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Herbal Medicines Explained
Traditional Herbal Medicines
Nature’s Best are launching a new range of Traditional Herbal Medicines. Many of these herbal products, such as St John’s Wort, will be familiar to you but they differ in their legal classification following a change in European legislation.
Change to the legislation
A new European Directive (2204/24/EC) came into force on 30th April 2011 which required some of our herbal products to be registered as Traditional Herbal Medicines. This legislation is being strictly enforced in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
In order to register a product with the MHRA as a Traditional Herbal Medicine, a pharmaceutical dossier of information was required to demonstrate that the product met specific standards of safety and quality. This involved testing all raw materials and finished tablets for authentication, purity and stability to ensure that they complied with medicinal manufacturing standards.
Change to the packaging
As part of the registration process, new cartons were designed which were assessed by the MHRA to ensure that they provided the correct information about the products, including details about side effects and warnings to all consumer groups. We have also added Braille to our outer cartons for the visually impaired.
Based on the packaging, it is possible to determine a Traditional Herbal Medicine from alternative products as they carry a THR logo. This informs the consumer that this product complies with medicinal manufacturing standards and has been registered by the MHRA.
You will also notice that Traditional Herbal Medicines bear a claim on the packaging based on the 30 years evidence of traditional use that was provided in the registration dossier. This claim will enable our consumers to make a more informed choice about these products they are buying.
Patient Information Leaflet
As for all medicines, a patient information leaflet was also required. We spent a great deal of time on our patient information to ensure that it carried all the required information in an easy to read format. User testing of the patient information leaflet was completed by a group of consumers to ensure that this leaflet was accessible to all ages. All this extra effort with our packaging helps decipher the complexities of herbal products to our consumers.
Unfortunately the extra requirements of the MHRA have meant that Traditional Herbal Medicines are more expensive to manufacture and pack. However we have tried to keep the price rises to a minimum and we believe our products still offer excellent value for money, when compared to other Traditional Herbal Medicines of a similar strength.
Setting the standard
Registering the Nature’s Best herbal products as Traditional Herbal Medicines was an important step for the company, as it meant that it was possible to define our existing products with guaranteed quality and safety. Before this regulation came into force, the herbal market was largely unregulated and unscrupulous companies were able to sell products of poor quality and safety. Nature’s Best products have always been of the highest quality and have been manufactured according to medicinal standards, but now all products must meet these specific standards of safety and quality to help protect public health.
Exclusive to Nature’s Best
Finally, we believe our Traditional Herbal Medicines are unique from our competitors as we did not make any compromises in order to comply with the legislation. All our registration dossiers are exclusive to our company’s products and we were involved at every stage of the registration process. They are all manufactured and tested in the UK and have been developed with the right potency at affordable prices.