The Natural Products Association (NPA) is meeting with members of the House of Representatives to overturn an administrative order issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s Department of Health that would raise prices for dietary supplement and natural products consumers and adds requirements for retailers/distributors inconsistent with federal law. NPA is seeking to attach the provision to the debt relief package for Puerto Rico, which Congress is considering.
“This rule is arbitrary, unnecessary and potentially damaging to consumers and economic growth in Puerto Rico. It will drive consumers to the internet for supplement purchases, which we know is a haven for counterfeiters and fly-by-night suppliers,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, NPA CEO and executive director. “It will raise prices on the island for vitamins and natural products, which hurts consumers and low income people the hardest. And it will hurt legitimate high-quality supplement providers and distributors here in the continental U.S., who will now have to pay a premium to deliver products to meet growing demand. But most of all, it is unnecessary because FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have adequate tools to regulate the industry.”
On February 9, 2016, the Puerto Rican Secretary of Health issued Administrative Order #346 without any notice and comment period which includes a host of costly and onerous requirements:
- The Order imposed a regulatory scheme in Puerto Rico for all distributors of dietary Supplements in Puerto Rico. It requires a burdensome product-by-product registration per store requiring $25 fee for every variation of a supplement by size, color, SKU.
- All manufacturers must likewise file an application and pay an additional $500 fee. Distributors must also register and pay an additional $100 fee. NPA is encouraging members to visit its grassroots website (www.saveoursupplements.org) and reach out to Congress and tell them to stop Puerto Rico from creating an arbitrary tax on the industry as the relief package is debated.
For more information, visit www.npainfo.org.