supplements uniquely positions us as a trusted retailer and health partner where consumers can shop for proactive wellness solutions with confidence,"​ said Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health. "We are seeing more customers focus on self-care as part of their overall health, and CVS is committed to providing access to new products and categories to empower people to practice self-care in their daily lives, especially since self-care varies based on an individual's needs."

The program includes informational signage on the shelves where the supplements and other nutritonal products are displayed.  The company said it has moved more in the direction of supporting consumer’s self care choices and promoting their overall health.  A key step in that process was the decision by the chain in 2014 to stop selling tobacco products.

Program completed ahead of schedule

The testing requirement was first rolled out in 2017.  CVS says the program was completed six months ahead of schedule.  The program requires all products with a supplement panel at CVS Pharmacy to be certified either by NSF International or verified by USP or participate in CVS Pharmacy's required third party testing program conducted through NSF or Eurofins.  The website detailing the program also lists UL as one of the “third party testing experts.”

The announcement of the finalization of the testing program coincides with CVS launching an extenstive new suite of products. The company says it is introducing more than 300 new items in six new health and wellness categories.  These focus primarily on the cognitive, nutrition, mood and sleep caregories.

The company said the new product assortment, which includes collagen protein, essential oils and aromatherapy stress spray, bone broth protein, beet root powder, bee pollen and honey immunity products will be available in more than 3,000 stores and on by the middle of 2019. 

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